NGA has given a cautious welcome to the government’s announcement of a new ten-year school rebuilding programme, which is due to commence next year with 50 projects supported by £1billion of funding.
Investment will be targeted at school buildings in the worst condition across England – including substantial investment in the North and the Midlands. However, the total level of investment in the programme will not be confirmed until the next spending review.
Commenting on the announcement Steve Edmonds, Director of Advice and Guidance at NGA said: “The cost of maintaining school buildings to a satisfactory condition is a challenge to many governing boards whose budgets are already stretched. 38% who responded to our annual survey in 2019 said that they had reduced spending on buildings and maintenance as a result of financial constraints and a further 23% anticipated doing so in the next two years. We therefore welcome the announcement that the government intends to invest in a school rebuilding programme and target those in the worst condition. However, because the total level of investment over the ten-year duration of the programme has yet to be confirmed, it remains to be seen whether it approaches and exceeds £6.7 billion that the DfE said was needed in 2014, to return the state of all school buildings to a satisfactory or better condition”.