Government Announce New School Building Plans
|The government has announced a new school building fund, which will give money to 261 schools in England.
A total of 587 applied for the cash from the Priority School Building Programme, aimed at rebuilding the most dilapidated schools.
The scheme replaces Labour's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which was cancelled by the Education Secretary Michael Gove.
The BSF programme had been expected to cost £55bn and was set up under Labour, who pledged to rebuild every secondary school in England.
Mr Gove had described it as wasteful and over-bureaucratic.
After scrapping it, he set up a review of all school building plans, which reported in April 2011. One key recommendation was a new survey of the condition of all schools in England.
Applications for the Priority School Building Programme had to be submitted by mid-October 2011 - and schools had expected to hear if they had been successful in December 2011.
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The scheme, which has a £2bn budget for five years, was heavily oversubscribed.
n a written statement to the House of Commons, Mr Gove said 42 schools were being prioritised because they were in greatest need. These were those in the worst condition or special schools, he said.
"In tackling the challenges we face on school building I have been determined to use the capital funding at my disposal to best effect, seeking value for money and efficiency from every pound spent," his statement said.
"I recognise that many of the schools that applied and have been unsuccessful will also have significant condition needs.
"Some of those will have their needs addressed through the other funding we have made available for maintenance. Where that is not the case, I will use the information from the national programme of surveys we are currently conducting to ensure that, subject to funds available in the next spending review period, those schools which need renovation will have their needs addressed as quickly as possible."
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