High school building is the worst I've seen, says shadow schools secretary

A LEADING Conservative politician has described the Calder High School building as one of the worst he had seen.

Shadow Secretary of State for Schools Michael Gove visited the Mytholmroyd school and met Calder High deputy head Chris Sylge and Todmorden High's head teacher Patrick Ottley-O'Connor.

The visit gave them a chance to tell him about the problems facing their schools.

Mr Gove also met the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Calder Valley Craig Whittaker.

Mr Gove said: "It's precisely schools like this, where the buildings are holding back progress, which deserve extra cash.

"I cannot make any promises but the future direction of the capital budget by the Conservatives will be all about helping these schools where investment will really make an improvement and raise standards."

During a tour of the school, he said: "This is one of the worst schools I have seen in terms of fabric."

Mr Ottley-O'Connor said: "The fact is that the building can limit students' ability to fly high. The quality of your building and the limitations that places on them can clip their wings."

Calderdale Council chiefs have stated rebuilding Calder High and Todmorden High was a top priority.

Mr Ottley-O'Connor said: "Calderdale has set its clear priorities for education and we're pleased that the priorities of Todmorden and Calder High have been recognised in that.

Mr Sylge said: "I was pleased that a shadow minister came to see for himself the state of the infrastructure that we work in."

Mr Whittaker said: "It is sad that areas like Calderdale, which do extremely well academically, have suffered by not receiving funding for these two schools, which are clearly long past their sell-by dates."