Massive funding boost for Hull primary schools

Hull school-children will benefit from Labour's massive new national programme to transform half of all primary school buildings.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson today welcomed the Government's new Primary Capital Programme (PCP) scheme, which will see additional investment of £1.15 billion and up to £7 billion extra spent on rebuilding or refurbishing primary schools over the course of the programme.

PCP will mean that the worst 5% of all primary school buildings across the country will be rebuilt or taken out of use, another 45% of all primary schools will be improved or refurbished and there will be a continued share of record capital funding for maintenance repairs and improvements for the remaining schools.

An average size Local Education Authority (LEA) with high deprivation should initially receive £7m over two years from 2009-10, in addition to capital funding they already receive. Each LEA will have to decide at a local level how best to spend the money they are allocated, starting with the schools with greatest need.

The Department for Education and Skills (DFES) are now consulting on how best to take the programme forward, but the criteria and allocation of money is likely to be based on numbers of pupils and the level of deprivation of the area. Money will be invested where it is needed most and the results will be dramatic.

Speaking after the Secretary of State for Education, Ruth Kelly, announced the huge new investment programme, Hull North Diana Johnson MP said: "The Government's announcement is exactly what is needed to ensure that ageing and unsuitable primary school buildings are either rebuilt or refurbished. Pupils in Hull deserve to be taught in purpose-built, modern facilities.

"This latest Government initiative is a further boost on top of the work that Hull City Council is doing on improving local primary schools. This resulted in the recent good news that Fifth Avenue Primary School in Hull North will be rebuilt in a £4.5 million scheme.

"These billions of pounds need to be invested to the maximum effect in making a difference to standards in primary schools across the country. I'll be doing my best to make sure that Hull's primary schools get a fair share of this new funding as soon as possible and that the new investment is used wisely."

Labour's Education Secretary Ruth Kelly said: "We are putting our money where our mouth is - providing significant extra investment alongside the important reforms we have brought forward to ensure better discipline, more one-to-one and small group tuition and turning failing schools round sooner.

"It will take time, but Labour is committed to reversing the decades of neglect by transforming the primary school estate and the learning environment of our youngest pupils. Inspiring purpose-built buildings are a key part of providing an inspiring personalised education, fitted around the needs of young people.

"The plan we are putting forward shows we are committed to tearing down and refurbishing those buildings no longer fit for purpose, supporting schools in being at the very heart of their communities."