Scalby School Crisis – Government Inaction

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Scarborough and Whitby Alison Hume says she’s shocked by the Government’s refusal last year to provide funding to rebuild Scalby School after the trust raised fears about safety.

Seventeen classrooms as well as several support rooms and dining hall facilities are now out of action because they were built with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) which is showing signs of crumbling and cracking. The school had started to take mitigation measures in January, putting 90 steel props in place, before the government ordered them to close days before the start of term.

Last year the school applied to the Schools Rebuilding Programme to completely rebuild the school over safety fears. The application was rejected and now vast amounts of taxpayers money is being spent on hiring equipment to prop up the ceilings and rent portable classrooms.

According to media reports, more than one in seven schools affected by dilapidated concrete were denied government funding to be rebuilt despite being deemed in emergency need.

Alison Hume, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Scarborough and Whitby, said: “The decisions taken by the Conservatives, including the Prime Minister, have led us to the chaos families are experiencing in Scarborough and across the country today. All this could have been avoided, but because of Conservative incompetence, two thirds of Scalby School is currently closed. Teachers are having to re-introduce virtual learning, parents are having to take annual or unpaid leave to stay at home with their children and students have been unsettled by yet more disruption to their education.

“This school would have been replaced as part of Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme which was abolished by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition in 2010. Instead it currently stands empty and taped off as a reminder of Conservative mismanagement on a huge scale.

“It is time for the Prime Minister and this shambolic Conservative government to take responsibility for the mess they have made and get a grip of this crisis.”

Cllr Subash Sharma, North Yorkshire Councillor for Newby, said: “Once again the education of our children is being disrupted. We are forced to choose between their physical safety and their future life chances, and this over risks which have been known for years. This is sheer government incompetence.”