He gave our schools less than two-thirds of that amount.
His penny-pinching tactics are now coming back to bite. Parents and pupils across the country are now paying the price.
The former top civil servant at the Department for Education, Jonathan Slater, said on Monday that officials warned of a “critical risk to life” from crumbling school buildings. But again, their requests for funding were ignored. Could a warning be more stark? The response was simply not good enough. The Government must immediately publish the evidence from officials that was ignored by Rishi Sunak in 2021 when he cut funding to fix crumbling schools.
The truth is that we should have never got to this point. The Government has known about this issue for years. Back in January, I asked ministers about this issue in the Commons. The Secretary of State’s response was staggeringly complacent. She has at least finally come out from behind her “YouTube” offering to speak to parents, but her reassurances ring hollow.
But then, a person who seems unaware of a £34 million refurbishment in her own department does not instil confidence.
Every crumbling classroom stands as a concrete sign of Conservative neglect. Liberal Democrats are calling for a plan to clear the backlog of school repairs and remove risky RAAC from schools and hospitals.
Pupil safety must always be paramount. The Government needs to release information about each school affected so far, and set out a timetable to complete inspections on all other schools with suspected RAAC.
Munira Wilson is the MP for Twickenham and the Liberal Democrats’ spokesperson for education