A photo of the House of Commons with Catherine about to speak

Catherine pressed the Education Secretary to take responsibility for the failure to look after the school estate and provide a latest estimate for the mounting costs of repairs to school buildings. 

Speaking in Parliament, Catherine highlighted the ongoing RAAC crisis, which has resulted in more than 100 schools needing to be rebuilt, as well as schools since impacted by non-RAAC structural problems, such as in North Tyneside.

A report by the National Audit Office last year concluded that 700,000 pupils were learning in a school which required major refurbishment or rebuilding works. Questions for the Government remain on how widespread these new structural problems are, how many schools across the country could be affected and how much repairs are likely to cost.

Catherine asked the Schools Minister: “Given it seems that the Government’s plan is to leave it for the next Labour government to sort out, can the Minister at least tell us the latest estimate of the total school repairs bill?

Following her questions, Catherine said:

“The Government has an abysmal record on dealing with the mounting issues with the school estate. Slow to respond to the RAAC crisis, slow on other construction issues now emerging, and we have the Minister refusing to answer basic questions on the projected cost of repairs.

“Worryingly it seems it will be left to the next Labour Government to deal with these issues, and to provide every child with a safe and fit for purpose school.” 

Catherine has tabled Parliamentary Questions to the Education Secretary to seek more information on the Department for Education’s estimates of the repairs bill.