12th February 2015
The Department for Education this week has again rejected requests for funding from the Whitehaven Academy (formerly Whitehaven School). The school was set to receive £15m from the last Labour government under the Building Schools for the Future programme, but this funding was removed, and the scheme scrapped, by the Coalition government in 2010.
Jamie Reed MP, Member of Parliament for Copeland, has written to the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education, to determine why the bid from the Whitehaven Academy was unsuccessful, and to ask what support the government intends to give secondary schools in Copeland.
Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed MP said:
“The rebuilding and development of our secondary schools is of fundamental importance to our community. The skills summit I held last week shows that we need to be training 10,000 additional people to properly exploit the new economic opportunities coming our way in West Cumbria, and our secondary schools are the most important way in which we will meet this challenge.
“Small investments for Jericho and Seascale – two excellent primary schools that we should rightly be proud of – are welcome, but these don’t begin to address the nature of our secondary schools challenge. Building a new secondary school campus in Whitehaven remains one of my biggest priorities – but this latest setback from the government now illustrates a long-running scandal.
“The Whitehaven Academy was set to benefit from £15m under the previous government’s Building Schools for the Future programme and the coalition government scrapped this upon taking office. Repeated attempts to bid for money since then have been knocked back, and all the time the need for investment continues to grow.
“I’m continuing to work to pull investors together to deliver a new campus, and I’ll be seeking answers from the government to determine exactly why this latest bid has been rejected and precisely what support it intends to give to our secondary schools.
“If we are serious about achieving the economic transformation we all want to see, nothing is more important than investing in our schools.”