Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Thursday, November 11, 1999 Published at 05:08 GMT


Blunkett gives heads cash for repairs

David Blunkett is to announce £50m to replace temporary classrooms

Schools in England are being given greater independence over spending on repairs and improving buildings.

The Education Secretary, David Blunkett, has said that a £200m fund will be passed directly to headteachers for commissioning repairs to crumbling classrooms and for modernising facilities.

[ image: Gordon Brown announced additional money for school repairs in his Pre-Budget statement]
Gordon Brown announced additional money for school repairs in his Pre-Budget statement
These funds for capital expenditure will now side-step local education authorities and will allow schools to spend the money on whatever they feel is most appropriate.

He said: "We are giving schools something most have never had before - the chance to make decisions about the upkeep and improvement of their buildings.

"I have every confidence that heads, who are best placed to spot the most needy repairs, will spend this extra funding wisely."

Mr Blunkett also detailed how the extra funding for education announced by the chancellor in his pre-budget report on Tuesday is to be spent.

There is £50m for replacing temporary classrooms in 500 schools.

£5.5bn to modernise school buildings

Another £100m for modernising schools will be in the form of credits for local education authorities' private finance initiative schemes.

In his speech to the House of Commons, Gordon Brown promised that five million pupils in 15,000 schools would have benefited from the government's plans for modernising schools by 2002.

The chancellor's £100m for PFI credits is in addition to the £5.4bn already announced by the government for school modernisation.

This covers such projects as repairing classrooms, fixing leaking roofs, installing central heating and upgrading playgrounds.

The Department for Education says this large-scale spending is necessary to catch up on the "backlog of repairs" that had built up across the country under the previous government.

Mr Blunkett was speaking on a visit to Melcombe Primary School in Fulham, west London, where £630,000 is being spent on mending a leaking roof and draughty windows.

"This money will help us in our efforts to wipe out the worst of the backlog of repair and maintenance work left by two decades of neglect," he said.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Education Contents

Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables

Relevant Stories

23 Oct 99 | Education
Private funding of schools under scrutiny

14 Oct 99 | Features
Fresh start, fresh hope

04 Aug 99 | Education
Schools fight holiday vandals

17 Dec 98 | Education
Share-out of funds for school buildings

25 Nov 98 | Education
¿5.4bn for school buildings

27 Oct 98 | Education
'Crumbling' science labs to be modernised

Internet Links

Department for Education and Employment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers

Children join online Parliament

Pupils 'too ignorant to vote'

Red tape toolkit 'not enough'

Poor report for teacher training consortium

Specialist schools' results triumph

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Blunkett welcomes Dyke's education commitment

Web funding for specialist teachers

Local authorities call for Woodhead's sacking

Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD

Armed forces children need school help

Black pupils 'need better-trained teachers'

College 'is not cool'