At this year’s Conservative Party Conference, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has partnered with Capita Plc to hold a public panel event on “Critical” conditions: investigating the state of school and college buildings’.
Keeping children and education staff safe in school is of prime concern, yet a recent report by the National Audit Office finds that 700,000 pupils are currently learning in school buildings which need major rebuilding or refurbishment. The Department for Education (DfE) has listed the risk of a fatal building collapse as “critical and very likely” since 2021. The Department for Education has set up a call centre to encourage responses to a survey on reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete, a material described as “crumbly” and “liable to collapse” by the Office of Government Property.
Not only is there an estimated £2 billion shortfall in capital funding, securing it can also be a complex process for schools; 15% of schools eligible for further funding have made no applications since 2016.
This timely panel will bring together policy makers, school leaders and other education stakeholders to explore the condition of the education estate. It will consider how government, working with bodies such as local authorities, academy trusts, and dioceses, can now alleviate the risk of harm and ensure that children and young people are being educated in buildings that are fit for purpose, support pupil wellbeing and outcomes, and help deliver net zero.
We are delighted to welcome Al Murray, Capita Plc; Baroness Barran, Minister for the School System and Student Finance; Muyiwa Oki, RIBA and Paul Whiteman, NAHT to the panel. Jon Andrews, EPI’s Head of Analysis, will chair the session.
** Note: This event will take place in the conference secure zone. To access the secure zone you will need to obtain a pass directly from the Conservative Party.**