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School Repair Cash Snub to Cornwall

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6:23am 7th November 2011
(Updated 6:23am 7th November 2011)

Cornwall's crumbling classrooms will not get a penny of government money to repair them.

It is claimed our schools need £38m to bring them up to scratch.

But ministers have handed cash to Plymouth and the Isles of Scilly instead and say the Duchy will not get any of the half billion pound fund.

Sarah is a mum and teacher in Hayle. She said, "There is some recent educational research that would indicate there is a correlation between having a new build and higher educational achievement. So the better the build the better the results. If pupils have a new build with a nice environment and nice surroundings then it's a stimulating environment, they feel important and they feel valued. If you're in a tatty old building with a leaking roof then that doesn't say that people care very much about your education."

Plymouth City Council has been given £2.5m while the Isles of Scilly has received £52,000. One local authority in London received £28m.

Neil Burden, the council's portfolio holder for children's services, said “This funding, for which the Council applied for a portion last summer,  is designed to provide additional school places in areas where there is a shortage of places and has been allocated by the Government on an authority wide basis.   Unfortunately it appears that no consideration was taken of the need in Cornwall, our demographics or where the school buildings were in need of urgent attention or replacement.

"Although we have pressures on school places in specific areas such as Newquay and St Austell, overall we still have some surplus places across Cornwall, mainly in our rural primary schools.  This means that according to the present Government’s criteria our need does not appear as great as areas such as Bristol or London.  

"Although we are obviously very disappointed that Cornwall will not receive any portion of this £500m basic needs capital funding we accept that the Government has to allocate the funding to the areas of the greatest need as identified by their current criteria.  We have already been allocated £2.2 million of basic needs funding for a further three years, some of which has been used to address the issues in Bude and Newquay. Although this is obviously not enough to build new schools, it can be used in the meantime to help refurbish classrooms or provide temporary classrooms to cope with the anticipated increased demand where the needs arise."

6:23am 7th November 2011

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