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West Jesmond School: Newcastle

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what advice he has received from the Highways Agency on the proposed temporary relocation of West Jesmond Primary School to the Castle Dene site in the Dene ward of Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend Parliamentary constituency; (143729)

(2) what information he has received from Newcastle City Council about the proposed temporary relocation of West Jesmond Primary School to the Castle Dene site in the Dene ward of Newcastle upon Tyne East and Wallsend Parliamentary constituency.

The Department normally allocates capital funding to local authorities, and relies on them to determine how this should be used. Decisions on relocation and reorganisation of the school estate are also made locally, and the Department does not generally receive information on such changes. However, exceptionally Newcastle local authority have been granted additional funding for this off-site decant (£900k), by the Department, after presenting a case based on health and safety concerns. This school is to be rebuilt as part of the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ Programme. I understand, from an update report published by Newcastle city council, that this decant will take place over Christmas 2007. I have received no information from the Highways Agency.