COMMENT: Every penny helps – so £14m is a big help indeed

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Let us be under no illusions here. Every single penny spent on education is money well spent.

It is not only an investment to help today’s youth, but for all the generations that will follow. For our children’s children, and their children, and so on.

Investment in education is a classic win-win scenario.

That is the case whether we are talking investment in facilities – it’s no fun trying to learn, or teach for that matter, in uncomfortable surroundings – infrastructure or equipment.

So we welcome the news that Portsmouth City Council is to plough nearly £14m into their schools over the next 12 months, in a bid to ensure some are hauled very much into the 21st century.

Some cynics might suggest those improvements should have happened years ago, but let us not be too cynical here.

Fourteen million pounds is a sizeable sum indeed, and at a time when it is common knowledge that managing council budgets has rarely been more difficult.

Benefits will include almost an extra 1,000 places being made available for city children, while £1m of the £14m pot will go on making the ‘essential maintenance repairs’ needed at some schools.

Great news. And it doesn’t end there.

Work has now started on the £3m refurbishment of the former Vanguard Centre in Cosham, and over 100 pupils who have behavioural, emotional, and social development needs will benefit from all that money.

Portsmouth Council leader Donna Jones has revealed that the £14m will take her administration’s spending on education since taking over in the summer of 2014 to around £50m.

All that cash will have gone on ‘improving school buildings and securing new school places to improve education provision in the city.’

Like the NHS, education is one area where you can never have enough investment. But £14m over 12 months is certainly a big step in the right direction.