£900,000 cash boost for Otley's Prince Henry's Grammar School

Wharfedale Observer: Prince Henry's Grammar School headteacher Janet Sheriff Prince Henry's Grammar School headteacher Janet Sheriff

New funding will allow Otley’s secondary school to plough ahead with a £1 million building project.

Prince Henry’s Grammar School has just been awarded £900,000 from the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund – a funding pot only available to Academies.

The money, £700,000 for additional teaching facilities and £200,000 for building maintenance, along with some investment from the school itself will allow it to:

  • Create four new classrooms and an art terrace.
  • Build a sixth-form coffee bar and seminar area.
  • Remove asbestos and replace deteriorating windows, curtains and wall panels.

The new facilities will all be based in an under-used courtyard in the lower-school building, and the new sixth-form area will allow older students to work and meet in their own dedicated dining area for the first time since the 1980s.

Headteacher Janet Sheriff believes the scheme will also help ‘future-proof’ the school. She said: “As well as enhancing facilities for our sixth-form students, the additional space will mean that from September 2015 we will be able to accommodate an extra form of entry into Year 7 to alleviate the over-subscription in requests for places here.

“We know we will face increased demand for school places in Leeds in the future and this will help us prepare for that increase.

“This is fantastic news which will help to secure a positive future for Prince Henry’s and the local community.”

Prince Henry’s says the new external art and sculpture workshop will also support the very high demand for places on courses within that faculty, which has enjoyed outstanding exam results.

The £900,000 award marks the school’s fourth successful bid to the fund since converting to an Academy – in the face of considerable opposition – in December, 2011. It has now received more than £2 million from the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund to spend on repairing and improving its infrastructure.

Work will start on the new building, which the school already has planning permission for, in the next few weeks.

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