private schools in Britain and America had been getting “handouts”
Thanks to Rishi Sunak’s $3 million donation, students at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) in California are enjoying life.
In contrast, UK schools are at risk of collapsing.
Described as one of the United States’ top liberal arts colleges, CMC attracts students from across the globe and counts Mr Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty among its alumni.
The college charges $86,500 (£69,000) per year for fees and board.
In 2018, the PM and his wife donated $3 million (£2.4 million) to CMC, with the funds used to pay for a high-tech computer room that has been named the ‘Murty Sunak Quantitative and Computing Lab’ and avails of chairs costing a reported $811 (£650).
Buildings are inspired by architect Rafael Vinoly, containing outdoor terraces, fountained courtyards and “natural, light-infused interior spaces”.
But on the other hand, a number of schools in the UK have been forced to close because they are at risk of collapsing.
The 69-acre CMC is located on a scenic, tree-lined residential campus.
It is also equipped with an Aquatics centre, an athletics stadium and several pitches for baseball, football, golf practice and tennis.
CMC, which had an endowment market value of $1.1 billion (£900 million) in June 2022, completed the construction of the Kravis Centre in 2011.
The Sunak and Murty Lab is located in the Kravis Centre, which is a five-level, 162,000-square-foot academic and administrative facility with “sunny terraces and breathtaking views of the Claremont Colleges” and mountains.
CMC is part of a seven-college consortium modelled on Oxford University, where students have the “best of both worlds” due to the” intimacy of its residential college with small classes”.
Students benefit from a student-to-faculty ratio of eight to one and can study a range of courses.
Mrs Murty studied economics and French as an undergraduate at the college and has been on the college’s board of trustees since 2011.
Rishi Sunak faced backlash when it emerged in June 2023 that he made the donation.
It was three years after he became Richmond MP and it was a time when UK schools struggled to afford basic supplies after having their budgets slashed.
It was reported that Leyburn Primary, located in Mr Sunak’s constituency, had to put on a family fun day to raise money for IT equipment.
Labour said it was “absolutely staggering” that private schools in Britain and America had been getting “handouts” from our “out of touch prime minister” while UK schools struggled.
It was previously reported that Ms Murty donated £100,000 to her husband’s old private school, Winchester College, which charged fees of £45,936 per annum for the 2022/23 academic year.
Mr Sunak now faces criticism for his handling of the Raac (Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) scandal.
Over 100 schools were forced to shut or partially close due to safety concerns about the building material, which has a lifespan of 30 years before it starts to deteriorate and collapse.
Labour claimed that Mr Sunak was “directly responsible”, accusing him of cutting school rebuilding budgets while he was chancellor.
He was accused of approving the rebuilding of 50 schools but rejecting applications for 200 more.
A former Department for Education employee also accused Mr Sunak of cutting budgets, claiming he was warned of a critical risk to life from crumbling schools.
Mr Sunak said it was “completely and utterly wrong’’ to suggest that he is to blame for failing to fully fund a programme to rebuild England’s schools when he was chancellor.
A government source said: “The PM and his wife give money to a wide range of philanthropic causes and charities.”