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Building Programme

Volume 466: debated on Thursday 7 July 1949

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asked the Minister of Education how much of the£26,000,000 spent in 1948 was spent on new schools on new housing estates; extra accommodation in existing infant schools for the five-year-olds; enlargement of junior schools to accommodate the extra children who will be there in two years' time; further education, respectively; and how much of the£50,000,000 allocated for this year falls into the same four categories.

The figures of£26 million for 1948 and£50-£55 million for 1949 relate to the value of the annual programmes of work to be started. As long as the educational building programme is expanding expenditure in each year will be less than the value of work started in the same year, particularly as the average construction time for educational building projects is relatively long. In 1948, expenditure on new educational building, excluding maintenance work and plant and machinery, was about£18 million of which about£12 million was spent on major projects providing now school places and about£700,000 on major projects for further education. The corresponding target figures for 1949 are about£33½ million,£21 million and£3½ million. It is not possible to assign the cost of new school places in the manner suggested since, whatever their primary purpose, most projects affecting school accommodation in fact meet a variety of needs either directly or indirectly.