MP calls on government to speed up school rebuilding plans

MP calls on government to speed up school rebuilding plans

by Henry James (July 2022)

BILL Esterson MP has urged the government to “get a move on” with the school rebuilding programme, saying school leaders needed certainty regarding whether their school was going to benefit from the scheme.

Sefton Central MP Mr Esterson again raised the case in the House of Commons of Lydiate Primary School, which is one of the schools that Sefton Council has put forward for funding from the rebuilding programme.

Lydiate Primary School on Lambshear Lane suffers from damp, has leaking roofs and parts of the school building are unsafe. 

The ceiling in the headteacher’s office recently collapsed.

Mr Esterson said: “I asked  Education minister Robin Walker when Lydiate Primary School would find out if they qualify for funding from the School Rebuilding Programme. The school is in desperate need of a complete rebuild.

“His colleague, Baroness Barran, wrote to me a few weeks ago to say that schools would hear later in the year if they had been chosen. Walker confirmed what she said - that it would be later this year.

“The trouble with such vague answers is that they contradict the commitments given by ministers that they understand that importance of telling schools if they are on the programme.

“Very frustrating for staff, governors, parents and children not knowing what is going to happen. The government needs to get a move on.  I’ll keep asking until they say yes!”

The school rebuilding programme carries out major rebuilding and refurbishment projects at school and sixth-form college buildings across England, with buildings prioritised according to their condition.

 In 2022 to 2023, the programme expects to prioritise up to 300 schools.

Schools selected will be informed that they have been provisionally allocated a place on the programme, subject to further due diligence, and projects will then enter delivery at a rate of 50 per year.

There are 20,000 primary and 4,000 secondary schools in England.

Sefton Council has made a bid to the Rebuilding Programme requesting the funds for a full renovation of Lydiate Primary School. Mr Esterson asked his question in Parliament on Monday, July 4.

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