Government invested £23 million to improve Harlow school facilities since 2015
Education: Secondary / Wed 24th Nov 2021 at 09:53am
RECENT figures have shown that, since 2015, the Government has invested £22,936,254 to improve Harlow school buildings and facilities through the Condition Improvement Fund. The fund is aimed at upgrading local school facilities to ensure that every young person in Harlow has the opportunity to climb the education ladder of opportunity.
Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon, has consistently lobbied the Government on behalf of many schools for this specific funding, as well as for more day-to-day funding for schools across Harlow. In the recent Budget, the Chancellor announced that every school in Harlow will see a per pupil funding increase over the next three years.
Commenting on the £23 million investment, Mr Halfon said: “I have worked hard since I was first elected to champion education and apprenticeships in our town. I know that there is still much more that needs to be done, but I am pleased that £23 million has been invested to improve school facilities in Harlow. This Government money is not just about school buildings, but about ensuring that every child in Harlow has the opportunity to climb the education ladder of opportunity.
“I pay tribute to the incredible teachers and support staff who have worked hard to put together the bids that have been successful and who do so much to support Harlow’s young people.
“This also comes on top of the news earlier this year that the Government will be rebuilding Burnt Mill Academy, increasing per pupil funding for every school and investing even more into our amazing Harlow College.
“These investments are yet more proof that we are building an even better Harlow with a new hospital, £81 million new junction 7a, the £23.7 million Town Deal, the £27 million Enterprise Zones, our Innovation Park and by extending the education ladder of opportunity. I will continue to work hard in Parliament to secure more Government investment into our town.”
The funding break down per year can be found below:
CIF funding provided to Harlow schools
To Be clear what the Condition improvement fund is - "The Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is an annual bidding round for eligible academies, sixth-form colleges and voluntary aided (VA) schools to apply for capital funding. The priority for the fund is to address significant condition need, keeping education provider buildings safe and in good working order. This includes funding projects to address health and safety issues, building compliance and poor building condition. CIF also supports a small proportion of expansion projects. These are for academies, sixth-form colleges and VA schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted that can demonstrate a need to expand." Source https://www.gov.uk/guidance/condition-improvement-fund In the case of the approved CIF projects in Harlow for 2021-22 the projects approved are St Mark's West Essex Catholic School; Urgent Electrical & Fire Safety Improvements Urgent Block Replacement (NOT and addition). Stewards Academy- Essential Thermal Comfort and Water Distribution Upgrade Including Urgent Asbestos Removal: Potter Street Academy - Urgent Boiler Replacement; Pear Tree Mead Academy-Fire Safety & Electrical Improvements; Latton Green Primary Academy-Fire Alarm & Emergency Lighting Upgrade Works; Henry Moore Primary School-Replacement of Demountables with New Class Block; Tany's Dell Primary School and Nursery-Essential Crittall Window and External Door Upgrades and Asbestos Removal; Jerounds Primary Academy -Essential Boiler and Heating Upgrades. The 2020-21 allocations to 7 schools in Harlow were of a similar nature including St Marks requiring Urgent Drainage works and Potter Street Academy Electrical Safety Works. These projects hardly look like investments that will "ensure every young person in Harlow has opportunity to climb the education ladder of opportunity”. They are in fact urgent and essential maintenance, repair and safety works. Levelling up the facilities only so the schools can continue to operate. Money for these types of maintenance and repair projects should not have to have been bid for in the first place. The success of the bids to fund these projects will have been solely down to the efforts of the schools themselves I am glad Mr Halfon recognises this in paying tribute to "incredible teachers and support staff who have worked hard to put together the bids that have been successful. Its not Harlow Conservatives that have won these bids.
Thank you Paul! That gives a much better perspective. Cash for bare minimum maintenance. Although opportunities to climb the opportunity ladder to opportunity land gives it a nice spin.
Teachers should not have to spend their time preparing Bids for repair and maintenance of their buildings, they should be teaching!.