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Spending review: £16 billion to build new schools

The government has announced plans to revive 600 schools buildings projects from its abolished BSF programme and the academies framework

The chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has revealed plans to fund new school building projects, just three months after abolishing the building schools for the future (BSF) programme and effectively axing 719 schools building projects.

According to the review the policy will allow ‘new capital spending to be focused on providing new places in areas of severe demographic pressure and addressing essential maintenance needs.’

The total schools budget will rise from £35 billion to £39 billion, but capital expenditure on schools will decrease 60 per cent over the period of this government.

Osborne, in his speech to the commons, explained: ‘As the House will know we’ve had to phase out the hopelessly inefficient and over-committed Building Schools for the Future programme.

‘But £15.8 billion will be spent to maintain the school estate and rebuild and refurbish 600 schools. It is a real investment in the future of our children and in the future growth in our economy too.’

A full list of new school projects which stand to benefit from the funding has yet to be revealed. The James review into schools projects financing is expected to announce later this year plans to deliver large numbers of new schools through offsite construction.

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