Headteacher says £14m county council investment will be ‘great news’ for school

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Millions of pounds of investment will still go to Horsham’s Millais secondary school to replace a flagging building - the county council confirmed.

Despite grant cuts by the Department of Education, the Depot Road school will receive £14m from West Sussex County Council’s School Capital Building Programme to replace teaching buildings that are nearly 60 years old.

After a long time making the case for improvements Leon Nettley, headteacher at Millais, said it was fantastic news for the school and its nearly 1,500 pupils.

“Everyone is delighted with the news that the county council’s capital building programme includes £14m for a major improvement project at the school,” he explained.

“This project will enable us to redevelop the school to ensure we are providing a 21st century learning environment for all our pupils and staff in line with our role as a National Teaching School. It will also help us to retain our position in the top 100 non-selective state schools.

“After many years of pleading our case, to receive such an investment when resources are scarce, is a real boost for the school and all involved.”

The new building, fronting on to Depot Road, would provide general classrooms to provide new facilities for music, art and design technology.

The next stage will see plans drawn up so a planning application can be submitted to Horsham District Council.

Michael Brown (Con, Fernhurst), cabinet member for finance and resources, said he was confident of balancing the books by the sale of surplus property, with funds going back into capital works.

“The education capital programme is very important, particularly as we are coping with a big increase in pupil numbers,” he added.

WSCC announced in May 2012 it was looking at ways to deal with a surge of primary school pupils in the county, and is hoping to provide an extra 6,000 primary places in the next few years.

Shelley Primary School in Broadbridge Heath could be expanded and relocated, while Arunside and Heron Way Primary Schools in Horsham are also mentioned in proposals.