Schools: Buildings

Department for Education written question – answered on 18th October 2021.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to review the school buildings capital fund to ensure that schools with sustained structural and building challenges can be prioritised.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the capital budget of faith-based schools when they are ringfenced within holding budgets.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to take steps to secure future capital funding for All Saints Roman Catholic School in York to enable a new build school.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

The department is aware of the condition issues facing the All Saints Roman Catholic School. The former Minister for the School System, my noble Friend, Baroness Berridge, met with the hon. member for York Central, as well as representatives from the school, the Diocese of Middlesbrough and York City Council in June to discuss this matter, and a capital adviser from the department visited the school in July to understand the condition need of the school. My noble Friend, the Minister for the School System, will also write to the hon. member for York Central to cover the issues in more detail.

Overall, the department allocated £1.8 billion in funding in 2021-22 to maintain and improve school condition. Local authorities, large multi academy trusts and large voluntary-aided bodies receive a School Condition Allocation to invest in priorities across the schools for which they are responsible.

Our aim for this condition funding is to ensure that responsible bodies receive a fair share of the available budget that takes into account their relative investment needs. The funding methodology for 2021-22 has been updated with the latest data from the school Condition Data Collection, which provides a high-level assessment of the relative condition of state funded schools. We expect responsible bodies to use their own detailed condition reports and knowledge to prioritise investment across their schools to address condition issues, including structural issues.

The Diocese of Leeds and the Diocese of Middlesbrough received a combined School Condition Allocation of £3,112,383 in 2021-22 to invest in improving the condition of their schools.

All Saints Roman Catholic School also received a Devolved Formula Capital payment of £32,247 in 2021-22 to spend on their capital priorities.

Over and above condition allocations, the department has also launched a new School Rebuilding Programme with a commitment to 500 projects over the next decade and has already announced the first 100 schools. We are consulting on how we will prioritise future places on the School Rebuilding Programme, and we welcome views from those with an interest in how the condition of the school estate is maintained and funded, including bodies responsible for school buildings. The department encourages All Saints Roman Catholic School, the diocese of Middlesbrough and York City Council to take part in the consultation and share their views on the future prioritisation of projects for the programme.

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