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School buildings: Capital funding 'well short of what is needed'

School leaders are not overly impressed at this week’s "announcement" of £1.8bn in funding for upgrading school buildings – saying it simply isn’t enough and it isn’t even new money.

On Tuesday (March 28), the Department for Education issued a statement detailing investment for the 2023/24 financial year of £2.5bn, including £1.8bn to “improve the condition of the school estate across England” and £286m to upgrade further education college buildings.

There is also £487m to support councils to provide additional school places needed for September 2026.

However, school leaders were united in their view that this funding would not be enough given the state of many school buildings across the country.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said the funding “falls well short of what is needed”, adding that the money was not even “new”, but funding that had previously been allocated in government’s 2021 Spending Review.

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