Earlier this week, York Central MP Rachael Maskell, called on the Government to rethink the way it determines how money is allocated for school repairs. Under the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) school buildings are prioritised on the basis of information from the property data survey programme. The aim of the survey is to identify where poor condition is most highly concentrated, as well as looking at places where the continued operation of the school is most at risk and where the cost of addressing the issues would present the greatest challenges.
A number of York schools are in desperate need of repairs and the Local Education Authority (LEA) submitted a total of ten bids under the Priority School Building Programme round 2 but only Badger Hill Primary School was successful. The three York schools most in need - Woodthorpe Primary, Tang Hall Primary and Ralph Butterworth were overlooked.
Speaking afterwards, Rachael Maskell MP said:
“Having a decent school building is vital to create a good learning environment. I have met with leaders from across schools in York Central, who have shown me where buildings are falling apart, water leaking in, and in one school it is so cold that the children find it hard to focus in winter. I will be setting out the details of the needs of York’s schools when I meet with the Minister.
“I am pleased the Minister has agreed to meet me. I want the Government to look again at the way they decide which schools are most in need of rebuilding or repairing. The three schools in York most in need of funding haven’t received a penny through the scheme. In just two years (2015/2016 and 2016/2017) it will have cost York tax payers £1.23 million pounds just to keep these three schools open. This cannot be right. The scheme itself must be flawed. The data collection doesn’t provide the comprehensive evidence needed to match York’s priorities. We need more accurate condition surveys."