Local schools in Maidstone win buildings money

Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws MP has today announced government money to rebuild High Weald Academy in Cranbrook and nearby Benenden Church of England Primary School.

The announcement follows a strong campaign by local Liberal Democrat parliamentary campaigner Jasper Gerard, who has pushed the plans to upgrade their facilities.

The money will come from the Priority Schools Building Programme, a £2bn government scheme spearheaded by the Liberal Democrats to rebuild those schools across the country suffering most from wear and tear.

Schools included in the programme are now able to start developing detailed plans, and are expected to be completed in the next few years.

Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws MP said:

"I am delighted to be able to announce money that will allow High Weald Academy and Benenden Primary to make badly needed improvements to their building.

"Jasper has run a fantastic campaign on behalf of local parents and children, making a very clear case as to why High Weald and Benenden need this money.

"School buildings that aren't up to scratch unfairly hold our children and young people back.  Every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their full potential, and improving High Weald will make sure that many more children in Cranbrook and Benenden receive a good education."

Jasper said:

"This announcement is fantastic news for local families and teachers.

"High Weald and Benenden badly need to upgrade their facilities. In Benenden children are having to move between multiple sites, wasting lesson time. In High Weald many of the buildings are falling apart, and a female student suffered an injured face recently when a window crashed out of a rotten frame.

"This money fought for and delivered by Liberal Democrats in government will make a real difference.

"I'd like to thank all the staff, parents and students who helped us campaign on this issue.  Making sure all local children get a fair start in life should always be a top priority, and I can't wait to see the High Weald and Benenden plans develop."

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