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Changes in capital spending since 2009-10

In financial year 2021-22 capital spending  by the Department for Education was around £4.9 billion, this was the lowest amount recorded since 2009-10 (in real terms 2022-23 prices). This includes capital spending on schools and also other establishments such as early years or further education providers.

Overall, between 2009-10 and 2021-22, Department for Education capital spending declined by 37% in cash terms and 50% in real terms.

Planned capital spending for 2022-23 is around £6.4 billion which is a 29% real terms increase compared to 2021-22.

School Rebuilding Programme

On 29 June 2020 the Government announced what the Education Secretary described in the House as “a 10-year, multi-wave rebuilding programme for schools,” to replace “poor-condition and ageing school buildings, with modern, energy-efficient designs.”

The first 100 projects for the School Rebuilding Programme were announced in two stages in February 2021 and July 2021.

There was a consultation between July to October 2021 on prioritising schools for further phases of the programme. The Government published its response in February 2022.

In March 2022 nominations for school projects closed, 1,105 nominations were received. In July 2022 61 of these were successful.

In December 2022 a further 239 schools were added to the list, bringing the total number of schools in the programme to 400.

DfE Annual Report 2021-22: A significant risk

The Department for Education’s annual report for the financial year 2021-22, published in December 2022, identified the condition of school buildings, particularly those built between 1945-70, as one of six ‘significant risks’ the Department was managing. The report noted that the situation had worsened during the year, and was unlikely to improve during 2022.

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