New contract to 'Transform' London Education

13 July 2009

Lewisham Council has reached two new landmarks in its multi-million pound programme to transform secondary education in the London borough.

The signing of the latest contract in Lewisham's Building Schools for the Future programme means that work can start on building the new Northbrook School complete with significant investment in award winning information and communication technology (ICT) and fully integrated facilities management services. 600 pupils, teachers and staff will move into their new school in January 2011.

Design and Construction work will be undertaken by Costain and ICT and Facilities Management services will be provided by VT.

Father Richard Peers, who joined Northbrook as Head teacher in September 2008, said: "Students and staff are thrilled that work has started on our new school building. We cannot wait for the opportunity to learn in an environment designed for the 21st Century."

In the same week, the Local Education Partnership has signed a contract to remodel and refurbish the Hatcham Temple Grove junior school. The work, which will be completed over a number of phases will be finished in September 2010.

Earlier this year, Lewisham's BSF programme opened the major phases of Sedgehill School and Catford High School where 2,650 pupils are already enjoying their new learning facilities and services.

Welcoming the news of the latest contract, Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, said:

"This is great news for pupils, parents and teachers across the borough. They are seeing brand new buildings go up as we deliver on our promise to renew our primary and secondary schools.

"Now that work has started on Northbrook and Temple Grove schools, pupils and teachers can look forward to great new buildings and facilities that will inspire learning and teaching for years to come.

"We have established strong links with our partners and, together, we will continue to work hard to make one of the most ambitious BSF schemes in the country a reality for Lewisham's young people."

The Lewisham Schools for the Future Local Education Partnership, created between the London Borough of Lewisham, Partnerships for Schools (via Building Schools for the Future investments), Costain and VT Group, was established in December 2007 to implement the BSF programme.

Terry Hanafin, Chairman of the Lewisham Schools for the Future LEP, said:

"We are delighted with the latest progress in the Borough's BSF programme. It shows what good partnership working can achieve."

Alistair Handford, Costain PFI Director and LSF LEP Board Director said:

"This is another important milestone for the Local Education Partnership and for Costain in the provision of education services including new schools to the borough of Lewisham and to the children and staff at Northbrook. We look forward to developing the partnership at Northbrook and the other schools in the programme."

Tim Byles, Chief Executive of Partnerships for Schools said:

"Lewisham's BSF team and partners have worked hard to ensure these projects reach financial close and I now look forward to charting their progress as delivery of new and remodelled schools gathers momentum."

Northbrook School will provide a new secondary school facility for 600 students aged from 11 - 16, funded through the government's Building Schools for the Future Programme.