Candidate says MP ‘voted to keep parents in the dark’ about crumbling schools

Filton parliamentary candidate Claire Hazelgrove has criticised MP Jack Lopresti for voting to ‘keep parents in the dark’ about ‘crumbling’ local schools

Official data from the Department of Education showed that there are at least 32 schools in the Filton and Bradley Stoke constituency with buildings in “poor” or “bad” condition, meaning that they require urgent repairs. But local families have not been told the scale of disrepair or when the buildings would be fixed.

In May, the Labour Party tried to force the publication of information about the true state of England’s 24,000 school buildings almost two years after the School Buildings Condition Survey revealed “alarming” problems within the school estate but still without the detail about which schools.

Mr Lopresti was among 289 Conservative MPs who voted against Labour’s motion to uncover this data and share it with families, meaning it was rejected.

Ms Hazelgrove said Mr Lopresti had “voted to keep parents in the dark” about the extent of disrepair in local schools.

The repairs needed are not thought to include the current at-risk concrete seeing a number of schools closing around the country.

An internal government report leaked to the Observer newspaper in May 2022 revealed that school buildings in England are now in such disrepair they posed a “risk to life”.

The Department for Education subsequently raised the risk of school buildings collapsing from “critical” to “critical – very likely” in its annual report in December 2022, after an increase in serious structural issues were reported.

Ms Hazelgrove said: “Despite assurances given to Labour in Parliament that further data detailing the precise condition of individual buildings would be published by the end of 2022, the Schools Minister backtracked, refusing to give a date for publication when questioned in the House of Commons earlier this year.

“The Conservatives have failed to get to grips with the crumbling state of school buildings.

“The current Conservative MP had a choice: show he’s on the side of local parents, or a failed government that wants to keep families in the dark about the safety of local school buildings.

“Shockingly, he voted for the latter.”

Mr Lopresti said: “As a father of three grown-up children who have benefitted greatly from excellent education in South Gloucestershire, I am proud to say from 2019 when the Conservatives won the last local election, schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted increased from 79% to 94%.

“Since I was elected in 2010, we have seen the rebuild of Winterbourne Academy and Abbey Wood Community School. I have personally campaigned successfully for the funding to rebuild Patchway Community School which I am delighted to see has come to fruition with it set to open to pupils in Spring 2026.

“In addition to hard work and academic excellence, I am proud to report that none of our local schools have been affected by the unsafe RAAC and our children’s education will not be disrupted in anyway as a result.”