Planning application submitted to remodel South Tyneside primary school and apply for government funding

Pupils and their teachers could enjoy better and more joined-up facilities under new plans to modernise a South Tyneside school.

By Gareth Crickmer
Sunday, 28 July, 2019, 06:00
Plans have been submitted to South Tyneside Council.

They will benefit from a remodelled entrance to St Mary’s RC VA Primary School, in Ayr Drive, on the Scotch Estate, Jarrow, if funding is found.

Consisting of an east and west building just metres apart, the school’s current design has been identified as incoherent and baffling to some visitors.

Designers say the dual premises also lacks correct connectivity and there is also a joint pedestrians and vehicle access point.

Bosses of the 200-pupil school want to implement a redevelopment programme.

Plans submitted to South Tyneside Council include creating a new entrance building linking the two properties together.

As well as making the entrance clear to all visitors, it will fill the void between buildings, creating a central staff hub and one continuous, internal circulation route.

The planning application has been submitted with a view to further improving the facilities via a Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) bid.

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The CIF is an annual bidding round to the Government to address significant condition needs, keeping education centres safe and in good working order.

A design and access report states: “This simple solution will allow the school to re-purpose existing spaces, rationalising the internal spaces and free up new spaces for SEN, Library and group rooms.

“The internal reconfiguration will also allow new circulation routes to be inserted in both buildings, removing the need to pass through rooms to access different areas of the school.”

If funding is found and the plan approved, the school, close to the A19 and A194 Leam Lane junction, will also benefit from two disabled parking bays, although other parking on site is being discouraged.

To reduce onsite congestion, staff are being encouraged to park in the adjacent St Mary’s RC Church car park, under a long-standing agreement with the church.

They are also being encouraged to car share, cycle to work or use public transport, as currently stated in the school’s travel plan.

A habitat garden and vegetable patch used by students will remain, and no green spaces will be lost.