Primary schools in the UK are undergoing major transformation made possible with Primary Capital Programme (PCP) and other capital streams. The PCP programme is aimed at modernising primary schools to bring it into the 21st century and beyond, to equip it for teaching and learning and to make the school the heart of their community.
For the period between 2008 to 2011, a total of £1.9 billion will be spent as capital investment in the schools. Following that, £500 million will be spent each year as the programme is committed to renew at least half of all primary school buildings by 2022 to 2023.
This brings in the much needed funding for primary schools in this country. Most of the existing primary school buildings are not fit for purpose and are either adopted cottages or houses with extensions built around the school ground usually made up of make shift structures and wooden cabins.
The PCP investment together with local government spending will serve as a long term strategic approach towards building and maintaining a solid foundation that will see the transformation of teaching and learning in primary schools for many years to come.
However, lack of planning runs the risk of creating a two tier school where the new building with all its modern fixtures and fitting is starkly different from the existing building with its dated and old infrastructure and equipment.
This is evident in numerous projects where the actual building cost often exceeds the budget originally ear marked for construction causing other budgets such as the infrastructure and ICT equipment for the whole school as well as renovation to the existing building to take a hit.
There are many ways to control the budget available for infrastructure and ICT spending and to ensure that with the limited budget available, we can maximize the investment. The school will also need to be very clear in aligning its requirements and vision to ensure that the chosen solution will meet the needs of the school.
Engage the services of the Local Education Authorities school advisor or external ICT consultant. This will allow you to stretch your budget even further and provide you with solutions that you may not have considered. We can help you achieve your vision to avoid falling into the pit falls of a two tier school.
Read more about setting a good framework to work with limited budget here.Author: Samuel J. Tan