Save Streatham's School Building Projects
- Chuka Umunna
- HM Government (UK)
- United Kingdom
The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme was set up by the last government to improve and replace dilapidated school buildings – it represented the most ambitious school building programme undertaken in Britain since the Victorian era.
Under the plans, La Retraite, Bishop Thomas Grant and Dunraven secondary schools (located in the Streatham parliamentary constituency) were set to benefit from brand new, state of the art buildings. Dunraven and La Retraite both already have innovative new sports halls which have been completed under the scheme in the last 12 months.
However, on 5 July 2010, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced cuts to the BSF programme, meaning that essential projects at Bishop Thomas Grant and La Retraite School have been cancelled.
The project at Dunraven School – which was already at a very advanced stage of planning – has been placed in a special category of ‘sample schools’ and may not now go ahead, subject to a review. However, the government has failed to announce when a final decision will be made on projects in this situation or the terms of the review.
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To put pressure on the government, Chuka Umunna MP, the local Member of Parliament for the Streatham constituency, is campaigning alongside students, parents and teachers for the projects to go ahead and for the cuts to funding for new school buildings to be reversed.
He has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament condemning the government’s cancellation of school building projects and calling for answers on projects subject to review such as Dunraven’s. The full text of the EDM can be read here: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=41426&SESSION=905
Mr Umunna has also raised the matter in Parliament to demand answers from Ministers on Streatham’s school building projects, which can be read here:
Commenting, Mr Umunna said:
“I am bitterly disappointed that these projects have been cancelled and I feel that local students, teachers and school governors have been betrayed by the coalition government - the government needs to think again.
“Our young people deserve the very best, and the BSF school building programme meant an education in twenty first century surroundings for all. I am concerned that because of the government’s decision this week, our children are being sold sort.”
David Boyle, Principal of Dunraven School, commenting on his school buildings said:
“The condition of many of the school buildings is poor and has deteriorated still further recently, as much-needed work has been postponed with the promise of the BSF funding.
“The BSF programme of rebuilding and refurbishment offers us real value for money which could not be achieved through simply ‘patching’ existing buildings. If the programme is postponed, we will have to find £50,000 for essential repairs in the Autumn term alone to keep the buildings sound and safe.
“The students and staff deserve a school building that will enhance their experience of teaching and learning and which will enable the school to go from strength to strength in the future.”
Please sign the petition below to protest against the cancellation of our local school building projects
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To contact Mr Umunna, visit www.chuka.org.uk
We, the undersigned, petition the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education to allow essential Building Schools for the Future developments to go ahead at Bishop Thomas Grant, Dunraven and La Retraite Schools.
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The Save Streatham's School Building Projects petition to HM Government (UK) was written by Chuka Umunna and is in the category Education at GoPetition.