PRIORY RUSKIN ACADEMY DELAYED BY A YEAR

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CONSTRUCTION work on the new Priory Ruskin Academy is due to start next week... but planning delays mean the project has been set back by an entire academic year.

The original completion date for the £13.5m school, in Rushcliffe Road, Grantham, was September 2013 but it has been revised to June 2014, meaning a whole year group will miss out on the state-of-the-art facilities.

Headteacher Clive Shepherd said: “It has held us up by a school year. It’s incredibly disappointing because the children want to get the facilities. But we’ve made the best out of the current situation, exam results are looking really good again.”

Permission to build the new academy initially went before Lincolnshire County Council’s Development and Control Committee in February this year but approval was delayed until June 18 by Rushcliffe Road residents, who were concerned about the construction traffic.

After approval was gained the work was delayed again when the project manager was assigned on a different job.

Mr Shepherd said: “It’s a fairly significant delay. I think the students have been frustrated but I also think that they can see from the systems we have got in place, the teaching and learning and the commitment from staff, that even without the facilities, we are fighting their corner.

“I think the building will be the icing on the cake.”

The GCSE students, who got their results yesterday, were due to be in their last year when the facilities were unveiled but now they will have left the school.

The intake for the sixth form in September is 50, an increase of 10 on the year above, but Mr Shepherd added:“I think some have been put off by the delay. Next year’s sixth form will be on the Queensway site.”

Max Everett, who passed his GCSEs yesterday, will be attending the sixth form.

He said: “It’s annoying that the council did not want to bring the building work forward. It’s annoying that I won’t get to see it, but at least I’ve got to be part of it.”

The official start date of the build is September 13. Next week work will begin to make the site safe.

The new term begins for all students on September 5.