Patchway Community College has learned that it has been unsuccessful in its application to the Government’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), aimed at schools “in need of urgent repair”.
Education Secretary Michael Gove announced last week that just 261 schools from the 587 that applied would receive funding, with South Gloucestershire missing out completely on the £2bn investment.
Patchway Labour Councillor Sam Scott, who is also a Governor at the school, said:
“Much of Patchway Community College has fallen into a poor state because of the lack of major investment that it needs. Despite the physical conditions the staff and students are doing a great job. The local community was banking on success from this programme to get new buildings, and with the council so strapped for cash the situation really does not look good. I shall continue to press the council for a way forward, as the condition problems cannot be ignored.”
Patchway Town Councillor Jon Moore (Labour) added:
“The school’s GCSE results have improved year-on-year and is a shining example of how the LEA can and has supported schools and local pupils, which makes me extremely disappointed the school has not been successful in its bid for a much needed rebuild to help it compete on a level playing field with local schools and the long-awaited University Technical College [planned to open in Stoke Gifford in September 2013].”
The PSBP scheme replaces Labour’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which was controversially cancelled by Education Secretary Michael Gove in July 2010.
The BSF programme, which pledged to rebuild every secondary school in England, had been expected to cost £55bn over a period of twenty years.
When announcing the successful PSBP applicants last week, Mr Gove said:
“I recognise that many of the schools that applied to the PSBP and have been unsuccessful will also have significant condition needs. Some of those will have their needs addressed through the other funding we have made available for maintenance. Where that is not the case, I will use the information from the national programme of surveys we are currently conducting to ensure that, subject to funds available in the next spending review period, those schools which need renovation will have their needs addressed as quickly as possible. By next autumn we will have details about the condition of every school in the country. Information on the condition of all schools was last collated centrally in 2005.”
“I know that many schools will be disappointed not to be included in the programme. We have had to take difficult decisions in order to target spending on those schools that are in the worst condition. In order to ensure that the process was robust and fair, a qualified surveyor has visited every school for which an eligible application was received to verify the condition of the buildings. This was necessary to make sure the schools being taken forward are those with the greatest overall condition need.”
Local Conservative MP Jack Lopresti last year described Patchway Community College’s PSBP bid as “deserving”, when speaking in a House of Commons debate.