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Braywick Court School development hit by 'devastating' setback

Tara O'Connor

Tara O'Connor

A ‘devastating’ setback means development of a new building for Braywick Court School has been postponed.

The free school is run by the Bellevue Place Education Trust (BPET) and was due to redevelop its site at what was formerly Winbury School in Hibbert Road, Bray.

Pupils have all been moved to Riverside Primary School in West Dean, off Cookham Road, Maidenhead, to allow for the work to take place.

But parents were sent a letter on Monday announcing that Beard Construction has pulled out of the building project due to increased costs.

This means the children could be at Riverside for up to another two years.

Money for the development comes through an offshoot of the Department for Education, the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA).

But the letter from BPET’s chief executive Mark Greatrex says increased costs had been identified to build the new school as designed, leading to the cancellation of the contract with Beard.

The increased cost means a new tender will need to be drawn up and the revised timeline states that an invitation to tender will be issued next month.

All being well the trust hopes construction will be completed by summer 2019.

In the meantime Braywick Court children will remain at Riverside which has applied for two additional temporary classrooms.

A parent who did not want to be named described the situation as ‘heartbreaking’.

“Our concern is that there are three classes and we are having to travel to the school instead of walking,” they said. “It is so disheartening for the teachers; it is such an amazing school. The teachers are devastated, it seems like it is excuse after excuse. It is just heartbreaking, nobody knows where they stand.”

Mr Greatrex told the Advertiser: “In opening Braywick Court School, the trust has attracted a significant amount of government investment for a new state-of-the-art building for the local community in and around Bray for a long time to come.

“The delivery of this building programme has encountered some challenges and delays – which has meant the school will be in temporary accommodation for longer than anticipated.

“We continue to work hard to ensure the permanent building will be completed as soon as possible.”

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