Pupils lobby for school funding

Todmorden High School students lobbied Nicky Morgan for essential funding for their school.
Todmorden High School students lobbied Nicky Morgan for essential funding for their school.

Pupils from Todmorden High School issued a desperate plea to the government to rebuild their school.

Towards the end of the school year, every pupil at the school took the time to write a letter to Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, to lobby for national funding for a full rebuild of their school.

The school, thought to be one of the worst conditioned schools in the Calder Valley, has been promised funding for a new building over the last decade.

But changes in the political landscape meant this essential funding never materialised. In autumn 2014, the school and local authority put forward a bid for funding through the ‘Priority Schools Building Fund 2’ framework, but once again missed out.

While the local authority has committed to spending £5m on a new building for the school, the school say this will only be enough funding to replace part of the school.

Headteacher, Andrew Whitaker, said “Todmorden High School is a community school and we have a wonderful cohort of well-mannered students who all have very high aspirations.

“All adults associated with the school are committed to ensuring that we become an outstanding school and the quality of our building will not stop this from happening.

“In saying this, we do find it increasingly difficult to deliver a modern curriculum in a school where facilities and resources have not been updated, in many cases, since the school was built.

“We are committed to securing the very best education for our community, it is now time for the Government to recognise that our students also deserve much better facilities and resources.”

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker, said: “Obtaining the funding which Todmorden High needs remains an absolute priority for me and I will not stop lobbying ministers and civil servants until we receive the money that the school requires. Since the General Election I have had two meetings about funding – one with the Education Secretary and the other with her Special Advisors. I am also due to meet the Chancellor after the summer recess to discuss this very issue.

“I commend the students for having the initiative to write to the Secretary of State and I’m sure that they will have been able to convey how much the school requires this funding and the benefits that this will bring,” added Mr Whittaker.