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Schools: Sanitation

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will take steps to encourage local education authorities to make the upgrading of school toilet and washroom facilities integral to local asset management plans for schools. (137733)

Guidance was published by the Department in April with recommendations on the specification of toilet blocks in secondary schools that will help tackle bullying in schools. New designs to be used in all Building Schools for the Future Schools will make toilets more attractive, cleaner and safer for pupils to use.

Research on the use of 2006 devolved formula capital shows that around a fifth of schools have improved toilets each year from 2003-04 to 2006-07.

In the first term of government, the last 450 schools with outside toilets had them replaced.

The bulk of schools capital is allocated by formula to authorities and schools so that they can address their local asset management planning priorities, including the upgrading of toilet and washroom facilities.

Central Government capital support for investment in schools has increased from under £700 million in 1996-97 to £6.4 billion in 2007-08 and will rise further to £8.0 billion by 2010-11. Progress is being made year-by-year in improving the quality of the school building stock. Given the high levels of funding, authorities have the opportunity to upgrade toilets.