To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2023 to Question 200806 on Schools: Buildings, what her Department's unallocated budget is for the 2023-24 financial year; and how much and what proportion of that unallocated budget has been ringfenced to support schools affected by reinfoced autoclaved aerated concrete.
The department will always put the safety and wellbeing of children and staff in education settings at the heart of its policy decisions.
The 2021 Spending Review announced a total of £19 billion of capital funding to support the education sector. As part of this, the department’s capital budget is £7 billion for 2023/24.
The department will spend what it takes to keep pupils safe and will fund emergency mitigation work needed to make school and college buildings with RAAC safe, including installing alternative classroom space where necessary. Where schools and colleges need additional help with revenue costs, the department expects all reasonable requests will be approved.
The department will fund refurbishment projects, or rebuilding projects where these are needed, to remove RAAC from the school estate. Schools and colleges will either be offered capital grants or rebuilding projects through the School Rebuilding Programme. The department will set out further details for affected schools and colleges in due course.
The department’s immediate support will be managed from unallocated departmental budgets. This will not have an impact on existing programmes. The department will provide further information about funding at relevant points in due course.
The department reviews how the capital budget is allocated on an ongoing basis and updates its annual budget via Parliament twice a year through the Main and Supplementary estimates process, which sets out the expected budget by area of spend.