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Govt to stump up £750,000 for proposed new Tipton school at Ottery

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 0 Comments by Claire

The government has agreed to provide most of the funding asked for by Devon County Council, to fund a new Tipton St John school build, at Ottery St Mary.

This is very good (and unexpected) news, however, it is still £250,000 short of the required sum.The money will be added to the funding already pledged from the diocese and Devon County Council

IIt’s a great shame that the government refused to fund a new build in Tipton St John, something that Devon County Council asked for around two years ago.

The current school suffers from a constant flooding threat and has been inundated many times. I feel for both the children and teachers who have to carry out regular flood drills, in order for them to get to a safe area across the road at the other school site.

I have twice arranged for the fire brigade to help clear up at the school after floods dumped mud all over the grounds and have been working with the school and the community on the issue for several years.

The school is currently awaiting work from the Environment Agency to help provide mitigation from the Metcombe Brook stream, which can overflow and inundate the school during heavy rain. It is hoped that this will take place in April.

Many potential solutions have been discussed over the years but in the end the only viable solution seems to be to rebuild the school on an alternative site and this is the proposal by governors.

When it became clear (after many discussions and letters) that it wasn’t going to be possible to rebuild the school on alternative site in the village because the government refused the funding, Devon

County Council proposed instead to close the school at Tipton St John and move it to Ottery St Mary instead, where most of its pupils live.

The proposal to move the school is now expected to be subject to formal consultation later this year.

Sites are still being explored.

I pay tribute to the diocese, headteacher, Colin Butler and his governors, Hugo Swire MP and Devon County Council education team, who continue to work to make this happen.

Photo - Sidmouth Herald: Cleaning up after floods hit the school in January 2016.

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