Capital Boost for Gillotts


Gillotts School is delighted to announce that it has been awarded almost £450,000 by the Department for Education to fund an extensive refurbishment of the Gym as well as the next stage in their programme of roof replacements.  They have secured this funding through a competitive bidding process in which applications regularly outstrip resources by 4 to 1.  Although Gillotts ultimate aim is to achieve a full rebuild of the school, securing sufficient funds in the current financial climate is exceptionally challenging.  Catherine Darnton said, “We have been working hard, particularly since the end of the Building Schools for the Future programme in 2010, to make the most of the facilities we have now, both keeping them warm, dry and safe and looking to further enhance provision wherever we can.”


The Gym is an ‘agricultural quality building’ – a barn! – that dates back to the 1960s.  The £300,000 refurbishment project will enable us to renew the roof, windows and cladding, as well as completely refitting the student changing areas.


Work will be starting very soon on both projects, with completion due in October.  The school gym is at the back of the school site so consideration will be given to the safety of all site users whilst undertaking this work during term time. An alternative access route to the school grounds is being reinstated which will see all site traffic directed away from the front of the school and around the northern perimeter of the site to circumnavigate the premises rather than pass through areas occupied during the day. This is not a new route but the route historically used by staff to access the site and for staff parking.  For security during this work and into the future, this area will be fenced and we are taking advice on how best to lessen the visual impact of this for users of the adjacent bridleway/footpath.  We will also be erecting a low level boundary-indicating fence to delineate the school’s land.


The improvement of the alternative access route will require areas of scrubland in the school’s copse to be cleared and a suitable surface to be laid but this all being done with the guidance and advice from both the school’s tree maintenance and grounds work contractors. At the same time, because the school is fully responsible for the maintenance, safety and upkeep of all areas of the school site, including the wooded areas, we will be erecting a low level boundary indicating fence to delineate the school’s land, again with guidance from a tree management specialist and using a professional ground keeping company. The school has to exclude dogs from its playing fields for health reasons and because there is a lot of work to do with arboriculturists in the wooded areas, it is even more important the public is aware of which areas belong to the school and should not be accessed.