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Written Statements

Volume 718: debated on Tuesday 12 July 2022

Written Statements

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Education

School Rebuilding Programme

I am delighted to confirm details of the next 61 schools prioritised for the School Rebuilding Programme.

The School Rebuilding Programme was announced by the Prime Minister in June 2020 and will transform the learning environment at 500 schools and sixth form colleges over the next decade, supporting teachers in England to deliver a high-quality education, so that pupils gain the knowledge, skills and qualifications they need to succeed. The programme will also support levelling up of opportunity by addressing school buildings with the highest condition need across England.

It represents an important commitment to invest in construction sector jobs and skills, helping drive growth in the economy. The programme will have a continued focus on modern methods of construction and provide opportunities across the industry, including for small and medium-sized enterprises.

As with the first 100 schools announced in 2021, this group of schools has been prioritised solely on the basis of the condition of their buildings. The projects include primary and secondary schools, as well as special schools. This also represents a substantial investment in schools in the midlands and north of England, with 37 out of 61 projects in these regions.

The new school buildings will be energy-efficient designs with high sustainability standards, delivering a generation of new school buildings that will be net zero carbon in operation and mitigate the risks of climate change.

The 10-year programme will continue to target school buildings in the worst condition across England. From 19 July to 8 October 2021, we conducted a public consultation with the sector on our approach to prioritising schools for the long-term programme. As set out in the Government’s response, we invited responsible bodies—such as academy trusts and local authorities—to submit nominations for their schools with the poorest condition buildings to join the programme.

In 2022 to 2023, we expect to prioritise up to 300 schools in total. We are announcing a smaller group of 61 schools now to maintain the pace of delivery and address some of the poorest condition buildings as soon as possible. We are still assessing all other nominations received and have not ruled out any nominated schools for selection at this point. We plan to make another announcement later this year to confirm further schools selected.

Alongside the rebuilding programme, the Government have committed £1.8 billion in the financial year 2022-23 for maintaining and improving the condition of the school estate.

Further details, including lists of the school rebuilding projects, have been published on www.gov.uk. Copies will be placed in the House Library.

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Health and Social Care

Patient Safety Commissioner for England

In July 2021, the Government published their formal response to the recommendations by the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety review led by Baroness Cumberlege setting out an ambitious programme of change. As part of our response, we committed to appoint a Patient Safety Commissioner with a remit covering medicines and medical devices.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Henrietta Hughes OBE FRCGP SFFMLM as the first ever Patient Safety Commissioner for England. This appointment was made following an open competition, in line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments, and following a pre-appointment scrutiny hearing with the Health and Social Care Committee. Dr Hughes will continue working as a GP and remain Chair of Childhood First.

The First Do No Harm report, led by Baroness Cumberlege highlighted the need to avoid harm and protect patients. The Patient Safety Commissioner will add to and enhance existing work to improve patient safety in relation to medicines and medical devices by being a champion for patients and helping us to learn more about what we can do to put patients first. The Commissioner’s core duties are to promote the safety of patients, and promote the importance of the views of patients and other members of the public. The Commissioner will act independently, and a memorandum of understanding will be agreed to ensure the Commissioner’s independence is safeguarded.

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