Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Government Vetoes New Schools for Surrey

In a letter sent on 8 March to Ian Taylor MP, Schools Minister Vernon Coaker confirmed that the government has rejected Surrey's application to join the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Program in 2009/10. BSF was designed to invest billions across the country to modernise schools for over 3 million secondary school pupils. Once again, Surrey loses out - with no clear reasons why in the letter.

This is the latest failure to address the need for proper investment in schools - in Elmbridge and across the county. In his decision of October 2009, the independent Schools Adjudicator highlighted the long term shortage of secondary school places in Elmbridge, criticising the current sticking-plaster approach ‘which nobody considers appropriate for the longer-term.’ Yet, the government remains either unable or unwilling to fix the problem.

Surrey pays £5.5billion a year in revenue to the Treasury, yet we are repeatedly short-changed of vital funding for local services – in this case for new schools. Taxpayers, teachers, parents and - above all - children in Surrey have been let down.

A Conservative government has pledged to free teachers, parents, faith groups, charities and the private sector from the existing bureaucracy, so they can set up high quality schools in the state sector. You can read the detail of our plans here. So, when it comes to schools, the choice in Surrey at the next election is clear – more neglect under Labour, or the freedom to pioneer educational excellence under Conservative reforms.


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