Leaks, mould, falling ceilings

Children shouldn’t be studying in these conditions.

Leaks, mould, falling ceilings: children shouldn’t be studying in these conditions.

At this secondary school, leaks are a daily occurance. 

Severe water damage has resulted in peeling paint, growth of mould and a fallen ceiling that nearly hit a member of staff. 

This story isn’t an exception to the rule. According to the NEU State of Education survey, a staggering 68% of teachers are working in buildings that are suffering from leaks from the rain. 

One in ten teachers have described this as a severe issue — rain leaks have caused ceilings to fall in, mould and fungus to grow, and fire escapes to be closed off. 

One teacher recounted:

In my previous school, my classroom flooded every time it rained. I had to mop it up as there was nobody else to do it. It got so bad the floor lifted and the door swelled so we couldn’t open it. It was the fire escape.”

Another stated,

Two years ago, the ceiling fell in my classroom after some heavy rain. It was lucky this happened in the middle of the night or people, including me, would have been seriously injured.”

In some schools it has gotten so bad that learning environments have become defined by the leaks. At one school, one of the classrooms is called ‘The Leaky Room,’ where rain flooding has damaged learning resources and exercise books. 

Russel Scott Primary School in Manchester has been having similar challenges. As the head, Steve Marsland explains here, pupils are having to learn surrounded by buckets and dribbling walls. The carpets and bookcases of the school have repeatedly had to be completely ripped out. 

Leaking buildings are just one of the multiple challenges facing school buildings all over the country. And this isn’t happening by chance. 

Over the last 14 years, 70% of schools in England have faced real term funding cuts. Fixing a leaking roof here, or replacing a waterlogged carpet there is not going to cut it. We need all schools to be funded properly so they can maintain their buildings to the standards our children deserve to be taught in. 

That’s why we’re asking party leaders to commit £4.4 billion for school buildings and facilities this year. That would bring us in line with the amount The Office of Government Property has calculated is needed to maintain the school estate in line with best practice.

Find out about school cuts at your school: https://schoolcuts.org.uk/