The prime minister has announced a transformative ten-year school rebuilding programme supported by over £1bn in funding
Schools across England are set for a transformative ten-year rebuilding programme under new plans to be set out by Boris Johnson today (29 June).
Representing the first major rebuilding programme to be launched since 2014, schools will benefit from substantial additional investment.
Schools and colleges will also receive funding this year to refurbish buildings in order to continue raising standards across the country.
The rebuilding programme will start in 2020-21 with the first 50 projects. Further details of the new, ten-year construction programme will be set out at the next Spending Review.
Investment will be targeted at school buildings in the worst condition across England – including substantial investment in the North and the Midlands – as part of the prime minister’s plan to level up opportunity for all.
Lay the foundations
Prime minister Boris Johnson, said: “All children deserve the best possible start in life – regardless of their background or where they live.
“As we bounce back from the pandemic, it’s important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission.
“This major new investment will make sure our schools and colleges are fit for the future, with better facilities and brand new buildings so that every child gets a world-class education.”
Rebuilding projects will be greener, helping meet the government’s net-zero target, and will focus on modern construction methods to create highly skilled jobs and boost the construction sector.
Prioritise school investment
Investment in schools will be prioritised on the basis of buildings’ condition and further details of the programme, including the approach to eligibility will be confirmed following the Spending Review.
The £560m for school repairs and upgrades comes on top of over £1.4bn in school condition funding already committed in 2020-21.
The £200m for FE colleges this year brings forward plans announced by the chancellor at Spring Budget this year for £1.5bn of investment over five years to transform the FE college estate.
This fast tracked activity will further support the government’s wider plans to protect jobs and incomes and drive forward the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
Access is ‘essential’ for social infrastructure
Commenting on the announcement, Steve Beechey, group strategy director and education lead at Wates, said: “We very much welcome today’s announcement from the Prime Minister regarding the new ten-year school rebuilding programme which will see more than £1bn in funding pumped into the sector.
“It is this scale of commitment and focus on the next generation that will make a huge impact in boosting the economy post Covid, and enable us to deliver much needed investment into local communities across the UK.
“Long term planning is exactly what is needed to upgrade our schools estate and this decade-long initiative will deliver valuable jobs, educational facilities and community hubs in the areas that need it most.
“We also welcome the government’s commitment to greener, more sustainable buildings delivered using Modern Methods of Construction such as offsite manufacturing, which we provide from our award-winning purpose built facility in the Midlands.
“To echo Mr Johnson’s words, access to the best possible education is essential to our social infrastructure, in order for young people to grow, thrive and make their own positive impact on the world.”