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New home for top school’s sixth form
6:00am Tuesday 8th October 2013 in Local News
A GRAMMAR school’s plans for a new £2.4million sixth form and revamped science block are set to be backed by councillors.
Westcliff High School for Boys looks likely to build a new two-storey sixth formbuilding on its playground and replace its science block’s leaky roof.
In a report, Southend Council’s planning officers recommended the plans for approval at a development control committee meeting.
Headteacher Michael Skelly said: “Our architect has worked closely with the planning officers, who have been very helpful, and that dialogue has helped result in a recommendation that will hopefully go through.”
The school, in Kenilworth Gardens, already has cash in place to build a new block with study space, two science labs, four classrooms and a preparation room for its post-16 pupils and create a new flat roof for its science block.
Its number of sixth formpupils has ballooned by a third to about 350, but they are being taught in a basement and socialising in a room above the sports pavilion.
The basement conversion can only accommodate 77 teenagers and there is a lack of an adequate common room area or toilet and changing facilities for girls, who have been taken on within the last four years.
The fifties science block is cold and its pitch roof leaks regularly.
Mr Skelly said: “It needs a lot of work doing to it. The roof is not up to standard in terms of thermal control and it needs waterproofing.
“It needs replacing rather than patching.”
But work must start before the end of the year for the school to qualify for the funding, from the Education Funding Agency.
A previous application for a new sixth form block was rejected by the council in 2012.
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