Details of how more than £6 billion will be invested in schools across England have been unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan today.
Improving the standard of school buildings so that pupils learn in high quality classrooms and teachers have access to the best facilities is a vital part of the government’s long term plan for education and will help build a stronger economy and a fairer society.
Nick Clegg and Nicky Morgan confirmed today that around £2 billion will be invested in rebuilding or refurbishing buildings at 277 schools across England, under the second phase of the government’s flagship Priority School Building Programme. 260 schools are already benefiting under the first phase of the programme, bringing the total number to receive a revamp to 537. Schools including Whitmore Park Primary in Coventry, Ian Ramsey Secondary School in Stockton, and Garston Manor Special School in Watford are now open following multi-million pound rebuilds.
Thanks to the Priority School Building Programme, school buildings are being rebuilt faster and cheaper than those built under the previous school building initiative – Building Schools for the Future (BSF). Under the BSF it took 3 years for construction work to begin. This was slashed to 1 year for the Priority School Building Programme, with projects costing around a third less.
As well as this continued investment to improve school buildings in the worst state through the Priority School Building Programme, the government has also published today details of how over £4 billion will be allocated between 2015 and 2018 to schools, local authorities, academy trusts, and voluntary-aided partnerships to help them improve the condition of schools across the country.
This 3-year commitment will not only give those responsible for schools more certainty but – thanks to more accurate targeting – the funding is now being provided where it is needed most according to the size and condition of schools.
Announcing details of the major £6 billion funding investment today, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
It is crucial that we invest properly in education, so that every child has a fair start in life. Thousands of pupils will benefit from better, brighter, warmer classrooms thanks to this funding.
Children can’t learn and teachers can’t teach in schools that are cold and have leaking roofs.
To create a stronger economy we have to invest in a fairer society so that our young people can be successful in the future.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:
As part of our long term economic plan, we have continued to invest in school buildings which will ensure we can deliver even more great new schools, transform the learning environment for tens of thousands of pupils and their teachers whilst delivering value for money for the taxpayer.
We’re also making sure, for the first time, that every local area can benefit from more funding certainty, so that local councils, academy trusts and voluntary-aided partnerships can plan ahead and make the right investment decisions that will deliver the best possible value for their schools.
This announcement is a major step towards ensuring all children no matter what their background and no matter where they live have access to the best possible schools and learn in an environment that gives them the knowledge and skills to succeed in the global race.
This major funding announcement comes on top of the £18 billion already invested in school buildings over the course of this Parliament.
Notes to editors
The Priority School Building Programme was established in 2011 to address the needs of those schools in the worst condition across the country.
The list of 261 successful schools for the first phase of the programme was announced in May 2012. This has since been revised to 260 school projects, after St Philip Howard Catholic Primary School in Kent was closed due to insufficient pupil demand in the local area.
Thanks to decisions which have been taken to improve efficiency and reduce waste in central school building programmes, significant work on those projects is already underway. As of 26 January 2015, 16 school buildings are already open, 55 are under construction and the remaining projects are well into the development or planning stages.
In May 2014 the government announced a further £2 billion for the second phase of the programme.
For more details please contact Peter Graham from the Deputy Prime Minister’s office on 020 7276 2546; Or Max Blain in the Department for Education on 020 7783 8685.