Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Thurrock Labour candidate slams MP Jackie Doyle Price over school repairs vote

THE Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Thurrock today lambasted local Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price for “voting to keep parents in the dark” about the extent of disrepair in local schools after a debate in the House of Commons.

The comments came following an attempt by the Labour Party to force the publication information about the true state of England’s 24,000 school buildings almost two years after the School Buildings Condition Survey revealed “alarming” problems within the school estate.

Official data from the Department of Education showed that there are 18 schools with buildings in “poor” or “bad” condition in Thurrock, meaning that they require urgent repairs, but local families have not been told the scale of disrepair or when the buildings would be fixed.

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”.

The Department for Education subsequently raised the risk of school buildings collapsing from “critical” to “critical – very likely” in its annual report in December 2022, after an increase in serious structural issues being reported.

Despite assurances given to Labour in Parliament that further data detailing the precise condition of individual buildings would be published by the end of 2022, the Schools Minister backtracked refusing to give a date for publication when questioned in the House of Commons earlier this year.

The Conservatives have failed to get to grips with the crumbling state of school building since then Education Secretary Michael Gove gave a public apology for cancelling Labour’s Building Schools for the Future Programme.

Jen Craft, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Thurrock said: 

“As a parent of a child in a Thurrock school, I am seriously concerned about these figures and that we continue to be denied access to information directly related to our childrens’ safety”

For two years Conservative Ministers have pulled the wool over parents’ eyes instead of telling them the truth about the real state of our children’s school buildings.
“Jackie Doyle-Price and her Conservative colleagues had a choice today: show they’re on the side of parents, or a government that wants to keep families in the dark about the safety of school buildings.


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