CST criticises funding delay

By Keren David, July 16, 2009

The head of the Community Security Trust has voiced frustration at the delay in securing government funding for Jewish school security. Rules were changed in October 2007 to allow councils to allocate money from education budgets to help schools’ security costs, but none has been forthcoming.

CST chief executive Richard Benson said: “CST has had numerous meetings with Secretary of State for Children and Schools, Ed Balls, in order to find a way to turn sincere vocal support into a practical financial outcome. It has proved to be quite frustrating, because the actual funding process is highly complex and has little precedent.

“Nevertheless, CST will keep working very closely with each Jewish school in order to do all that we can to eventually achieve a positive outcome."

Mr Benson was speaking after Barnet Council passed a motion calling on the government to keep its promise of more cash for school security. Councillors from all parties backed a motion highlighting the risk to faith schools from race hate attacks.

Parents fund the £500,000 spent on security by the 10 voluntary aided schools in Barnet. A further £250,000 has been spent on CCTV and other security measures. The cross-communal JCoSS school opening in September 2010 faces a security bill of £1.3m.

No-one from the Department for Schools, Children and Families was available to comment.

Last updated: 11:16am, July 16 2009