Schools in north and mid Wales are set to miss out on their fair share of a £14 million fund for essential school repairs.
The money is set to be administered by local authorities, but analysis of the Education Secretary’s allocations reveals that North Wales schools will be underfunded by 20% compared to schools in South Wales.
Local authorities in North Wales administer repairs at 426 schools (including 54 secondary and 322 primary schools) and will receive an additional allocation of £3.3m across six counties. By comparison, the five authorities that make up the South Wales Central region will receive £4.1 million – despite accounting for fewer schools (393 in total).
It means that schools in North Wales will receive around 20% less for essential school repairs.
Meanwhile, Powys local authority will receive 36% less for repairs than Swansea, despite being responsible for the maintenance of more schools.
- Powys: £645,490.75 (97 maintained schools)
- Swansea: £1,009,093.42 (95 maintained schools)
The figures emerged in Written Assembly Questions (attached) by Shadow Education Secretary, Darren Millar.
Commenting on the figures, Mr Millar said:
“The additional money for school repairs is welcome, but I am concerned that schools in mid and north Wales are being underfunded once again.
“We know that schools right across Wales are struggling to pay for essential repairs without compromising teaching standards, but these issues are just as likely to affect head teachers in Ruthin and Newtown, as they are heads in Cardiff.
“Time and time again, this Welsh Labour-led government seems to prioritise its heartlands in the south and you would have hoped that the Education Secretary would understand that given the constituency she represents.
“Sadly, communities in mid and north Wales have been short-changed again.
“This money needs to be distributed fairly – and it is vital that it reaches the frontline without being swallowed up in council bureaucracy.”