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 Post subject: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:10 pm
Posts: 33
Does anyone have any recent info about this? Work was meant to have begun before DS1 started there a year ago and it was one of the main reasons we were persuaded to choose that school for him, but still nothing has happened. The school seem to be very tight-lipped about it (though unsurprisingly perhaps, as I find their communication in general is pretty bad - there hasn't been a newsletter since March!). I heard a rumour recently that the whole project has been vastly scaled back from what we were promised two years ago and that most of the planned new buildings now won't happen. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this or have any info on when building might start and duration? It seems that anything that happens now might well come too late to be of any benefit to DS1. I really wanted to love BGS but I haven't been overly impressed so far. The rundown nature of the place and delays to improvement are a major concern but, among other things, there also seems to be a worryingly high level of teacher absenteeism, whether due to illness or other reasons of unavailability. DS did not have a qualified geography teacher for a lot of last year and one of his foreign language teachers was present at barely a single lesson after the end of April, with classes covered by supply staff who mostly didn't even speak the language!

DS2 is in Year 6 so we are currently doing the rounds of secondary school visits. One of the comps in Maidenhead (where most from our primary end up) seems so strikingly streets ahead in terms of facilities, equipment, activities and opportunities that I'm seriously considering it as a first choice even if he has passed the transfer test, despite it being further away.

I'd be very grateful if anyone can tell me anything about the status of the BGS rebuild. Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:45 pm
Posts: 7584
I think there are currently discussions ongoing about the nature of the rebuild - maybe you could ask the school?
I agree it is frustrating, this has been promised for years, and I know a lot of people from my two DSs' years have contributed financially for a number of years and now will see no improvement in facilities while their children are there.
I agree about the newsletter, it used to be every other week, but the person who produced it left & it has never really taken off since.
I agree there are still some problems with staffing (and with particular staff), but I think they are fully staffed this year, and I know my son considers that the quality of teaching staff is a lot better than a few years ago. Music provision has come on leaps & bounds & it just shows what an enthusiastic teacher can achieve.

I suggest you talk to a member of the SLT if you have questions or concerns (or even contact one of the governors). They are happy to talk to you, I'm sure.


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 Post subject: Re: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:45 pm
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Oh, and I believe that the rumour is incorrect. It is just a frustrating process all round (for the school as well, I imagine).


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 Post subject: Re: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:24 pm
Posts: 697
Watching with interest as DD1 is in year 8!

One thing I will say is that the actual school buildings, while not spangly, are functional, and apart from one subject last year where there were a succession of supply teachers (DT in our case) the staff my DD1 had all seemed very enthusiastic and genuinely interrsted in her and her progress. Obviously in any school there will be variety between individuals.

I second the huge positive of the music provision since the new permanent teacher started (there’s only one dedicated music teacher here, with peripatetic teachers if the kids have individual lessons on an instrument). There’s now a general and an advanced a capella choir, and the drama production last year was very well done. For a not-especially “arty” school I think they’re doing well: second the wish for a resuscitated newsletter though!


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 Post subject: Re: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:10 pm
Posts: 33
Thanks for your replies.

Bit of an update in that DH took DS2 to the open evening tonight to see what he could find out. It seems there is some truth to the rumour I had heard. Apparently the old plans have been scrapped and they are now going to build an entire new school on the field (whilst continuing to use the current school) and once that is done they will demolish the old school and turn that part of the land to a field. There was absolutely no information given on budget (i.e. whether this had been reduced, increased or left the same) or planned start date so I don't think it will be going ahead anytime soon. Dr Gillespie is apparently meeting the contractors next week but as yet there are no drawings, plans or description of what facilities this new building would contain. This may not be absolute gospel as I've obviously got it second-hand from DH, but that was what he understood. Some friends were also going tonight so I'll ask what they found out when I see them and will pass on any other info I get. Would have been nice if the school could have been bothered to inform existing parents!


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 Post subject: Re: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:33 pm
Posts: 1763
If they've been fundraising through donations on the basis of refurbishment of existing facilities that's a bit naughty.


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 Post subject: Re: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:21 pm
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Found this on the school website: http://www.burnhamgrammar.org.uk/1067/s ... evelopment

"The programme to rebuild and refurbish Burnham Grammar School, will make us one of the first schools in the country to benefit from the current Priority Schools Building Programme 2. Funding of approximately £18 million has already been approved from the programme as well as a multi-million pound grant from the Conditions Improvement Fund."


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 Post subject: Re: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:45 pm
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anotherdad wrote:
If they've been fundraising through donations on the basis of refurbishment of existing facilities that's a bit naughty.

Why is that? Surely new should be better than refurbished?
I agree that the current parents should be updated too. Bring back the newsletter!!


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 Post subject: Re: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:45 pm
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Guest55 wrote:
Found this on the school website: http://www.burnhamgrammar.org.uk/1067/s ... evelopment

"The programme to rebuild and refurbish Burnham Grammar School, will make us one of the first schools in the country to benefit from the current Priority Schools Building Programme 2. Funding of approximately £18 million has already been approved from the programme as well as a multi-million pound grant from the Conditions Improvement Fund."

I think that's out of date now, although presumably the same funding will be used to rebuild.


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 Post subject: Re: BGS rebuild/refurb
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:33 pm
Posts: 1763
scary mum wrote:
anotherdad wrote:
If they've been fundraising through donations on the basis of refurbishment of existing facilities that's a bit naughty.

Why is that? Surely new should be better than refurbished?
I agree that the current parents should be updated too. Bring back the newsletter!!

It depends how it’s been framed. If fundraising was done on the basis of refurbishments that would happen in the medium term (1-2 years for example) and then it’s announced that plans have changed and entirely new buildings are planned, perhaps further into the future, I can see why parents who have donated might feel deceived. It would be an unusually generous cohort of parents that were willing to fund something their own children might get limited or even no benefits from.


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