A BOURNEMOUTH school has been selected as one of 50 education centres set to benefit from the first wave of the Prime Minister’s ten-year rebuilding programme.

The £1billion School Rebuilding Programme is due to deliver 500 rebuilding projects over the next decade.

Oak Academy in Duck Lane is the only school named in the first 50 projects from the Dorset and BCP Council area, with more than 70 per cent of the schools in the North and Midlands.

The scheme will also see 21 new free schools to be built across the country, providing over 15,500 new school places.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Today we are launching the first phase of our ambitious new schools programme, with 50 rebuilds and 21 new free schools.

“The rebuilding projects are just the start of our major ten-year programme, transforming hundreds of schools and improving the education of tens of thousands of children.

“Alongside this, over 15,500 children will now benefit from 21 new free schools across the country as we look to build back better after the pandemic.

“I am determined to get all children back into education as soon as possible, and will make sure we do not let the pandemic stand in the way of giving every young person the opportunity to succeed, progress and fulfil their potential.”

The initial rebuilds and refurbishments will create modern education environments, providing new facilities from classrooms and science labs, to sports halls and dining rooms.

The schools will also be made greener, helping to meet the Government’s net zero target.

More than £10 million will also be invested to support school sports and swimming facilities in England and will be distributed through Sport England.

Project planning for the 50 rebuilds is already advanced on a number of schools following site visits last year, so construction can begin on the first projects from autumn 2021.

The majority of the first 50 rebuild projects under the programme are expected to be completed within three to five years.

Director of New Schools Network Unity Howard said: “This is fantastic news for communities across the country. Free schools have an incredible track record of driving up standards, and we have seen over the past decade just how popular free schools are with parents.

“The groups planning these new free schools should be proud today; the free school application process is demanding, and this year they have dealt with additional uncertainties owing to the pandemic.

“I wish them the very best of luck as they begin working towards welcoming children through the doors of their new schools in the years to come.”