TWO West Devon primary schools look to be in line for a big building boost from Devon County Council.

Northlew and Ashbury Primary School has been earmarked for £222,000 over the next two years. The money is for the provision of a much-needed hall to be used for gymnastics.

Head teacher Nicola Lampe said the proposal was for the junior class to be relocated to an extension building on the playground, freeing up two-thirds of the main building to be used as a hall for gymnastics.

Two years ago, the school?s Ofsted report singled out the need for an indoor hall to provide gymnastics ? a curriculum requirement.

?We had a really good Ofsted report last time, but the one thing brought up was the lack of facilities for gymnastics. The premises issue was the main thing from the report,? said Mrs Lampe.

She said the planned improvements would also provide disabled access and toilets and a new staff room at the small school, which has just 35 pupils.

She said the proposed hall would provide somewhere for children to eat their packed lunches and could be used for drama and performances.

?The authority have said they are going to extend the playground as well because there would be no point getting the facilities to do gymnastics but losing the space to play netball,? said Mrs Lampe.

Lewtrenchard C of E Primary School and Northlew and Ashbury Primary School are both able to improve their sports provisions thanks to six-figure funding under the New Deal for School Modernisation.

Lewtrenchard Primary School has been awarded £122,000 for the provision of a dedicated classroom for the youngest schoolchildren and an extension to an existing room to provide a school hall to be used for indoor physical education classes.

Headteacher Keith Urro said: ?I am absolutely delighted. The school is growing quickly. There are a number of infill developments in the village and the school really does need to improve its accommodation to cater for extra children coming to the school.?

Mr Urro said at present the school could not provide physical education classes inside because it did not have the facilities, but the new hall would allow a range of sports and games to take place indoors.

He said the existing room used for assemblies would also be too small if the school continues to grow.

The school currently has 80 children. This is set to increase to 86 next September, but the increase does not take into account new housing developments going on in the village.

Mr Urro said the school?s capacity at the moment was 82 pupils.

?When our roll increases, it would be very difficult to get all the children into the existing hall. So this demonstrates foresight on the school?s part and the LEA?s.

?We are working hand in hand with the LEA. We are all trying to improve the school together,? he added.

The new classroom at Lewtrenchard Primary would be for foundation stage children aged from four to five.

David Hutchings, spokesman for Devon County Council, said: ?This is good news for a number of schools and we are confident it will receive approval at the executive committee meeting next week.

?Obviously there are issues around planning permission, but we are extremely hopeful we will get the bulk of the work done in this financial year.?

County education chiefs will be asked to increase the school building programme by an additional £5.5-million to an unprecedented £51.2-million when they meet in Exeter next Tuesday.