Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham, today visited 10 Downing Street with pupils and staff of Little Ilford School, Newham. Annette Henry and six year eleven pupils were invited to deliver a film – made by the school – to the Prime Minister about the devastating effect the cancelling of their Building Schools for the Future (BSF) funding will have.

After five years of planning, Little Ilford School – where Mr Timms was once Chair of Governors – were told in July that their school redevelopment would not be going ahead. The Government’s announcement that BSF was to be scrapped took place as contractors were on site drilling bore-holes ahead of building work at the end of the year and just days before the final planning application was to be approved and submitted. The school was hoping to become a centre of excellence, a seat of learning that delivered transformational change to Newham and form part of the legacy left by the Olympics.

Stephen Timms said after the visit: “The Building Schools for the Future programme was a source of hope for schools in Newham.  Labour improved school buildings across the borough and Building Schools for the Future was crucial for completing the job. This much needed funding would have ensured that the children of Little Ilford school would – for generations to come - be taught in modern, well equipped classrooms. Michael Gove’s announcement in July demonstrated how this Government has its priorities entirely wrong.”

Umer, 15, a year eleven pupil at Little Ilford School commented: “We are an outstanding school and we deserve an outstanding building.” 

Speaking about the visit, Andy Burnham, Labours Shadow Secretary for Education said: “Michael Gove’s scrapping of the Building School for Future program is disastrous news for the teachers, parents and pupils of Little Ilford School who – alongside thousands of others up and down the country – had been expecting this much-needed investment. It is a bitter blow for future generations in Newham and for a number of industries in the area that would have benefitted from this program.”

AuthorStephen Timms