Which Lucky 300 Schools Receive Slice of Repair Fund?
Of the total number of 587 schools in England which applied for the funding, just under half of these were told their bid had been successful. Repairs and refurbishment of the selected schools will begin immediately, with the first rebuilt school to open in 2014.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said the decision to include the chosen number of schools was a difficult one. However it targeted those schools which were in the worst condition he said, insisting the decision was “robust and fair”.
Out of the chosen few, 42 schools considered to be in the worst condition have been prioritised for maintenance and building work and will receive a further share in a capital grant awarded by the government.
The government has been criticised for its slow handling of the project which replaced the previous Labour originated Building Schools for the Future scheme. In a controversial decision ministers had scrapped the scheme in 2010 for one of their own making, only to have caused lengthy delays since. It was argued at the time the Labour project was too expensive, costing the tax payer £55 billion. Subsequently applications were taken in July 2011 for the new Tory LibDem scheme; with schools to be informed of a decision by December last year.
Chairperson of the Children and Young People Board at the Local Government Association (LGA), David Simmons said the resources would “go some way” to improving some schools, however around 300 schools have only now found out they have been unsuccessful after long delays.
Chapel Road school in Norfolk for children with special needs was amongst those which had their application refused. It had planned to rebuild the school with money from the scheme under Labour.
Alison Thomas, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council said “We are bitterly disappointed that the two bids were unsuccessful.” Norfolk Council had submitted two bids for schools in their county; both of their bids have been rejected.