Schools: Sheffield Hallam

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Jared O'Mara Jared O'Mara Independent, Sheffield, Hallam

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to increase the level infrastructure spending on schools in Sheffield Hallam constituency.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department’s priorities for investment in the school estate are to ensure there are enough school places and that the school estate is safe.

The Department has committed £7 billion to deliver new school places between 2015-2021, on top of the investment in the free school programme.

Local authorities are under a statutory duty to ensure that there is a school place available for every child. Sheffield received £95.5 million to provide new school places from 2011-2018 and has been allocated a further £22 million from 2018-2021. Funding for school places is based on local authorities’ own data on school capacity and pupil forecasts. There is, therefore, no shortfall between the number of places funded and those that councils say they need to create.

Since 2015, the Department has allocated £6 billion in condition funding to those responsible for maintaining school buildings across the country. Included within this, Sheffield local authority receives an annual school condition allocation to invest in maintenance priorities across its schools. In 2018-19, they received £2.7 million and voluntary aided (VA) schools in the area were allocated £210,000.

Maintained schools in Sheffield also received their own direct capital allocations totalling £2 million in 2018-19 and £109,000 for VA schools. This includes their allocation from the additional £400 million of capital funding announced at Budget 2018. These figures do not include academies, which receive separate funding.

In addition, the Priority School Building Programme is rebuilding or refurbishing buildings in the worst condition at over 500 schools across England, including 4 schools in Sheffield City Council’s area.

The Department is collecting updated data on the condition of the school estate in England which is due to be completed in autumn 2019 and will help inform future funding policy. The Department will also continue to look carefully at capital funding in preparation for the next Spending Review, along with all its priorities for the education system.

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