Five schools across Dorset are set to benefit from a share of £1.35 million government funding to expand and improve education facilities for students.

The Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester, Dorchester Middle School, St Mary's Church of England Middle School in Puddletown, Bridport Primary School and Blandford St Mary Church of England Primary School are among those to benefit from the funding.

It is being handed out as part of a national £560m initiative announced by the Government last month.

The funding has been made available to select schools to enable them to expand classrooms, upgrade facilities and to improve the education of their students.

Education bosses say they hope the funding will provide students with safe environments to learn to support a high-quality education.

This funding brings the total allocated amount to improving the condition of school buildings to £2 billion this year. A new 10-year school building programme will follow later this year with more than £1 billion worth of funding.

The government has allocated a further £14bn to be injected into the school system over a three-year period.

Schools throughout the country have remained active throughout the pandemic, keeping classrooms open for children of essential workers. In September, schools will be reopening fully to all pupils with additional safety measures in place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said: “Investing in our school and college buildings helps create modern environments that lend themselves to great teaching, making sure every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

“We have worked at great speed to release this additional £560m of conditional funding to schools for projects this year to kick-start the economy and get the country moving again following coronavirus.

“This funding brings the total allocated to improve the condition of our school buildings to £2bn this year and paves the way for our new transformative 10-year school building programme starting later this year with over £1bn funding for the first wave of 50 schools.”

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, said: “Dorset Council welcomes the Government’s announcement, recognising the need to invest in upgrading and improving education provision, notably around the Dorchester area.

“The money will be well spent at all the selected schools."