Bridget Phillipson Labour Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South
The Government’s refusal to come clean on England’s crumbling school buildings is putting lives at risk
It’s been over a year since leaked Government documents revealed that “many school buildings in England are now in such disrepair they are a risk to life”.
And yet the Government has still not shared the information with parents and the wider public about which schools, which buildings, and how much of a risk to life.
That’s why, in Parliament this week, I again called on the Government to be up front with school staff, parents and pupils about the true state of our school buildings.
The school buildings that our children learn in have been neglected over the last 13 years, and it’s vital that we understand the full scale of disrepair.
Yet Tory MPs chose secrecy and party interest, keeping parents in the dark about the risk faced by their children.
This week, at the third time of asking, one school in our area finally received funding so that it can comply with legal requirements on the boiler and drains.
It shouldn’t take three rounds of bidding for schools to comply with the legal requirements that the Government sets out. That should be an absolute basic.
This Government has given up on ambition for our children. It has given up on openness and on accountability. It has given up on standards and on improvement.
And that poverty of ambition stretches far beyond the buildings themselves. It stretches right across our country, right over the course of lives, right over the whole of our education system.
The Tories have no vision for how to fix our broken childcare system and no plan for how to close the attainment gaps that are already opening up as children arrive at school.
Our children deserve better than this.
I am determined that every child, in every school, in every corner of our country, should have the best possible start in life.
Excellence should be for everyone. Labour’s ambition for our schools will ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed.
After 13 years of Tory neglect, only a Labour government can bring about the change we need.