School budgets for maintenance ‘to be slashed’

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SCHOOLS have been warned that their budgets for maintenance and repairs could be slashed by 80 per cent next year.

Portsmouth schools lost out on £200m through the Building Schools for the Future project last June when education secretary Michael Gove decided to cancel it.

Now research commissioned from the independent House of Commons Library shows secondary schools will lose an average of £86,000 from their budget for building work, repairs and computers.

Primary schools will lose an average of £26,000.

Labour’s shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said: ‘We are looking at a return to the bad old days of the 1980s when children tried to learn in crumbling classrooms with equipment not up to the job.’

It comes as two schools – King Richard in Paulsgrove and Priory in Southsea – were just weeks away from signing the final papers for a brand new building and major refurbishments respectively.

Adam Dare, head of King Richard School, has said maintaining the delapidated site costs up to £200,000 a year.

Aides to education secretary Mr Gove said the government had already announced that funds directly allocated to schools would be ‘much lower’ next year.

One aide said: ‘We have prioritised frontline education spending and money for the poorest children rather than extravagant and expensive buildings.’