PLANS for vital repairs at a number of schools across Barnsley at a cost of almost £800,000 are set to be approved this week - though it won’t make a dent in the £6.6m estimated cost to fully repair issues at all 23 council-run schools.
The council’s Schools Condition Capital programme will be discussed by ruling cabinet members on Wednesday.
A number of schools will benefit from the funding, worth £771,302, from replacing roofs to health and safety work.
On March 28, the Department for Education announced Barnsley will receive £631,000 in funding - a reduction of £36,000 from the previous year.
Barnsley Council currently maintain a total of 22 primary schools, and one secondary school - Penistone Grammar.
It’s estimated that it will cost more than £6.6m to fully repair every issue at each school across the town - including more than £2.8m in ‘high priority’ work which must be completed in the next 18 months.
A report states: “The available funding will be insufficient to deal with the high priority items.
“It is therefore highly unlikely that any medium priority items will be addressed within this period.
“During the 2022-23 financial year, £815,000 was spent on the maintained school estate, addressing High Priority condition items.”
Almost £100,000 is to be set aside for works regarding health and safety - including £23,000 to remove asbestos.
More than £250,000 is to be used to replace the roofs at a number of Barnsley schools.
A total of £150,000 will be handed to Birdwell Primary, £80,000 for Brierley CE Primary and £25,000 for Oxspring Primary.
The Birdwell Primary School work is the second phase of the development.
A report states: “Approved as part of the 2022-23 condition programme, this project renews the original slate roof that is suffering from many cracked, spalled and slipped roof tiles.
“Due to time constraints of working within the six week holiday period, it was necessary to split the works over two school years.
“A successful first phase of works was completed over the 2022 holiday period and this final phase will be completed over the 2023 summer holiday period.
“The works are expected to take eight weeks.”
Around £135,000 in electrical works will also be used at Thurgoland CE Primary and Millhouse Primary School.
Whilst five primary schools well benefit from external condition works totalling £288,000.
Gawber Primary School will be the recipient of £140,000 to help resurface the school playground and implement drainage works.
The report said: “The existing playground has reached the end of life, with the surface broken and sunken in places and patch repairs in various areas.
“The playground is split over two levels, with an upper area dedicated to ball sports and the lower for main pupil play.
“The levels are separated by a steep gradient paved slope, with no fall protection.
“This has resulted in numerous incidents over the years, as although steps are present, they are not in the right location and pupils often use the slope to get between the two.”
Thurlstone Primary will receive £80,000 for the same repairs after a health and safety inspection found the school playground was a ‘major concern’.
Cawthorne CE Primary, Greenfield Primary and Silkstone Primary will also receive funding as part of the works.