Ed Balls, fresh from his unsuccessful campaign to be Labour party leader, has said the Government must “think again” about its decision to scrap the construction of new schools in the UK.
Addressing his party’s conference in Manchester, the shadow education secretary told delegates: “Our children are worth it.”
Labour’s £55bn Building Schools for the Future programme was scrapped by Education Secretary Michael Gove in July, ending a plan to refurbish or build 700 schools around the country. Balls criticised Gove’s decision, adding that he believed it was not too late for the minister to change his mind.
Balls said: “Because of Michael Gove’s short-sighted and arbitrary and unfair decision to scrap the Building Schools for the Future programme, over 700,000 children in 700 schools up and down our country will now not be getting the new school building they were promised.
“In Sandwell and Liverpool and Nottingham and Brent and Wakefield and in 80 local authorities round the country, Michael Gove has now told hundreds of thousands of children: sorry but you are not worth it.
“And that is why I was proud to stand this summer with the NASUWT and the NUT and ATL and Unison and GMB and Unite and UCATT and parents, governors and teachers from around the country at the Save Our Schools rally to say to Michael Gove: Think again. Change your mind. Our children are worth it.”