Overcrowded school borrows Council money to build classrooms

Perryfields High School has asked to borrow money from the council to build new classrooms
Perryfields High School has asked to borrow money from the council to build new classrooms Photo: ITV Central

A West Midlands school has been left severely overcrowded and had financial support withdrawn from the government after the "Building Schools for the Future" project was scrapped.

Perryfields High School in Sandwell had been promised £18.5m but has now taken matters into its in own hands after the funding was cut.

In what's thought to be an unprecedented step for an education provider, the school is borrowing £1m from the local council to build a much needed classroom block.

The school was built in the 1960's and originally intended to cater for 550 pupils.

Architectural drawings of the new classrooms
Architectural drawings of the new classrooms Credit: ITV Central

It now has almost 1200 students registered; the problem compounded by the department of education, forcing the school to take an extra 45 pupils a year, because it is considered the authority's best performing.

Four years ago the school had 195 children in each year group.

They now have 240 without the promised funding they needed to expand to cope. Head teacher Dai Meredith, said:

" It's becoming increasingly more complex to maintain a high standard of education, having failed to get any national authority we approached the local authority with an innovative new scheme. We've found a localised solution for a national problem."

– Dai Meredith, Headteacher Perryfields High School

The £1m loan will help pay for a new block on the site housing 28 extra classrooms.

The school still uses temporary classrooms that were intended as short term solution for 12 months.

They're now still in use more than 25 years later.

The Education Secretary Michael Gove announced the scrapping of the BSF scheme in a letter to Sandwell Council last year.

The Borough had originally been promised £125m to rebuild 9 secondary schools.

A local councillor called it a "bitter bitter blow for the young people in Sandwell."