Schools: Buildings

Department for Education written question – answered at on 21 March 2023.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of funding allocated to the maintenance and renewal of school buildings in the last five years.

Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps she has taken to ensure adequate funding is available to ensure the safety of school buildings.

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

Well maintained, safe school buildings are a priority for the Department. Over £9 billion has been allocated between the 2018/19 and 2022/23 financial years for keeping schools safe and operational and improving the condition of the school estate, including £1.8 billion in 2022/23. These allocations are informed by consistent data on the condition of schools.

The figure for 2022/23 includes annual School Condition Allocations for Local Authorities, larger multi academy trusts and larger voluntary aided (VA) school bodies to prioritise improving the condition of their schools. It also includes funding for the Condition Improvement Fund, into which smaller and single academy trusts, small VA bodies and sixth form colleges can bid for specific capital projects each year, and Devolved Formula Capital allocated to each school to spend on their own capital priorities. The Department provided an additional £447 million to schools in 2022/23 for capital works, prioritising energy efficiency.

In 2020 the Department announced the School Rebuilding Programme, with a commitment to transform buildings at 500 schools and sixth form colleges over the next decade, prioritising those in the worst condition and with evidence of potential safety issues. 400 schools have been announced to date, including 239 last December.

Where the Department is alerted to significant safety issues with a building that cannot be managed with local resources, additional support is provided on a case by case basis.

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