Bosworth’s MP votes to cover up dangerous school buildings

5 Jun 2023

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."

ENDS

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).

Answers to parliamentary questions tabled by Munira Wilson MP, published here and here, reveal that:

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.