Education secretary unveils £2.4bn school estate boost

3 Apr 17

Schools across England will receive £2.4bn towards extra places and building upgrades, education secretary Justine Greening has announced today.

The cash allocation is part of more than £24bn the government has committed to investing in the school estate between 2015-2021.

Today’s funding allocation announcement is part of the government’s drive to create more than 600,000 extra places by 2021.

Councils will get £980m in 2019-20 to create over 60,000 school places – this is part of a wider investment of £7bn in the course of this Parliament.

Schools, local authorities and academy trusts will also receive a share of £1.4bn to invest in upgrading or improving their school buildings.

Academies and sixth form colleges will get a total of £466m to pay for 1,435 “vital” school building work projects.

Education secretary Justine Greening said: “Our Plan for Britain is to build a fairer society, with a good school place available for every child.

“This £2.4bn investment, together with our proposals to create more good school places, will help ensure every young person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”  

In addition to this multi-billion pound investment, the government is considering other plans to improve school standards.

This includes proposals to lift the ban on creating grammar schools – on the strict condition they improve the education of other pupils in the system – as well as harnessing the expertise and resources of the UK’s universities, and independent and faith schools. 

Last week the Public Accounts Committee published a report slamming Whitehall for failing to understand the financial pressures faced by head teachers.

The PAC report branded the governments cost-saving programme for schools as “dangerous”.

Government figures show primary and secondary schools will need to provide more than 230,000 extra places between 2017 and 2020.

This comes on top of almost 735,000 additional school places already created since 2010.

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