MORE than £7m is needed to bring some of Barnsley’s deteriorating schools back to the satisfactory level - but just over £600,000 in government funding will be used over the next year to tackle the issues.

The Department for Education announced last month that Barnsley Council would provisionally receive a total of £637,000 from its School Condition Allocation (SCA) capital grant.

The funding will be used to address urgent building condition defects, including health and safety and safeguarding measures across the maintained school estate, early years settings, and family centres.

A report, which will be discussed by Barnsley Council’s ruling cabinet members next week, shows that a total of £7.141m is needed to ensure the school buildings are up to scratch.

A total of £2.783m of that is high priority, meaning it must be completed within the next 18 months.

Whilst £3.352m is needed for medium priority work and £1m for low priority schemes.

However, the government funding means the council will be unable to tackle a large portion of the issues - leaving bosses to admit those schools with lower priority issues will likely become high risk in the near future.

The report said: “The available funding will be insufficient to deal with the high priority items. It is therefore highly unlikely that any medium priority items will be addressed within this period.

“Increasing costs for materials and labour mean that, although SCA funds are used to address high priority issues, the total value of the condition backlog does not necessarily decrease year on year.

“Given that we have insufficient funds to tackle medium and low priority concerns, the condition of these will continue to deteriorate and they will become high and medium priorities in their own right.

“Discussions have been held nationally with the DfE regarding the state of England’s maintained school estate.

“While Barnsley has a significant backlog, its estate is in generally better condition than some other areas of the country and so will attract less funding.”

Cabinet members will next week sign off on a total of £651,000 of work to support a number of primary schools.

This includes £92,000 for roofing works at Brierley CE Primary School, £25,000 on lighting at Millhouse Primary and £50,000 on replacement heating works at Oxspring Primary.

Oxspring, Summer Lane, Thurgoland and Gawber primary schools are also set to benefit through a boiler replacement programme.

The report states their boilers - all of which are 20 years or older - will be replaced with modern gas boilers with better energy efficiency ratings.

It added: “The schemes identified within the 2024-25 school condition programme have been identified to address urgent condition defects and enhance provisions at a number of schools in Barnsley.

“Installing low energy lighting, replacing inefficient boilers, improving insulation, creation of accessible play spaces and use of local supply chains will all have positive impacts for Barnsley.

“The current costs identified within the report are based on estimated prices.

“Until actual tendered prices have been received, there is a risk that scheme costs could change.

“This risk can be partially mitigated through use of the health and safety allocation or through suspension of some schemes into future years where safe to do so.”