Newham Mayor’s ‘disappointment’ at allocation of schools cash

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales has expressed his disappointment at the Government’s decision in allocating school building funds.

The borough will get funding from the Priority School Building Programme for one school and maintenance for another. Its application for a third and a bid to improve special education provision were rejected.

A spokesman for the council said this comes despite the fact that when the Government decided to scrap the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, 12 of its schools were affected.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “The Secretary of State’s funding allocation ignores both current and future need. It is misguided, short-sighted and will have a detrimental impact on learning in Newham for current and future generations of young people.

“Had the Building Schools for the Future programme been allowed to continue, we would be on track to create the brilliant learning environment our children need and deserve.

“Cancelling BSF funding means we will have 1,350 fewer school places than previously planned for. With a borough that has one of the youngest populations in the country, school expansion is a necessity, not a luxury.

“Children with special education needs deserve the education that will give them the best possible start in life and the secretary of state’s decision not to enable them to use better facilities will only add to their disadvantage.”

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He said the borough was doing its best to provide the very best educational standards for its young people.

This included two council funded initiatives: the Every Child a Musician provides 7,000 children with a free musical instrument and tuition across 61 schools while 27,000 children at 68 primary schools receive free school meals.