Camden schools lose out on millions to repair aging buildings

09:48 01 June 2012

Cllr Theo Blackwell says he is considering a leadership bid

Cllr Theo Blackwell says he is considering a leadership bid

Archant

All but four of Camden’s schools have missed out on government funding for vital building work - sparking fears parents will ‘vote with their feet’ and send their children elsewhere.

The coalition government in 2010 pulled the plug on £175million of investment in the borough’s secondaries when it scrapped the previous Labour government’s Building Schools For The Future programme.

Four of Camden’s schools - Hampstead School in Cricklewood, Maria Fidelis Convent School in Euston, South Camden Community School in Mornington Crescent, and Swiss Cottage Special School - have been given cash for repairs under the new round of funding.

But Camden Council has warned the amount falls far short of the hundreds of millions needed to bring its schools up to modern standards.

Finance chief Cllr Theo Blackwell said: “If new investment is not put into school buildings, the children will suffer and learning suffers.

“Teaching in Camden’s schools is excellent but the buildings are getting old. There have been many schools in London that had government funding for substantial modernisation funded by the tax payer.

“We don’t have this. My fear is that without action, in five years parents will vote with their feet.”

He added: “Camden has been a place where people from boroughs like Islington and Haringey have sent heir kids.

“If we are not able to provide modern facilities then there could be a question of having surplus places in Camden’s schools rather than the intense competition that existed in the past.”

Among the schools that lost out on funding was Parliament Hill School in Highgate Road, Highgate.

John Blake, a former teacher at the top-rated girls school, told the Labour Party conference in 2010 that without desperately needed investment pupils were being taught in “a 40 year-old building rotting from the inside out”.

He told the conference: “We still have defunct buildings riddled with asbestos – we don’t use them any more, of course, but inner-city schools don’t have the space to keep buildings they can’t use.”

Camden’s schools need an estimated £250million over the next four years to bring their facilities up to standard. The government has pledged around a third of this.

In an attempt to provide the rest of this much-needed funding, the council has embarked on a major project to sell off buildings and plough the millions raised into school and council home repairs.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said in a statement: “I know that many schools will be disappointed not to be included in the programme.

“We have had to take difficult decisions in order to target spending on those schools that are in the worst condition.

“In order to ensure that the process was robust and fair, a qualified surveyor has visited every school for which an eligible application was received to verify the condition of the buildings.”

Latest Stories

Arnis Zalkalns is now being treated as a suspect in the case of missing Hanwell teen Alice Gross, say police

The missing Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns, a suspect in the case of missing Hanwell teenager Alice Gross, has been revealed to be a convicted murderer.

Read more
57 minutes ago
Leighann Duffy was killed following an attack at a house in Walthamstow on Monday September 1 (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering 26-year-old Leighann Duffy who was stabbed to death in broad daylight on September 1.

Read more
08:58
Sean Rigg, a 40-year-old mentally-ill musician, died in police custody six years ago (Picture: Hickman & Rose Solicitors/PA Wire)

The constable under investigation over the death of mentally-ill musician in police custody told bosses he wants to resign and become a clergyman.

Read more

TOP Stories

Arnis Zalkalns is now being treated as a suspect in the case of missing Hanwell teen Alice Gross, say police

The missing Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns, a suspect in the case of missing Hanwell teenager Alice Gross, has been revealed to be a convicted murderer.

57 minutes ago
Leighann Duffy was killed following an attack at a house in Walthamstow on Monday September 1 (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering 26-year-old Leighann Duffy who was stabbed to death in broad daylight on September 1.

08:58
Sean Rigg, a 40-year-old mentally-ill musician, died in police custody six years ago (Picture: Hickman & Rose Solicitors/PA Wire)

The constable under investigation over the death of mentally-ill musician in police custody told bosses he wants to resign and become a clergyman.

Promotions

Imagine having your own idyllic house in the French countryside - and make it happen! [Photograph by Mike Simler]

Ever dreamed of living in a rural cottage in France with ivy round the door, chickens in your garden, and fresh croissants for breakfast from the local patisserie a short walk away in the nearby village?

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 14:16
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Quizzes

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more
Diego Costa of Chelsea exchanges words with Cesc Fabregas (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Chelsea have made several personnel changes over the course of the summer as they look to mount a squad that can challenge for the title.

Read more