Schools: RAAC - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:35 pm on 1 February 2024.

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Photo of Lord Addington Lord Addington Liberal Democrat 3:35, 1 February 2024

My noble friend’s comment suggests that I am being hopelessly optimistic in my assessment there; I look forward to hearing from him later.

Can we have some guidance from the Government showing that they will make sure that the Treasury helps the department, because that is where the money comes from? The current Prime Minister has been Chancellor. If he did not give money in the past, it is time to give it now—or to encourage his friend in Downing Street to ensure that there is enough money to deal with this issue. Its oncosts are incredibly high, not just for the establishment but for pupils and teachers in particular. This is where we should concentrate. I hope that, when the Minister replies to this short debate, we will get an idea of how that will be achieved. If we just move money within the estate—an estate that needs more repairs—we will not achieve it. We might not even deal with the RAAC problem—it will have gone—but there will be other problems. It is important that we make sure that the school estate is in better condition and that those working in it can function properly. This is the least we owe our pupils.

I hope that the Government will have a positive response for me, and will tell me that they are going to punch through and make sure that the Treasury coughs up. I do not expect that but I hope for it. I beg to move.