Eight schools in Colchester are today celebrating after an announcement by Lib Dem Schools Minister David Laws of a major investment totalling more than £6 million in capital projects.
The news was welcomed by Colchester's Lib Dem MP Sir Bob Russell. Sir Bob works closely with Mr Laws, who has visited Colchester in the past at his invitation.
Sir Bob said that as a result Colchester Academy, at Greenstead, will have structural repairs to the Sports Centre (which is currently closed because it is in a dangerous condition).
St Helena School will get funds for a roof replacement scheme and fire alarm replacement. Monkwick Junior School will have a failed flat roof replaced, and St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School will also have urgent repairs to the roof carried out.
Philip Morant School and College will receive funds for the removal of asbestos and for refurbishment works. Funds have been allocated to The Gilberd School for the SEN Block.
Colchester Royal Grammar School will get funds to enable it to expand from three-form entry to four-form entry. Colchester County High School for Girls will be funded for pipework replacement in the main block.
Sir Bob said that the package represented good news for eight of the town’s schools. “Mr Laws phoned me personally to give me advance notice.”
David Laws has revealed how the Conservatives wanted to slash the schools budget on entering office in 2010. The Liberal Democrats categorically refused to support these plans and fought to protect the education budget. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says day-to-day spending on schools has been relatively well-protected by the coalition government, showing that the Lib Dems won the argument.
The Liberal Democrats have committed to protecting the education budget in the next Parliament in real terms. Photographed briefing documents and a stated mission to make deeper cuts than necessary can only lead to the conclusion that the Tories plan to make deep cuts in education.
Sir Bob summed up "Just like in 2010, you need the Liberal Democrats in government again after May to protect education and ensure that the next five years remain about building a stronger economy and a fairer society."