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Secondary Schools (Copeland)

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

Building Schools for the Future is the main programme for the strategic investment of capital funding for secondary schools. The Secretary of State announced today the latest six authorities to be invited to enter the programme, which have been assessed as the most ready to commence their projects. Cumbria is one of three authorities that came close to being selected. With some extra work in certain areas, it is well placed to enter the programme at the next available opportunity. Partnerships for Schools will work with the authority to assist it to prepare for entry.

I am grateful for the Minister’s response. Without question, attainment levels in schools in my county are rising as a result of the investment we have been putting in, but enough is enough with regard to the local education authority. This is the second time that it has missed an open goal for attracting school funding to my part of the world and the Workington constituency. Will he now meet me, the LEA and head teachers, and send in a Government hit squad to sort the LEA out once and for all?

I know the schools in my hon. Friend’s constituency well—as he knows, I visited Cumbria the week before last. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has also visited the county to look at the quality of education and particularly at school buildings. I am quite happy to meet not only my hon. Friend to discuss Cumbria’s progress and how we take matters forward, but any other local Member and, indeed, the local authority.