PRIMARY school pupils have written letters to the Prime Minister telling him their school will be too cold this winter.

Children at Rose Hill Primary School have penned personal messages to David Cameron asking for more money to improve their classrooms.

Back in February the Oxford Mail revealed that the pupils had been forced to wear coats, hats and scarves as temperatures in some classrooms fell below the legal limit of 18C.

The old classrooms in the Key Stage 2 area of the school lacked modern insulation and only had single-glazed windows, resulting putting significant strain on the boiler, and causing the heating bill to rocket.

According to the school, bills during the winter exceeded £3,000 a month.

Now staff fear they face another cold winter in the Year 5 classrooms because Oxfordshire County Council doesn’t have enough money to replace all the windows.

The county council has been given £400,000 to replace the roof of the classrooms in the Key Stage 2 area and the windows in two out of 12 classrooms.

County council spokesman Owen Morton said: “The work will improve the building’s insulation and should help ensure the heating system can maintain temperatures at required levels.”

Headteacher Sue Vermes said: “We can’t really fault the council as it is working under a very strict budget. The main problem is it hasn’t been given enough money by the Government to replace the windows.”

But Ms Vermes said: “It could make a difference, but the Year 5 classrooms won’t be getting new windows.

“That’s been our main issue. The heat just flows out of the windows.

“The fabric of our school building is one of the worst in the county.

“There are a lot of children who come to this school who have deprived families.

“We are doing our best to get high attainment, but without the facilities it’s not a level playing field.”

She said only £25,000 of the renovation budget will go on replacing windows in the classrooms.

It would cost an extra £200,000 to replace all the windows in the dilapidated part of the school.

Mr Morton admitted that the council’s budget did not allow them to replace all the windows, instead two classrooms have been “prioritised as being in the poorest state of repair”. County councillor and cabinet member for business and customer services Nick Carter said: “All maintenance and repair work in Oxfordshire, as elsewhere in the country, has to be prioritised according to the competing demands of schools and within available budgets – and clearly national funding for this work is limited at present.

“In an ideal world we would be able to carry out more extensive maintenance projects but we are confident that the work planned at Rose Hill will help create a muchimproved environment for teaching and learning.”

In 2010 the school was going to receive a complete rebuild as part of the Building Schools For The Future programme, but after the coalition Government came into power the programme wascrapped.


  • Ten-year-old Mujahid Rahman wrote: “Dear David Cameron, “I am writing to you to tell you that we are grateful to be part of our school, Rose Hill Primary, and how lucky we are to learn here. We get to do lots of fun activities that other children do not get. Although we have a great school community we also have a critical problem. Our dilapidated building is terribly damaged and we quickly need it replaced. Without money to fix it, we won’t be getting the education we deserve.”
  • Ten-year-old Shannon Barrett wrote: “Dear David Cameron, “I am writing to tell you how proud I am to be a part of Rose Hill Primary School. Despite the fact that we are offered many wonderful things like outdoor learning, Latin, brass, an art room and many other opportunities that other children do not have the advantage of. But our school building is underfunded, unsafe and falling apart.”

In response to the Oxford Mail, the Department for Education said it was the “council’s responsibility”

to maintain buildings.

But funding has been cut from the Government department in recent years.

Between April 2014 and March 2015 the department gave the council £8.8m in funding, but as of this year the county council only receives £5.1m a year, a reduction of 45 per cent.

Teacher Peter Mallam, 31, said: “The children are incredibly bright but their building is letting them down. The letters are written from the heart.”

The school aims to hand letters to Mr Cameron at Downing Street.

The PM did not respond to our requests for a comment.