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Schools: Science

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government has taken to improve science facilities in schools since 1997. (180068)

The Government have been and continue to be committed to improving science facilities in schools as part of their aim to transform all school buildings. More than £31 billion has been invested in school buildings since 1997 including through Schools for the Future and Academies during which time 6,644 new or refurbished laboratories have been provided.

This year £6.7 billion of funding is available for investment in schools, and this will rise to £8.2 billion a year by 2010-11. Most of this can be invested in science facilities where this is the local priority.

This unprecedented level of investment is a marvellous opportunity to create science facilities that inspire learners and teachers alike. With this in mind my Department set up Project Faraday in 2006, developing exciting design ideas at 12 demonstration schools that can act as ‘exemplars’ for science provision, to inspire and inform local authorities and schools.

A book showing the exemplar designs will be published later this month. The first built project will be completed at the end of 2008.