Labour will provide local authorities with the £13bn needed to repair the school estate, shadow secretary of state for education tells conference.
Speaking yesterday at the Labour conference in Brighton, Angela Raynor told delegates that instead of wasting money on an ‘inefficient free schools programme’ a Labour Government would provide enough funding to ensure schools are safe.
A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) published last February warned the expected deterioration in the condition of the school estate is a ‘significant risk to long-term value for money’.
They said it would cost £6.7bn to return all school buildings to ‘satisfactory’ or ‘better condition’, and a further £7.1bn to bring parts of school buildings from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘good condition’.
Ms Raynor insisted that if her party were elected, they would ensure councils had the funds necessary for reviving the school estate.
‘We will provide the full £13bn pounds needed for the existing school estate,’ she said.
‘Instead of wasting millions of pounds on an inefficient free schools programme, we will provide funding to ensure our schools are safe – that flammable cladding can be removed, sprinklers installed and asbestos cleared.’
The shadow education secretary also said her party would invest £8bn in new school buildings ‘where they are needed’ without neglecting existing schools.