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Pledge over new Lowestoft high school

PUBLISHED: 07:33 07 July 2010 | UPDATED: 21:51 01 August 2010

Hayley Mace

Suffolk County Council last night sought to reassure parents and teachers that a cut in government schools funding will not delay the building of a new high school in Lowestoft.

Suffolk County Council last night sought to reassure parents and teachers that a cut in government schools funding will not delay the building of a new high school in Lowestoft.

The government announced earlier this week that it was scrapping the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which would have seen £750m invested in Suffolk's secondary schools as part of a national project to rebuild or refurbish 715 schools across the country.

Suffolk County Council is reorganising the county's school structure into a two-tier system with middle schools in Lowestoft due to close in September next year, and a new 900-pupil high school is planned to be built in Pakefield.

The £26.5m project has already been set back by a year because great crested newts have been found on the site, but the council has said that the BSF announcement will not delay it any further.

Graham Newman, the county council's portfolio holder for children, schools and young people, said: “I would like to reassure parents, young people and school staff that funding to ensure the new high school at Pakefield opens in September 2012 remains in place.

“We will have to wait until the review by central government has been carried out before we know exactly how future capital funding will be made available to schools.”

The first stages of work on the new high school, which involves building a new entrance from London Road and extending the existing middle school, will be funded from the council's capital reserves.

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