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Monday, 13 December, 1999, 01:39 GMT
Schools promised 970m for repairs

Classroom Headteachers will receive direct funding for school repairs


Schools are to receive 970m for building repairs and new classrooms next year.

Announcing the allocation of funding for 2000-2001, the Schools Minister Jacqui Smith said the spending had increased by 35% on the previous year.

The funding will mean "rapid progress in wiping out the worst of the backlog of repairs and maintenance work left by two decades of neglect", said the minister.

"We are determined to improve school standards - and that means children being taught in weatherproof, warm, well lit, properly equipped classrooms."


Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith says the investment follows "two decades of neglect"
The funding will include 538m in credit approvals for schools in the maintained sector, 132m for building projects in voluntary-aided schools and 80m for completing already commissioned work from former grant-maintained schools.

There will also be funding of 30m from the 'Seed Challenge' - which matches funds raised by schools.

For the first time, there will be a direct channelling of building funds to headteachers, with 190m being distributed among state schools without passing through local education authorities.

Jacqui Smith said that this direct funding would "help deliver an even greater impact on educational standards because headteachers are best placed to spot priority repairs".

There will also be further funding for school building projects from the New Deal for Schools scheme, launched in 1997 and set to provide over 1bn over the length of the parliament.

The government says 11,000 schools have received money from the New Deal for Schools, with a further 4,000 schools to benefit.

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See also:
11 Nov 99 |  Education
Blunkett gives heads cash for repairs
17 Jun 99 |  Education
Blunkett threatens councils over school money
17 Dec 98 |  Education
Share-out of funds for school buildings
25 Nov 98 |  Education
An end to 'make do and mend'?

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