£445m needed to fix East Yorkshire's 'crumbling' schools
MOBILE classrooms described by some pupils as "chicken huts" have been criticised by a review of outdated school buildings in the East Riding.
A special panel of councillors say £445 million of repairs are needed to bring them into the 21st century.
Councillor Kerri Harold, who will chair a scrutiny committee next week to consider the report, described the state of the region's outdated buildings as "shocking".
She said: "I was shocked at the state of many of the school buildings visited by the review panel.
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"We feel it is not acceptable for the children of the East Riding to be sitting in crumbling buildings with leaking roofs and windows that don't open or close properly and are well past their sell-by date."
A panel of councillors visited a cross-section of sites, including Hornsea School, where children refer to decades-old mobile classrooms as "chicken huts".
Cllr Harold said: "It has been a real eye-opener.
"We have kids being taught in classrooms resembling chicken huts. We have kids in classrooms where the windows won't open for fresh air.
"I don't feel there's any employer in the land that would subject their employees to working conditions like that yet we have East Riding pupils working daily in these conditions."
The East Riding was short- changed when the national Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme was halted.
Hull City Council was allocated £400 million under BSF to build schools but the East Riding missed out.
Cllr Harold said: "When you look at what is going on in Hull, it makes you feel really bitter that we missed out and have not had this type of investment in our schools.
"That kind of money is no longer available but we have to look at ways and means of finding money from different budgets.
"We have to look at new and innovative ways to raise funds.
"If schools have any surplus land, that could be something that could be considered as a way of reinvesting in school buildings."
Among worrying problems seen by the council's review panel were flat and leaking roofs at schools including Beverley's biggest secondary, Longcroft School and Performing Arts College.
Cramped classrooms, draughty windows, old heating systems, limited dining and cloakroom space and old toilet blocks were also witnessed in a tour of school sites.
The panel also saw a newly built technology college in Doncaster built with a reduced budget of £10.8 million in a pilot project.
But even a low-cost new-build appears beyond the reach of the East Riding, where the council's capital funding for schools this year is little over £7 million.
The review panel's report will be considered by the council's children and young people overview and scrutiny committee on Wednesday.