The Liberal Democrats have criticised Bosworth's Conservative MP after he voted to hide detailed data of crumbling school buildings.
On 23rd May, 296 Conservative MPs, including Bosworth's Conservative MP voted against publishing detailed information regarding the condition of every school building in the country.
The Department for Education was given the data following the Condition Data Collection survey conducted between 2017 and 2019.
After pressure from Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Munira Wilson, the Government revealed parts of the survey data, including that:
7,158 schools in England contain at least one building component, such as a roof, door or light fittings, deemed to be "life expired and/or at serious risk of imminent failure";
Almost nine in 10 schools have at least one building component that has a "major defect" or is "not operating as intended".
Overall, more than 240,000 fixtures and fittings were found to be defective.
However, the Government has still refused to confirm if schools in Leicestershire have these defects and today voted to keep the information concealed despite a previous pledge to publish the data in full.
Bosworth Liberal Democrat spokesperson Councillor Michael Mullaney said:
"It is absolutely appalling that Bosworth's MP would vote to cover up whether our school buildings are built with dangerous or 'life-expired' materials.
"Parents in Leicestershire deserve to know whether their child is being sent to a school that is safe and fit for purpose, or to a school liable to collapse at any moment.
"Leicestershire Liberal Democrats believe that investing in education is investing in our future generation. Every crumbling school is a concrete sign of years of Conservative neglect of our public services. Parents, staff and pupils have all had enough of being taken for granted."
Notes to Editors:
The Department for Education's "Condition Data Collection" programme, run between 2017 and 2019, sent building surveyors and engineers to inspect 22,031 state-funded schools. Each school building was divided into its constituent parts, known as "construction types" (e.g. "natural slate pitched roof") and given a grade:
A (good: performing as intended)
B (satisfactory: performing as intended, but exhibiting minor deterioration)
C (poor: exhibiting major defects and/or not operating as intended)
D (bad: life expired and/or serious risk of imminent failure).
Overall, over 218,000 construction types were graded C and 24,000 graded D, out of 4.21 million construction types across state schools in England. This means 5.76% of all construction types were graded C or D.
19,442 schools (88.2% of all schools that were inspected) had at least one construction type graded C.
7,158 schools had at least one construction type graded D.
The Government plans to repeat the survey by inspecting all schools again before 2026. More than 2,600 schools have been inspected to date but Ministers have refused to publish a summary of the findings.
Further written questions tabled by Munira Wilson MP revealed that the Department for Education is aware of 39 state-funded schools in England that have closed all or part of their school site since December 2019 because they were unsafe for pupils. Of those:
3 schools permanently closed their entire site;
5 permanently closed part of their school site;
23 temporarily closed their entire site;
8 temporarily closed part of their school site.
A Hinckley County Councillor has renewed calls for a safe road crossing to be installed near a Hinckley School.
Lib Dem Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort Michael Mullaney has campaigned with local parents, residents and fellow Hinckley Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray to get a safe crossing near St Peter’s School on London Road, Hinckley.
This follows news that Leicestershire County Council have again decided against putting a crossing there.
In a written submission to the County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Michael Mullaney set out why a crossing was still needed there
“A huge number of residents in the area I represent on the County Council and the area my two fellow Hinckley County Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray represent support a safe crossing at St Peter’s School on London Road in Hinckley. 8,850 residents signed a petition supporting the campaign.
“There are safety concerns, there have been a number of near misses involving pupils and parents going to the school. Although not recorded it is believed that there was an accident leading to a fatality some years ago along this part of London Road when a pedestrian was knocked over.
“Whilst I appreciate the extra road safety measures that are proposed for London Road near St Peter’s School I am extremely disappointed that the request for a safe road crossing has not been supported in the report.
“There is widespread support for it and Cllrs Bill, Bray and myself identified funding for putting a crossing in at the site through the Members Highway Fund, a fund which was developed with the apparent intention of supporting Highways causes that were important in Councillor’s local areas.
“Whilst it’s welcome that a crossing person has been recruited for St Peter’s School there is always the risk that the person may step down from the job and it may be difficult to find a new person (as it took some years to recruit a crossing person there, with no school crossing patrol between 2017 and 2022 despite attempts to recruit to the post). A safe pedestrian crossing at the site however would be a permanent safety measure that would benefit pupils and parents and residents more generally crossing the road there.
“Whilst I welcome the fact there will be some safety improvements at the site I and many residents believe there still needs to be a safe permanent crossing at St Peter’s School. I therefore urge the County Council to rethink and agree to installing a crossing near St Peter’s School”