Schools in urgent need of repairs and rebuilding will receive a share of £10 billion from the Treasury to help complete the Priority School Building Programme two years ahead of schedule, the government has announced. A total of 261 schools are listed on the programme, which replaced the £52 billion Building Schools for the Future scheme after it was scrapped by the coalition in 2010.
Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander told the Commons on June 27th that around 150 projects are due to start a year earlier than planned, with the programme to be completed by 2017. Additionally, the government promised to create one million more school places in England over the next decade to combat the rising birth rate, which is taking its toll on available primary school places – potentially encouraging parents to investigate home schooling alternatives.
“There are many other schools in need of repair and investment,” said Mr Alexander. “We will put £10bn behind this, enough to clear the urgent backlog, and we are investing too to create one million new places in a decade, across the country, including in Lancashire, Leeds and London.”
Earlier in the week, the Department for Education announced that school spending will be protected in real terms in future, and 180 more free schools are due to be created in 2015-16.