Disappointment at priority school building fund announcement

25 May 2012 in Education and Mayor and Regeneration and Young people
Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales has expressed his disappointment at the Government’s decision to allocate school building funds.
The borough will get funding from the Priority School Building Programme for one school and maintenance for another. Our application for a third and a bid to improve special education provision were rejected.

This comes despite the fact that when the Government decided to scrap the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, 12 of our schools were affected.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “The Secretary of State’s funding allocation ignores both current and future need. It is misguided, short-sighted and will have a detrimental impact on learning in Newham for current and future generations of young people.

“Had the Building Schools for the Future programme been allowed to continue, we would be on track to create the brilliant learning environment our children need and deserve.

“Cancelling BSF funding means we will have 1,350 fewer school places than previously planned for. With a borough that has one of the youngest populations in the country, school expansion is a necessity, not a luxury.

“Children with special education needs deserve the education that will give them the best possible start in life and the secretary of state’s decision not to enable them to use better facilities will only add to their disadvantage.

“In Newham we aim to provide the very best educational standards for all our young people. This includes providing every young person with a high quality learning environment.

“We are doing this through initiatives such as Every Child a Musician which provides 7,000 children with a free musical instrument and tuition across 61 of our schools. All 27,000 children in our 68 primary schools are eligible for free school meals so that we can help hard working families.

“Both of these initiatives are funded by Newham Council with no help from central government.”