William Eichler 28 October 2019

Whitehall launches £400m improvement fund for academies

Academies and sixth form colleges across England can now bid for a share of a multi-million pound fund to help improve facilities, the Government has announced.

The fund can be used by academies and sixth form colleges to expand classrooms, upgrade facilities such as sports halls or science labs, and address issues with the general wear and tear of school buildings.

This year applications will be subject to new criteria which will favour bids from schools with good governance and organised finances.

The Department for Education’s announcement follows the prime minister’s statement confirming the budget for schools and high needs education would be increased by a total of over £14bn over three years, rising to £52.2bn by 2022-23.

The website School Cuts has calculated that this ‘falls short’ of what schools require to compensate for a decade of cuts. They argue that for 83% of schools, the funding crisis continues next year.

‘This Government is determined to give all children the best possible education, but as well as great teachers, we want all pupils to learn in classrooms that enable them to gain the knowledge and skills they need for success,’ said education secretary Gavin Williamson.

‘Following our huge investment in school funding with an increase of a total of £14bn over three years, this year’s multi-million-pound fund will support our pledge to create more good school places and continue raising standards.’

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