School sign

A £12million investment will deliver more fuel-efficient heating and lighting systems for schools in Staffordshire, council chiefs say.

Staffordshire County Council has confirmed the funding, which will include the installation of new roofs and windows, replacement of ageing electrics and heating systems, upgrading old pipework and the installation of LED lighting.

Cllr Jonathan Price, cabinet member for education, said the investment would benefit students across the county.

“The quality of school buildings can help or hinder pupils’ learning and we are committed to having our children taught in the best possible environment across the county.

“I am delighted that we now have £12million to invest. Some changes will be obvious and benefits pupils and staff enormously, while others will be behind the scenes to ensure the school is in good shape for the future.

“One of the biggest demands on a school’s budget is the cost of heating and lighting so improvements to boilers, insulation and lighting will all pay long term dividends for heads and governors.”

Cllr Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council

The money is made up of funds earmarked for repairs and improvements by the county council and and additional £9.6million from the Department for Education to spent on schools it is directly responsible for.

The council has also said £2.4million will be spent creating additional places for children with special educational needs and disabilities as well as those with education, health and care plans.

“We want all children with special educational needs and disabilities to be able to reach their potential by receiving the right support at the right time in their own communities and at their local school or place of education.

“This grant is a step in that direction towards education children closer to home and providing better support in mainstream classrooms.”

Cllr Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council

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  1. Agree funding should go to disabled schooling but surely they could carve off 10% for road repairs, so motorists don’t have to keep replacing tyres and car components causing probably more landfill waste. Also to help safety for cylists – the potholes must surely make it dangerous for them – swerving and risking getting mowed down. The priorities of this council are, best described as, peculiar.

  2. Great idea, Richard! While we’re at it, maybe we could also raid NHS funds to fix the roads? And I gather there’s a fair bit of cash knocking around the state pension pot too – let’s say we swipe 25% of that to boost the pothole budget. If we keep creaming off budget from other cash-strapped areas of society we’d soon have those pesky potholes fixed. Nothing like getting your priorities right!

  3. @Clare Sholl – I’ve lived here for a decade and like it very much, but the local political culture depresses me. One aspect of this is the constant obsession with roads and the prioritisation of drivers over public transport and pedestrians and other aspects of quality of life.

    Why the hell would the council take money out of the schools budget to spend on roads? Why would this be more important than the education and well-being of our children? Good grief, Charlie Brown…

  4. @Lichvegas: If anything, this investment is long overdue. One local primary appears to have more prefab huts than actual permanent buildings, and similar huts can be found at plenty of secondary schools too. My daughter’s school (a Victorian building) had part of a ceiling collapse not long ago, and she complains that the school isn’t properly heated in winter due to the cost. All children deserve to be taught in a safe and properly maintained environment. I hope schools find this money goes a long way.

  5. Furthermore, I think you’ll find, Richard, that if the council tries to spend funding from the Department of Education on roads, they’ll either refuse to release it, or just demand it back.

  6. Of course there are many schools across Staffordshire. They all need maintenance on an on going basis. What part is ‘Academy’ status playing in this? Presumably the charity status carries with it property responsibility.
    On the money front; this amounts sounds a lot but, even with judicious use, will do little to rectify the problems accumulate over many years. Much of government is about priorities. HS2 has a higher priority than school infrastructure. As per Corona virus supplies it likely depends on who is receiving the profits. No, I am sorry I just don’t go with sticking plaster remedies. Better governance has to get better services for the population.

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