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

Yesterday, 12:44
American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria (AP Photo/freejamesfoley.org, Nicole Tung, File)

The SAS is closing in on the man known as ‘John’, suspected of being from London, who brutally executed US journalist James Foley.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:10
Ishak Ayiris is set to study at Eton College.  Photograph by Lucy Ray

A schoolboy who secured top marks in his GCSEs is set to follow in the footsteps of David Cameron and Boris Johnson after winning a scholarship to Eton worth £76,000.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:49
The student was caught trying to board a flight at Stansted Airport with eight flares in his luggage (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

A student from north London was caught trying to board a plane at Stansted Airport with eight explosive flares and a terrorist manual.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 12:44
American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria (AP Photo/freejamesfoley.org, Nicole Tung, File)

The SAS is closing in on the man known as ‘John’, suspected of being from London, who brutally executed US journalist James Foley.

Yesterday, 10:10
Ishak Ayiris is set to study at Eton College.  Photograph by Lucy Ray

A schoolboy who secured top marks in his GCSEs is set to follow in the footsteps of David Cameron and Boris Johnson after winning a scholarship to Eton worth £76,000.

Yesterday, 18:49
The student was caught trying to board a flight at Stansted Airport with eight flares in his luggage (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

A student from north London was caught trying to board a plane at Stansted Airport with eight explosive flares and a terrorist manual.

Promotions

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.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 18:38
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Will the relaxtion of the rules on phone use open the floodgates to selfie madness at The National Gallery (Picture via Getty)

Will the National Gallery become selfie central after it removes the ban on photography to avoid confusion over visitors using the new Wi-Fi?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The television programme Whose Line is it Anyway? showcased the art of improv

Now that whole regiments of London comedians have dissolved in the festival mists north of the border it’s a good time to sample a different sort of humour.

Quizzes

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more
Can you guess the Tube station just from the outside? (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

How well do you know your Tube stations? Can you guess these Underground stops from the pictures taken outside them?

Read more