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239 Schools to be Renovated in Government Rebuilding Programme

239 Schools to be Renovated in Government Rebuilding Programme
16 December 2022
 

The Department for Education has added more sites to its ten-year programme of renovation projects for schools and sixth forms in England.

Buildings will be prioritised according to their condition, with old facilities replaced by new classrooms, sports halls and dining rooms. The criteria for prioritisation include buildings that have potential to cause significant harm to pupils and staff.

The first 50 schools to join the programme were announced in February 2021, and a further 50 in July 2021. Further funding for the programme post-2024-25 will be provided at the next spending review.

Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education, said: “Today’s announcement will transform hundreds of schools across the country and ensure they are fit for the future.

“The additional funding, alongside fantastic new facilities, will mean our brilliant teachers can get on with what they do best – and inspire the next generation.

 

239 Schools is “A Drop in the Ocean”

 

Reacting to the announcement, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union said: “The government’s announcement on the Schools Rebuilding Programme shows its poverty of ambition. The 239 schools included in the School Rebuilding Programme is a drop in the ocean compared with the actual number of schools which are in urgent need of rebuilds.

‘There are over 20,000 schools (22,012) in England. The idea that repairs to 239 schools is something to be trumpeted shows how far this government has lost touch with reality.”

‘Research by the TUC shows that the cost of retrofitting schools will run into billions of pounds, not including the costs of rebuilds and refurbishment.

The current annual budget for school building maintenance is £1.8 billion a year. The school's capital budget needs to stop being the poorest relation in education finance.

“Children and young people deserve to be taught in buildings that are fit for purpose and it is shocking that many are not. The Government must step up and provide more funding to stop the school's estate crumbling.”

Picture: a photograph of some school chairs arranged in lines in an auditorium. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 16 December 2022

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