Thomas Bridge 09 February 2015

Clegg confirms 277 schools set for £2bn refurbishment

Clegg confirms 277 schools set for £2bn refurbishment image

Ministers have announced a further 277 schools across England will be rebuilt under a multi-billion pound wave of refurbishment.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and education secretary Nicky Morgan said the £2bn second round of the Government’s flagship priority school building programme would be accompanied by a further £4bn of allocations over the next three years for councils, schools and academy trusts.

The Government anticipates the three year funding commitment will give those responsibly for schools more certainty and target sites most in-need of improvement.

Since the priority school building programme was launched in 2011 by then education secretary Michael Gove, only 16 of the 261 sites earmarked for refurbishment have opened while 55 are under construction.

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.’

Morgan added: ‘We’re 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.’

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
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