Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has urged the Government to release key data showing the location and severity of classrooms in disrepair.
Gwynne, who has campaigned heavily on behalf of Russell Scott Primary School in Denton, accused the Government of “keeping parents in the dark” after Labour’s attempt to force the publication of information about the true state of England’s 24,000 school buildings was blocked in Parliament last week.
The news comes as official data from the Department of Education showed that there were 239 schools across Tameside and Stockport with buildings in “poor” or “bad” condition, meaning that they require urgent repair. Labour has said that local families have not been told the scale of disrepair or when the buildings would be fixed. This additional data exists, but has yet to be published by the Government despite the original survey being completed four years ago.
An internal government report leaked to the Observer newspaper in May 2022 revealed that school buildings in England are now in such disrepair they posed a “risk to life”.
Last December, Russell Scott Primary School was finally included in the Government’s school rebuilding programme after years of campaigning from Gwynne and the staff at the school. However, the building work has yet to begin. Last week, Gwynne urged the Government to set a start date, saying that whilst he was pleased the school was included in the rebuilding programme he “wanted an actual school, not a piece of paper”.
Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:
“For two years Conservative Ministers have pulled the wool over parents’ eyes instead of telling them the truth about the real state of their children’s school buildings.
“I know from campaigning alongside the team at Russell Scott Primary School in Denton just how hard it is to get Government action on crumbling school buildings.
“I’ll continue to fight for improved school conditions and better data transparency. Our children deserve so much better from this Government.