Friday, 18 June 2010

Council calls on government to retain school rebuilding funds

The leader of Brent Council has written to the Secretary of State for Education to urge the government to continue its investment for Brent's schools.

Whilst the Department for Education has yet to make an announcement on the future of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, Brent's councillors are keen to ensure that their allocation of funding is protected from the current government spending review.

The £80 million investment which was allocated to the borough last November, will allow Brent to deliver much needed extra capacity to cope with growing pupil numbers and proceed with a major re-building and renovation scheme that will start to transform secondary schools throughout the borough.

Councillor Ann John, OBE, Leader of Brent Council said: "We need to improve our school buildings and increase places to accommodate an expanding population and therefore feel it's important for the Secretary of State for Education to know why the investment for Brent is so vital. If funding is withdrawn we will not be able to meet the demand for new secondary school places in the future.

"We are confident that we have a strong case and continue to develop detailed plans with phase one schools, partners and the wider community on the programme which is desperately needed in the borough."

Another area of concern that arose at the recent Brent Governors' Conference was the future of Children's Centres. Brent is now on track to have 20 such multi-agency centres but funding is safeguarded for only one year.  There is a real possibility that new buildings  will have to be moth-balled due to lack of funds.

Children's Centres are really vital for early intervention to overcome the impact of deprivation on the development of young children.

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