Corporate, General, Investing in our schools, Young people

Council reinvesting near £2 million dividend in education

Pupils learning in class

Almost £2 million generated from Surrey County Council’s joint venture with a private firm is being reinvested in educating children and other services.

The authority has made more than £1.7 million from its involvement in education company Babcock 4S, with the majority of the dividend coming in the past two years.

Half the money made up to last year – around £860,000 – has been reinvested in council services. In education, this includes school expansions to meet a steep rise in demand for places, raising standards and support for pupils with special needs.

The other half is being awarded to schools and community groups that run schemes to improve children’s education with projects to inspire the next generation of engineers and get children speaking Mandarin among those already benefiting.

Babcock 4S provides education support services to councils in areas such as administration, grounds upkeep and IT support.

Linda Kemeny, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, said: “Our unique joint venture is about being smarter with our financial approach and providing taxpayers with maximum value for money.

“It allows us to ensure Surrey continues to have some of the best state schools in the country while also investing in the future so they continue to be high-performing. So far profits of nearly £2m have been generated to reinvest in raising standards and ensuring children in Surrey get the very best start in life.”

Nearly £125,000 has just been awarded to schemes through the Surrey Education Trust. Projects receiving cash:

St John the Baptist School Woking – £16,977 to increase participation in music.

Tandridge Education Partnership – £20,000 to teach Mandarin in the area’s schools from year five onwards.

Ashcombe School, Dorking – £25,000 to strengthen educational links with Putuo, China.

Ridgeway Community School, Farnham – £15,000 to give teachers training to support autistic pupils.

Grayswood Church of England Infant School – £5,418 to teach children about learning outdoors by using activities such as planting and growing.

Walton Leigh School – £5,350 to help radio station staff work with children with special educational needs.

Charity CVQO – £10,000 to give young people training opportunities with cadet groups representing the armed forces and St John Ambulance.

Social enterprise Surrey Satro – £25,000 to run events about engineering, technology, science and maths.

Vale Primary School, near Epsom – £1,650 to give teachers in the area leadership training.

Bids for money can be made for up to £25,000. For more information, email education.trust@surreycc.gov.uk or contact Rachel Crossley on 0208 541 9993.

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