Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced sets a ten-year rebuilding programme for schools across England.
The rebuilding programme will start in 2020-21 with the first 50 projects, supported by over £1 billion in funding. Further details of the new, multi-wave ten-year construction programme will be set out at the next Spending Review.
Investment will be targeted at school buildings in the worst condition across England – including substantial investment in the North and the Midlands.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
‘As we bounce back from the pandemic, it’s important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission.
‘This major new investment will make sure our schools and colleges are fit for the future, with better facilities and brand new buildings so that every child gets a world-class education.’
However, there was no sign of financial support listed for the early years, another indication of a hard-working sector being left behind, despite many settings staying open to support key workers and vulnerable children.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said: ‘Yet again, the early years sector has been disregarded in the £1bn investment in education announced by the Prime Minister today. This announcement does not include even a penny towards a child’s most important, formative years.
‘NDNA has been campaigning hard for urgent support through a recovery and transformation fund to get childcare providers through these tough times and remain sustainable into the future.
‘We would ask the Government to urgently rethink its strategy to make sure they invest early on in a child’s life, which sets them off on the right path and also saves money on their later education.
‘Many nurseries are on the brink of closure, having remained open to a small number of critical workers’ children over the past few months and losing money week by week. Those that have closed are now struggling to reopen due to lack of financial support and reduced income from parental fees. This support is needed urgently now before nurseries have to make that tough decision to close permanently.’