Primary school 'needs to be prioritised' under new rebuilding scheme

Primary school 'needs to be prioritised' under new rebuilding scheme

by Tom Martin (September 2020)

LYDIATE Primary School needs to be prioritised as part of the government’s new school rebuilding programme, according to MP Bill Esterson.

The local politician claimed the school, on Lambshear Lane, has been “a victim of a lack of investment over the years” and should be the first to benefit from the new £1billion ten-year school rebuilding programme.

The scheme will start in 2020-21 with the first 50 projects and investment will be targeted at school buildings in the worst condition across England.

Lydiate Primary had to close for a time in November last year over safety fears for pupils after pieces of concrete fell off the roof and pupils had to have lessons at Maghull High, which accommodated them until the school reopened in January following emergency repairs.

Mr Esterson said: "Lydiate Primary School has been a victim of a lack of investment over the years. It is a brilliant school which is well led with some fantastic teaching, but it is let down by the repairs that are needed, including a new roof, rewiring, replacement windows, concrete repairs and repairs to a school playground.

“All these works are planned, but it is hundreds of thousands of pounds of spending which will ultimately only be a sticking plaster because as one problem is solved more problems crop up due to the overall state of the buildings. Lydiate Primary is desperate for a rebuild."

Mr Esterson recently wrote to the government to ask that Lydiate Primary be prioritised for a rebuild under the £1bn scheme. 

The Schools Minister Baroness Berridge responded to say: "We cannot make any commitments about individual schools at this stage. Investment will be targeted at school buildings in the worst condition across England, starting with 50 schools in most need of repair. Further details will be confirmed in the autumn, and we expect construction works on the first projects to begin from September 2021."

Mr Esterson said: "I will continue to push for the necessary funds for Lydiate Primary to get the school buildings they deserve. Ultimately trying to repair crumbling buildings will work out more expensive in the long run than a rebuild as each repair has to be carried out repeatedly because of the state of the buildings.

"The government must focus this funding on the schools most in need, not just picking the areas where it is most politically convenient for them to be seen to be investing funds and improving infrastructure."

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