MP welcomes cash for school repairs but warns of 'vast cuts' to come
Fourteen schools in Cumbria, including five in South Lakeland, are among those which have been awarded cash to upgrade school buildings that are in poor condition or have health and safety concerns. Local MP Tim Farron has welcomed the funds, but warned that they are a "drop in the ocean" compared to what's needed, adding that local schools face vast cuts by 2020.
Schools have this week been awarded funding for projects including asbestos removal, roof repairs and refurbishments. Across Cumbria fourteen schools are set to receive funding. The following South Lakes schools have been awarded cash:
- Queen Elizabeth School
- The Queen Katherine School
- Dallam School
- Ghyllside Primary School
- Ambleside CofE Primary School
Nationally, the scheme has a budget of £466 million. However, the fund would need to be more than 14 times the size to bring all school buildings up to standard. A recent National Audit Office report showed that repairing all school buildings to a satisfactory standard would cost an estimated £6.7bn.
Tim said: "This money to upgrade buildings at local schools is much-needed and is welcome. This will fund vital work such as removing asbestos and fixing roofs. However, it must be seen in context. This money is a drop in the ocean compared to what's needed just to bring school buildings up to scratch and keep them safe. Even 14 times over this fund would fall short of what's needed.
"The government is giving some small change with one hand while taking away vast sums with the other. Schools across Cumbria face £23million of cuts by 2020, which could see more than 600 teachers slashed from our schools. The government must abandon its damaging plans which will hit our children's education."