School buildings investment recommended for approval

Investment of more than £1.2m in repair and maintenance work to primary schools across Barnsley will be recommended to Barnsley Council’s Cabinet at their next meeting on Wednesday June 1.

 

Funding for this is through The Department for Education’s School Condition Allocation capital grant, provided to local authorities to address urgent condition issues on school buildings and sites. For Barnsley this amounts to £667,384 for the coming year, which is a reduction of £91,000 on the funding received for 2021-22. In addition, a further £566,899 is available through existing capital spending plans previously approved.

Condition Survey data, held against the 22 primary schools that make up the council’s maintained school estate, identifies over £7.4m of outstanding building and site defects. This is categorised as high, medium, and low priority, with the total cost of high priority works currently estimated at more than £3.4m.

The funding will focus on high priority works, attending to the most urgent first, which include roofing works at Milefield, Birdwell and Oxspring Primary schools.

Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “We’re proud of our school buildings in Barnsley. Our Secondary schools are all fantastic modern facilities which were built through our Building Schools for the Future programme meaning their maintenance is secured for many years for the life of their BSF contracts. Many of our primary schools have also been replaced for modern buildings.

“Without this investment in modern buildings, the maintenance need would be significantly higher than it is.

“I’m extremely pleased that we are able to make this much needed £1.23m investment in some of our primary school buildings, although we would like to do so much more.

“The funding we receive from government will be used as efficiently and effectively as we possibly can, but sadly it is simply nowhere near enough to meet the current maintenance need of our school buildings. We will be prioritising works on a most-urgent first basis.

“In the meantime, we will continue to push the government to release more funding for our schools so we do not see a growing backlog of serious maintenance issues.”

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