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Concerns Cornwall could be 'forgotten' in £1bn schools fund

Concerns Cornwall could be 'forgotten' in £1bn schools fund

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:57am 30th June 2020.

There are concerns that Cornwall might be 'left behind' as the Prime Minister announced a £1bn investment for schools.

The money is part of of £5bn government cash pot to help boost the UK economy following the coronavirus pandemic, and will also include projects sch as hospitals, roads and railways.

The 10-year rebuilding programme for schools will help 50 projects to rebuild and refurbish classrooms, with work set to start next September.

But it has not yet been announced which areas of the country will see the cash.

David Barton heads up the Cornwall Association for Secondary Headteachers, he hopes Cornwall and the south west won't be forgotten.

"Any additional money coming into schools is always welcome. the details we understand will come in the autumn spending review, with a focus on the midlands and the north of England, so exactly how much will come into Cornwall we don't yet know.

"The south west always needs as much support as necessary, we are sometimes forgotten in the public sector generally, but if the money is going into schools to support student's education then that's good news.

"The local support we need is always giving headteachers the opportunity to put in place the plans that best meet the needs of their children and their communities.

"Very often we find that national plans don't remember the rurality of places like Cornwall, so the transport needs are always high on our minds, making sure all children can access everything that's going on."

David Barton, Cornwall Association of Secondary Headteachers

school classroom

The first wave of money will be spent in former red wall communities in the North and Midlands.

 "All children deserve the best possible start in life - regardless of their background or where they live.

"As we bounce back from the pandemic, it's important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission.

"This major new investment will make sure our schools and colleges are fit for the future, with better facilities and brand new buildings so that every child gets a world-class education."

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

But Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman Layla Moran called the PM's announcement "spin over substance".

"The funding is nowhere near the £7bn the National Audit Office has said is needed to repair our schools," said the MP.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the money was welcome, but the detail was "very vague".

He told Sky News there should be a budget next month focused on jobs and called for an extension of the furlough scheme for certain sectors.

The government has committed to spend more than £1bn to fund the first 50 projects starting this year.

The projects will be confirmed in the autumn, and construction on the first sites will begin from September 2021.

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