Patchway school misses out on Government refurbishment cash

Patchway Community College, Patchway, Bristol.

Patchway Community College has learned that it has been unsuccessful in its application to the Government’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), aimed at schools “in need of urgent repair”.

Education Secretary Michael Gove announced last week that just 261 schools from the 587 that applied would receive funding, with South Gloucestershire missing out completely on the £2bn investment.

Patchway Labour Councillor Sam Scott, who is also a Governor at the school, said:

“Much of Patchway Community College has fallen into a poor state because of the lack of major investment that it needs. Despite the physical conditions the staff and students are doing a great job. The local community was banking on success from this programme to get new buildings, and with the council so strapped for cash the situation really does not look good. I shall continue to press the council for a way forward, as the condition problems cannot be ignored.”

Patchway Town Councillor Jon Moore (Labour) added:

“The school’s GCSE results have improved year-on-year and is a shining example of how the LEA can and has supported schools and local pupils, which makes me extremely disappointed the school has not been successful in its bid for a much needed rebuild to help it compete on a level playing field with local schools and the long-awaited University Technical College [planned to open in Stoke Gifford in September 2013].”

The PSBP scheme replaces Labour’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which was controversially cancelled by Education Secretary Michael Gove in July 2010.

The BSF programme, which pledged to rebuild every secondary school in England, had been expected to cost £55bn over a period of twenty years.

When announcing the successful PSBP applicants last week, Mr Gove said:

“I recognise that many of the schools that applied to the PSBP and have been unsuccessful will also have significant condition needs. Some of those will have their needs addressed through the other funding we have made available for maintenance. Where that is not the case, I will use the information from the national programme of surveys we are currently conducting to ensure that, subject to funds available in the next spending review period, those schools which need renovation will have their needs addressed as quickly as possible. By next autumn we will have details about the condition of every school in the country. Information on the condition of all schools was last collated centrally in 2005.”

“I know that many schools will be disappointed not to be included in the programme. We have had to take difficult decisions in order to target spending on those schools that are in the worst condition. In order to ensure that the process was robust and fair, a qualified surveyor has visited every school for which an eligible application was received to verify the condition of the buildings. This was necessary to make sure the schools being taken forward are those with the greatest overall condition need.”

Local Conservative MP Jack Lopresti last year described Patchway Community College’s PSBP bid as “deserving”, when speaking in a House of Commons debate.


  1. I think this smells very fishy to me somebody must be lining someones pocket somewhere.
    Look at the old ridings school in winterbourne that was given many millions to refurbish it a few years ago ,now they have been given more money(Millions) to do it up again while the likes of Patchway are left behind.
    I and many others think someone somewhere wants to let this School run its self into the ground and sale off the land to Developers ,because it would make them more money this way than having it as a School.

  2. It’s very disappointing, I’m struggling to think of one ‘senior/comprehensive’ school in Bristol or the surrounding areas that hasn’t been rebuilt, Monks Park and Filton High two obvious examples but look right across the area and region.

    Same goes for Leisure Centres, everywhere but here…

  3. Why indeed Lolly, why?

    I do wonder, I know a few things, not everything, so will answer from a personal viewpoint, I wonder too.

    Obviously its all about money, who gets it, why, who doesn’t, why, and sometimes it’s about who pays and who doesn’t want to.

    I struggle to think of a local school that hasn’t been rebuilt, this is the second time we’ve lost out, last time was to Filton High, by a whisker apparently. This time it seems to be the pot is empty due to the times we live in. Promises were made by this govts Michael Gove – and broken.

    Leisure centre wise we have nothing while I note Thornbury, Henbury, and Horfield have all been rebuilt or redeveloped, Bradley Stoke is brilliant, and Filton is better than anything we have.

    Here’s where my personal opinions kick in, and there are still things I don’t know…

    Only a couple of months ago a SGC officer contacted us and asked if we’d be interested in building something really great we’d all love here in a certain place here, a slightly contentious place, but for the benefit all…Yes please we said, lets talk…a week later she dropped it and us and said she’s made a mistake. Hopes dashed. Why?? Wouldn’t say…

    Away from that, getting cash and committing cash for Patchway is sometimes down to who represents Patchway at SGC level, and how they view local taxpayers money should be spent in the community, or not as the case may be, taking the view that they may want to keep the local precept down, your contribution to council tax, and by default, keep your council tax down through SGC.

    There are parties and people who feel certain parts of the whole of Patchway, one, pay more than others and two, get less for their input of money than others.

    So, sometimes parties in control, especially at SGC level dictate where the money goes based on what they view their taxpayers want, and more importantly, are prepared to contribute to.

    It’s no secret youth facilities and support are now under threat due to the cuts enviroment we are in, and SGC needing and wanting to cut the support and part it plays in this. We at PTC have to now make contingency plans in case some very negative things happen to the facilities we have, this is an example of some parties and people disagreeing on who picks up the tab, and we then get into a debate on what you, me, and us all want for the future here, based on what you, me, and us all makes for what some say is no society, some say is the big society, and those of us who aspire to make the slogan ‘Patchway – a good place to live’ a reality for the young, the old and all in-between, I’ve lived in many places locally, and Patchway gets a very unfair bad press in certain quarters, I’ve had no trouble here unlike other very local places I could mention, and when these things do get highlighted like at our local community sports award evening then it’s a very big eye-opener for the better in just how much there is on offer here, it’s thriving if you look for it, maybe we all need to big it up a little better.

    So, there’s a view, my ten pence worth, but yes, why indeed…

  4. Also why has the new filton high school (Abby wood)been given the go ahead to be an Academy when it has very poor results and Patchway has very very good results .This is why i think something bigger is going on here and we will be the last to know.

  5. The movement to academy status is probably due to its failing, Patchway doing well mitigates the need for this, academy status isn’t always a good thing and is viewed with suspicion in some quarters.

  6. Thanks Dave, I appreciate your input – it’s interesting to learn/read more about what affects the decisions that have an impact that all of us who live/work in Patchway.

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