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Primary Education: Harrow

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Labour/Co-operative, Harrow West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received from (a) Harrow council and (b) other stakeholders on the financial costs incurred by Harrow Council as a result of the need to urgently move the location of Pinner Wood Primary School; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Harrow Borough Council officers contacted the Department’s officials in March 2017 when the issue of the temporary relocation of Pinner Wood Primary School occurred. The Department has received letters of support from my right hon. Friend, the Member for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner and my hon. Friend, the Member for Harrow East. No further exchanges have taken place with other parties.

The safety of pupils and staff is paramount, and Harrow Borough Council acted promptly and properly in discharging their statutory responsibilities for health and safety by moving the school to alternative accommodation.

Harrow Borough Council have submitted a request for funding to reimburse them for the costs incurred. As Pinner Wood Primary School is a local authority-maintained school, responsibility for maintenance and capital works rests with Harrow Borough Council. Harrow Borough Council receive capital funding through the School Condition Allocation to meet capital needs of their school estate, including the funding of emergency situations. Unexpected capital projects do arise occasionally, and we would normally expect local authorities to reprioritise spending plans wherever possible to address them.

The Department recognises the exceptional nature of this case. Officials are revisiting the details of the request and are committed to securing a contribution towards the temporary accommodation and transportation costs. We will notify Harrow Borough Council promptly as soon as this process is completed.

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