New school may be 'scaled back'
Plans to rebuild a primary school may have to be scaled back.
Forest Lodge Primary, in New Parks, was told in June that it had been successful in winning Government cash to rebuild its ageing classrooms.
It is not yet known how much cash will be available.
Detailed proposals costing £8 million had already been drawn up under the previous Government's primary capital programme but were put back when building work at Mellor Primary, in Belgrave, became a priority. The programme was later scrapped by the coalition.
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However, in an announcement this week, the Department for Education said any new schools would be built using similar designs in a bid to keep costs down.
It means the existing plans, drawn up in consultation with staff at Forest Lodge, will be entirely or partially scrapped.
Head teacher Karen Cane said: "The department has told me that it wants to enter discussions sometime between April and June next year over building and cost proposals.
"I'm not sure if all our plans are going to be wasted, having already been drawn up by architects, but I would hope that some elements remain. There has to be some flexibility.
"One of our main focuses is creativity within our curriculum and ethos. That means we need to provide the right space to do this. One size just doesn't fit all."
Mrs Cane said the school, which dates back to the 1950s, desperately needed a rebuild.
She said: "We're spending lots of money on keeping the school going. This summer alone we've had to install an entirely new heating system to ensure it stays warm during the winter months. We thought discussions with the department would take place sooner than this, and have only just been told that it will be later in the academic year."
Under the coalition plan, Forest Lodge will have to pay rent for any new buildings to a private contractor over 27 years, and annual maintenance costs.
Peter Flack, assistant secretary for Leicester's National Union of Teachers, said: "Different schools have different needs, just as different pupils have different needs. This literally inflicts a 'one size fits all' design on education because it will be cheap."
The city's secondary and special schools are being revamped under a previous Labour scheme known as Building Schools for the Future.