David Cameron and Nick Clegg visited the popular Corpus Christi Roman Catholic primary school today to announce a £1 billion investment in schools at the same time as they are announcing billions of pounds to be cut in welfare in the UK.
The investment will provide funding for new school places in areas which most need it over the next two years. It will support the expansion of existing schools as well as the establishment of new free schools and Academies.
Pupils at Corpus Christi were allowed to question Cameron and Clegg on anything they wanted. They were quizzed on a variety of subjects, including “how many people watch you on TV everyday?”, “what football team do you support?” and “do you enjoy your job?”, to which Cameron replied “it has its ups and downs.”
Chuka Umunna MP tweeted after the event: “PM visited Corpus Christi School in my constituency today to boast of schools investment after massively cutting investment since 2010….” and “2 of the secondary schls in my constituency had their BSF projects cancelled and most have had their capital funding cut thanks to this govt”.
He later stated: “If Nick Clegg and David Cameron wanted to see a high performing, excellent local school in action, Corpus Christi in Brixton is a shining example of just that. However, their photo-op today at Corpus Christi can’t paper over the fact that they have subjected schools in this constituency to huge cuts since they took office, undermining investment in the future of our children.”
Last week, the Lambeth National Union of Teachers held a conference to discuss the future of education in the borough as cuts set in. In a piece on the Brixton Blog, a spokesperson for Lambeth NUT said: “free schools are not accountable to local communities, they are often set up in areas where there is no shortage of places, and many refuse to share information about their admissions policy or how they are performing – keeping parents in the dark and unable to make informed choices.”
Lambeth council has recently expanded Stockwell Primary School and plans to do the same to Sudbourne in Brixton.
This post was updated on Tuesday December 4 at 10.50pm