School faces fourth year in temporary classrooms
Steve Reed MP has demanded Government intervention after primary school children were told they could spend their entire primary education in temporary classrooms. Paxton Primary Academy opened in temporary accommodation on Brigstock Road, Thornton Heath, with a promise it would move into a new permanent site on the London Road within a year. Work has still not started three years later, and now the school faces a full fourth year in temporary classrooms with further delays possible if action is not taken urgently.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Steve told the Schools Minister it was ‘unacceptable’ that children were being educated in ‘portakabins piled up in the back yard of a rugby club’ with hardly any play space. The problem has been caused by the Tory Government’s failure to properly manage their free schools programme. Parents are angry that the permanent school building they were promised has never been built.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb agreed to meet with Steve and parents to resolve the issue.
Steve Reed said:
It’s shocking that a school can be left without a permanent building for four years. Parents are angry that promises made to them and their children have been broken. It’s clear that the Government is mismanaging their free schools programme. The Tories were wrong to sideline local communities and the local council – we need urgent action to give these children the permanent school building they need and deserve.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.