Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Backing for Rebuilding bid for Calder High
Education Secretary Michael Gove: "one of the worst school buildings I've seen"
Labour councillors are giving strong backing to Calderdale's bid for funding to rebuild Calder High School and Todmorden High School. And they are warning that it's a real test of credibility for the Conservative-led government, following their decision to abandon Labour's Building Schools for the Future programme.
Labour’s education spokesperson Cllr Megan Swift said: "The Labour Governments Building Schools for the Future Programme was a commitment to work for the rebuilding or refurbishment of every secondary school. Now that programme has been scrapped, we are faced with a competitive bidding process to see if we can gain permission for these two schools to be rebuilt."
Todmorden Labour councillor Jayne Booth added: "Calderdale council has recognised the need to rebuild Todmorden High School for the past decade. The teachers and students have achieved great results under very difficult circumstances - they deserve better."
Calder ward Cllr Dave Young added: "When Education Secretary Michael Gove visited Calder High as a shadow minister, he described it as one of the worst school buildings he had seen. And Tory MP Craig Whittaker was happy to criticise Labour for not funding replacement schools more quickly. Now it's up to them both to deliver on their promises, and make sure they do not let down the young people of the upper Calder Valley."
“Building Schools for the Future” was the Labour Government’s ambitious plan to rebuild or modernise every secondary school in England. It was scrapped by the Conservative ? Liberal Democrat government, and a review of school building plans was considered, called the James Review.
The new funding bids are being made under the ‘Priority schools building programme’; if they are approved, the schemes will go ahead as Private Finance Initiative projects.