As many local residents will know, Marjorie McClure is an Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ school and a real asset to our community. It helps young people with some of the most profound and complex problems, and has an excellent track record of instilling in its pupils a confidence to overcome their barriers to success and lead independent, fulfilling lives.
Unfortunately, it faces a number of challenges in that its 1970s-built premises are no longer fit for purpose, particularly considering that the advances in equipment, especially those to assist mobility, mean there is increasingly less and less classroom space for students.
In February 2015 the school was successful in securing additional funding as part of the Priority Schools Building Programme 2, a £4.4 billion scheme set up to address the needs of schools most requiring urgent repair. Over two years on however, Marjorie McClure has only just received its first visit from the Education Funding Agency – the organisation responsible for funding this work – during which they carried out initial scoping studies.
This is something I wrote to the Education Secretary, Justine Greening, about in October, pushing for the work at the school to be expedited given its unique set of circumstances. Having visited the school on 10 March to discuss the renovation plans with its pupils and staff, including Mrs James-Mason, its excellent Head, I urged the relevant Minister again in Parliament to accelerate the refurbishment of the school. My question, and the Minister’s response, can be found here:
I hope that in doing so, the importance of this work will be recognised by the Department for Education. I will, of course, continue to push for real, lasting improvements for Marjorie McClure over the coming months, posting any updates whenever I can.