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School Buildings: West Dorset

Volume 708: debated on Monday 31 January 2022

Ensuring that schools are well maintained and support effective education is a Government priority. We have allocated £11.3 billion since 2015 to improve school buildings, and Dorset Council received £2.9 million this financial year in school condition allocations. We are delivering rebuilding projects in West Dorset, and our school rebuilding programme will transform 500 schools over the next decade.

Twenty-five years ago, I attended the Gryphon School in Sherborne and was schooled in temporary classrooms. I returned to the school only a few months ago, to find the same temporary classrooms, in a terrible state, being used for students today. I am making limited progress with my hon. Friend’s Department, so might he offer further support so that we can get the situation sorted out?

My hon. Friend is right to speak up for his old school. I am concerned to hear of the issues there. I understand that he met my noble Friend the Minister for the School System and senior officials. We have been engaging with the Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust on this matter and it has received £585,000 this financial year to improve its school buildings, but I would of course be happy to meet my hon. Friend again.