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Government reveals 261 schools to be rebuilt

25/05/2012 Joanna
Teachers in 261 of England's schools are celebrating after the government announced funding to rebuild or renovate them.

Those schools with the greatest need have been allocated cash as part of the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) and work is set to begin immediately.

The first new school buildings are scheduled to open in 2014.

However, more than 300 schools saw their applications turned down after a total of 587 schools applied for the funding.

In a written statement announcing the allocations, secretary of state for education Michael Gove acknowledged that some of the schools that unsuccessfully applied for PSBP funding are in need of renovation and promised to address their needs "as quickly as possible".

The Department for Education (DfE) is currently conducting a national survey of schools to see which ones are most in need of renovation and by autumn this year will have a comprehensive database of school conditions in England.

"I know that many schools will be disappointed not to be included in the programme," he wrote.

"We have had to take difficult decisions in order to target spending on those schools that are in the worst condition."

Mr Gove replaced the Labour party's successful Building Schools for the Future policy with the PSBP, which allocates funds based on the condition of need.

The controversial decision was not popular at the time, but the government argued it was necessary to balance the nation's books.

"In tackling the challenges we face on school building I have been determined to use the capital funding at my disposal to best effect, seeking value for money and efficiency from every pound spent," he said in the statement

During the last two years the DfE has set aside £2.7 billion for local authorities to fund the creation of new school places, with a further £2.8 billion to pay for the maintenance of existing state schools and academies.

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