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Building Schools for the Future

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what guidelines he has issued to the local authorities asked to participate in the Building Schools for the Future programme on the renovation of sports facilities; (79705)

(2) what recent discussions he has held with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the renovation of school sports facilities; and if he will make a statement;

(3) whether schools which have received grants under the New Opportunities Fund for Physical Education and Sport are eligible for funding from the Building Schools for the Future programme; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 22 June 2006]: The Building Schools for the Future programme adopts an area approach to transforming secondary provision. For each phase of the programme, local authorities are required to develop an educational vision in line with our guidance, which takes into account a range of policy areas, including PE and sport facilities, and community use. Our Building Schools for the Future guidance to local authorities covers the preparation of educational visions, joining up all potential sources of funding and the design of school buildings and facilities. All of our guidance documents make clear that schools and local authorities should consider the extent to which any proposed new or refurbished facilities will enable all pupils to take part in at least two hours each week of high quality PE and sport, and if they want to, up to four hours including out of normal school hours. Authorities’ plans are subject to rigorous challenge before projects can proceed to procurement.

Ministers from this Department meet regularly with our Culture, Media and Sport counterparts to discuss our joint schools' PE and sports strategy, including curriculum matters and the community use of facilities.

Schools which have received investment through other sources of funding such as the Big Lottery Fund (formerly the New Opportunities Fund) are still eligible for Building Schools for the Future investment. We encourage local authorities and schools in Building Schools for the Future to seek other sources of funding to join up with their projects. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Big Lottery Fund contribute to our guidance, which also seeks to ensure that investment from various sources remains complementary.