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Building Schools for the Future

Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the criteria are for schools' eligibility for Building Schools for the Future funding; (114637)

(2) how many (a) community schools, (b) voluntary aided schools, (c) voluntary controlled schools and (d) foundation schools have been granted Building Schools for the Future funding; and how many of these are (i) special schools, (ii) specialist schools and (iii) grammar schools.

Building Schools for the Future (BSF) aims to rebuild or refurbish all secondary schools in England in 15 waves of investment which started in 2005-06. Prioritisation is on the educational and social needs of geographical groupings of schools proposed by authorities. The needs of all maintained schools of all types in these areas must be considered by authorities when developing details of their plans. In general, we would not expect school buildings built less than 15 years ago to receive significant investment. Full details of the criteria were published in November 2004 in “BSF Prioritisation and Forward Planning Information”, a copy of which is available in the House Library. Six local authority BSF projects have now reached financial closure. This means that they have been formally granted BSF funding for the schools in their projects. Other local authority BSF projects are finalising their school estate plans. The six projects at financial close are Bradford, Bristol, Lancashire, Manchester, and the London boroughs of Lambeth and Greenwich. In their projects there are in total:

(a) 32 community schools, of which 10 are special schools; two are pupil referral units and one a sixth form college

(b) Four voluntary aided schools;

(c) No voluntary controlled schools;

(d) No foundation schools.

Of the above, 18 are specialist schools and one is a grammar school

A limited amount of BSF funding was also made available to pathfinder and wave one authorities in 2004-05 and 2005-06 for “quick win” projects. These were intended to help develop the early elements of BSF prior to the first formal phase of investment in 2005-06. Of the schools which received this funding:

12 are community schools, including four community special schools;

One is a voluntary controlled school;

Two are foundation schools.

One was a community school at the time it received the funding but is now an Academy;

11 are specialist schools;

None are grammar schools.