Newly released figures show that 7,158 schools have building components such as a roof, window or wall that are believed to be “at serious risk of imminent failure” or have expired
Almost one in three schools in England have buildings in dire need of repair – including 366 in Cabinet ministerial offices.
Newly released figures show that 7,158 schools have building components such as a roof, window or wall that are believed to be “at serious risk of imminent failure” or have expired.
In Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi’s own constituency in Stratford-on-Avon, 16 schools have buildings that urgently need repairs.
Boris Johnson’s seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip has 19 derelict schools, while Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s constituency in Richmond in Yorkshire has 21 schools parts of which need immediate repairs.
In Tiverton and Honiton, where Mr Johnson faces a tough by-election battle next month, 12 buildings are in need of urgent repairs.
Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman Munira Wilson said: “Parents deserve to know that the schools they send their children to are safe. But these numbers show that in schools across the country – from Twickenham to Tiverton – crumbling buildings are putting our children at risk.
The numbers are based on a nationwide state survey of school buildings between 2017 and 2019 that rated buildings on an A to D scale.
The Department of Education began a repeat of the survey last year, but ministers have so far refused to release updated figures.
But MPs have shared shocking details about crumbling buildings and schools in dire need of investment.
Rachael Maskell of the Labor Party told MPs in March that Tang Hall Primary Academy had to introduce a hoodie and mitten uniform in her constituency in York because it was so cold at the school.
Other schools in her constituency reported falling masonry and ceiling panels, leaking pipes and holes in the gym floor.
“As I walked around, there was actually a new hole that kids’ feet had gone through playing sports,” she said.
Tory MP James Daly said children at Derby High School in his constituency must have classes with buckets next to them in classrooms to catch rainwater coming through the ceiling.
“It’s not uncommon for brickwork to fall into the classroom so the kids have to go somewhere else,” he said.
And the Mirror revealed in January the shocking conditions at Wales High School near Sheffield in South Yorkshire, which had more than 50 leaking roofs, leaving children “cold and wet”.
The splashing drains are collapsing, there are cracks in windows from subsidence and the engineering building has been closed because it is in such a condition.
Site manager Martin Smith said: “It’s just a nightmare, we keep mopping up.”
Ms Wilson added: “Conservative ministers are too busy propping up Boris Johnson instead of dealing with pressing issues like getting our schools repaired. They ignore warnings from their own officials that some school buildings are unsafe, let alone fit for purpose.
“The government needs to explain how it will ensure each of these schools is repaired as soon as possible. Education is an investment in our children’s future that will pay off many times over in the long term. It is time for the Prime Minister to step in and give our schools the resources they so desperately need.”
A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “The safety of students and staff is of paramount importance. We have one of the largest and most comprehensive condition data collection programs in Europe and this helps us to assess and manage risk across the property.
“Buildings where there is a risk to health and safety are always a priority and we have committed over £13billion to improve the condition of school buildings and facilities since 2015, including £1.8billion this financial year .
“Additionally, our new school transformation program will transform the learning environment at 500 schools over the next decade, with priority given to schools in poor condition or with potential safety issues.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/third-englands-schools-need-urgent-27207825 A third of England's schools are in dire need of repairs - including 366 in ministerial buildings