Rishi Sunak claps back at an ex civil servant who was laid off over Covid big crisis after he said the Prime Minister cut school renovations in half

Rishi Sunak claps back at an ex civil servant who was laid off over Covid big crisis after he said the Prime Minister cut school renovations in half

Former civil servant Jonathan Slater, who was dismissed over the Covid A-level controversy, has criticized Rishi Sunak for cutting school repairs funding. Slater, who served as the permanent secretary at the Department for Education from 2016 to 2020, claimed that the Treasury failed to adequately fund school rebuilding projects, including during Sunak’s tenure as chancellor. He expressed surprise that the decision to halve the school rebuilding program was made after he left the department. Slater argued that up to 400 schools per year needed replacement but only received funding for 100 during his tenure. However, the number was subsequently reduced to 50 per year. Rishi Sunak defended the decision, stating it aligned with past practices.

Jonathan Slater’s departure in 2020 came in the wake of the A-levels fiasco, where grading was initially determined by an algorithm and later revised based on teacher estimates. Boris Johnson, then Prime Minister, believed fresh leadership was necessary in the Department for Education. Slater received a £278,000 payout for his departure.

Recent concerns have arisen about flawed RAAC concrete used in schools, with some institutions ordered to close parts of their facilities due to fears of structural issues. Experts have criticized the use of RAAC, stating it was not suitable for permanent buildings. The collapse of Singlewell primary school in 2018 raised concerns about the material’s safety.

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