instagram envelope_alt facebook twitter search youtube_play whatsapp remove external_link loop2 arrow-down2

Boris Johnson pledges £1bn to fix up worst schools

Tent-ative return: St Paul’s school in Kent set up a marquee for socially distanced classes PICTURES: ST PAUL'S CHURCH OF ENGLAND/SWNS

FIFTY of the worst school buildings in the country will get a £1billion refit next year, Boris Johnson is expected to announce today.

The prime minister will pledge to start work on the most run-down sites in September 2021 as he launches a ten-year rebuilding programme.

Another £560million will go on repairs and upgrades to schools this year, with a further £200million for further education colleges.

‘As we bounce back from the pandemic, it’s important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission,’ Mr Johnson said.

‘This major new investment will make sure our schools and colleges are fit for the future, with better facilities and brand new buildings so that every child gets a world-class education.’

New guidance on social distancing in schools is also expected this week — as one primary school in Kent has resorted to tents to teach safely in lockdown.

Currently just those in Reception and Years 1 and 6 are required in class.

But St Paul’s primary in Swanley has seen some children from all years return already after fitting Portaloos and sinks — and teaching Year 5 in a giant marquee. ‘Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the measures,’ said headteacher Ben Hulme.

It comes after the PM said all pupils should be able to return in September.

But former Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw warned yesterday that online learning is ‘nowhere near adequate’ after it emerged nearly 2million children have done almost no work during lockdown.

‘Everyone involved in education needs to recognise that and put in large-scale recovery and remedial programmes,’ he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday.