Children across High Peak and the country went back to school this week. The start of a new school year should be an exciting time for children and their families but for many this year there is great uncertainty after the Government’s last minute decision to order the closure of some schools or parts of their buildings, due to concerns about the concrete they are made of. Fortunately, at the time of writing, there does not appear to be any schools in High Peak affected by this scandal.
The Government have known about this problem for years and yet our school buildings have been deliberately left to decline. This government chose to cut Labour’s school building programme in 2010, and in 2021, Rishi Sunak personally refused to provide funding for school rebuilding.
Labour has been calling on the Government to act. In May, Labour asked them to publish school safety reports so we could all see the extent of the problem for ourselves but the Government, including local Conservative MP, Robert Largan, voted against it.
As if our crumbling schools and decrepit public building aren’t enough to contend with, Local Conservatives that run Derbyshire County Council are hiking the cost of school dinners by 41% – that’s an extra 95p per day, per child – far more than any other council in England.
One local school has reported close to a 90% reduction in those parents opting for a hot school meal for their children this term due to the price hike. Parents are telling the school that they have crunched the numbers over the summer holiday, and the costs just don’t stack up.
Labour councillors on DCC are campaigning to stop this unsustainable price increase during a cost-of-living crisis. To sign their council petition please visit: bit.ly/SchoolMealHike
Content by: Council Leaders Anthony Mckeown and Damien Greenhalgh