Crumbling and flooded Devon schools set to receive rebuild funding

Parents and communities across the South West are celebrating after millions of pounds of funding is set to go towards renovating and rebuilding schools in the region.

Pupils across England will benefit from new school buildings as 31 schools in the region receive funding as part of 239 nationally.

This includes seven schools in Devon, four in Cornwall, four in Gloucestershire and three in Wiltshire.

They include the crumbling Tiverton High School and Tipton St John Primary School near Ottery St Mary, which has flooded several times in recent years.

Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan said: “Education is a top priority for this government. That is why, despite facing challenging economic circumstances, we are investing a record amount in our schools and colleges. Today’s announcement will transform schools across the South West and ensure they are fit for the future.

“The additional funding, alongside fantastic new facilities, will mean our brilliant teachers can get on with what they do best – and inspire the next generation.”

Tiverton High School is in need of a major overhaul. Credit: ITV News

Richard Foord, Liberal Democrat MP for Tiverton and Honiton, said: "That's, on the face of it, very good news. It's particularly good news for all the great campaigners who've been working hard on this in recent years and months.

"An announcement is nice, but we've been here before and now what we need to see is delivery, not pledges."

Jess Bailey is an independent Devon County Councillor for the Otter Valley and has been among campaigners hoping to see funding given to Tipton St John Primary School.

She said: "I went to a site visit last year and there were literally lakes of water right up to the building lapping at the doors. It's quite scary that the children are at risk and the Environment Agency have acknowledged that there's a risk to life.

"It really is fantastic news that at long last the funding is available. It's been a long hard fought campaign to try and get the school rebuilt."

The government said the new buildings will be more energy efficient for future winter resilience and net-zero in operation, with old facilities replaced by modern education environments including new classrooms, sports halls and dining rooms.