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Burnham Grammar School rebuild set to 'transform' learning of students

Plans to rebuild the front of Burnham Grammar School will ‘transform the learning of our students’, according to its headteacher.

Plans were submitted in May and, if approved, work will commence in January.

The proposals would see teaching spaces increase from 43 to 51, including a drama studio, two new A-level science labs as well as a new sports hall, sixth-form social area and three new student toilets.

The school is ‘one of the most oversubscribed grammar schools in Buckinghamshire and Slough’ with 93 appeals for places in year seven and an additional class joining year eight, bringing the year group up to 180 from 150.

The school, in Hogfair Lane, first applied for funding for the project in 2014.

That year, the school secured funding from two grants: The Conditions Improvement Fund (CIF) for a three-storey building running through the middle of the school and the Priority Schools Building Programme 2 (PSBP2), which the Department of Education agreed could be ‘expanded to cover the rebuild or refurbishment’ of the entire school.

Dr Andy Gillespie, headteacher, said: “Both grants were combined and after a feasibility study, it was determined that the best solution was to rebuild the school entirely in order to provide the best facilities, longevity of investment and value for money.”

The third source of funding came from Bricks of Burnham, a fundraising appeal set up by governors, parents and alumni, who raised £200,000 to form part of the school’s contribution to the CIF application and was ultimately ‘key in securing the grant’.

Dr Gillespie added that he is also keen that the local community can also hire out and use the new facilities, which if approved are set to be completed in summer 2021.

Old buildings would be demolished, making way for a sports field ready for summer 2022.

Dr Gillespie added: “The new building will transform the learning of our students.

“We are confident planners will see this as the only viable way to develop the school site.”

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