Shropshire MP Helen Morgan has raised the issue of underinvestment in rural school buildings with Education Minister Nick Gibb.
The MP referred in the chamber to how she recently learned on a visit to the Corbet School in Baschurch that 25% of their teaching space is in old, demountable buildings – rather than permanent facilities for pupils and teachers to use. Smaller and more rural secondary schools like the Corbet are disadvantaged by the current funding formula, as compared to their urban counterparts. The North Shropshire MP has pledged to fight the corner of rural schools and demand a fairer deal from the government. Helen Morgan, MP for North Shropshire asked the Schools Minister:
“I recently visited the Corbet School in my constituency, which is a secondary school, a small rural academy trust. “Now, it’s a really well-run school, but 25% of its teaching space is in old demountable buildings. I wonder if the minister would be able to tell me how small rural schools with only 750 pupils enrolled can better access that funding to improve the buildings that the pupils are taught in, to give them the same opportunities as pupils in more urban areas.” Nick Gibb, Minister for Schools, replied: “We take into account the condition of any schools, buildings in the capital , funding that we give to either to the local authority or to the trust or diocesan group. It’s up to those bodies to decide how best to distribute that funding to meet local needs. “All schools, including rural schools, had the opportunity to be nominated for the latest round of the School Rebuilding programme, which is rebuilding and refurbishing school buildings across the country.”
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