The majority of schools need to be improved or repaired, nearly half need extra classrooms, and hundreds of schools lack investment, according to a heads’ survey.
Five years after scrapping the £55 billion ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme, hundreds of primary and secondary schools are now suffering from a lack of investment, according to a survey of over 1,000 headteachers.
Problems like rising damp, leaking roofs, limited classroom space and overuse of temporary buildings were frequently mentioned in the survey, as well as a lack of facilities such as pupil intervention rooms and meeting spaces, the Guardian reports.
Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School in Canterbury is typical of the situation in many schools, with pupils’ education being disrupted by problems including no electricity, crumbling concrete and leaking pipework. “We have old steel framed windows that are impossible to double glaze, leading to an unnecessary loss of heat, and they either have to be hammered open or shut,” said headteacher Jane Robinson. “There are also serious mechanical and electricity problems – at one stage if you turned on a kettle in student services, it meant turning off the fridge.”
‘Building Schools for the Future’ was replaced by the ‘Priority School Building Programme’, which has so far pledged investment totalling £4.4 billion, but only for schools in the worst physical condition. So far in the plan, 260 schools are being renovated and 16 new schools have opened. According to the DfE, current school building projects now cost 35% less than previously.
Does your school suffer from the problems mentioned in the survey and if so are they affecting your working life and your pupils’ education?