Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi broke ground at West Coventry Academy on Thursday 23 September, one of the first 100 schools to be rebuilt under the Prime Minister’s ten-year School Rebuilding programme.
A GOV.UK press release explains that the School Rebuilding programme aims to undertake major rebuilding and refurbishment projects at school and sixth form college buildings in England. All the buildings in the programme are to be rebuilt to enhanced sustainability standards and achieve net-zero in operation.
The ground-breaking at West Coventry Academy marks the beginning of the £2 billion investment to rebuild the first 100 schools, including the £200 million ‘fast track’ for further education (FE) colleges, to help transform the lives and educational experiences of pupils.
The Education Secretary was joined by workers, pupils and staff at West Coventry Academy, where new buildings will be designed to reduce energy consumption and support the UK’s net-zero by 2050 target.
The £38.4 million project is a complete rebuild of the school and includes a brand new, state of the art sports hall, which will also serve the local community.
The government is currently consulting on how to prioritise which schools will be selected for the School Rebuilding Programme in future.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Today I broke ground on one of the first 500 schools that the government is rebuilding, which will transform the lives of thousands of children over years to come.”
He explained that the programme will revolutionise the school estate to future proof both the education of our children and the environment, with new schools achieving net-zero operation, which leads the charge for more sustainable schools and support for students and teachers to make a positive impact on the environment.
“These rebuilds and refurbishments, with the first 100 projects backed by £2bn government funding, will create world-leading education facilities, from classrooms and science labs to sports halls and dining rooms,” Zahawi added.
The Department for Education plans to showcase the work to make school and college sites more sustainable at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November.
The measures to be announced at COP26 will hone in on the government’s championing of climate change education and skills, which make it easier for schools and pupils to support local biodiversity and help make a positive impact on the world and environment
The Department for Education will also be looking at how long it will take school buildings to lower their carbon footprint further, including research into the construction and layout of school sites, the creation of more outdoor spaces within school sites, and improvements into how schools are powered.
COP26 will bring education and climate ministers together from across the world to set out the Government’s vision and encourage others to make commitments to sustainable education - making schools greener, but also equipping young people with knowledge about their environment and highlighting education and training opportunities in the green economy.
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