From education to employment

£2.5 billion to upgrade school and college buildings

students walking through gate
  • Schools and colleges to benefit from over £2.5 billion to upgrade and refurbish estates, giving young people high quality learning environments. 
  • Funding to support local councils to create thousands of school places needed for September 2026.
  • Part of the government’s significant investment so young people across the country can continue to access high quality education.

Millions of young people across the country are set to benefit from a significant £2.5 billion boost so they can learn in high quality buildings and facilities that are fit for the future.

Schools and colleges will receive investment to upgrade classrooms and refurbish buildings that will provide high quality learning environments– benefitting communities for years to come.

Since 2010, one million school places have been created, the largest increase in school capacity in at least two generations. Thanks to this new tranche of funding, thousands of additional primary and secondary school places will be created in good or outstanding schools for September 2026.

This comes on top of the School Rebuilding Programme which will transform buildings at 500 schools across the country over the next decade – prioritising those in poor condition. The government has already invested over £13 billion in school capital funding to improve the condition of school buildings since 2015.

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said:

“This significant investment will transform school and college buildings across the country so that they are fit for the future and can provide the best education for students, no matter where they live.

“We want every young person to have access to high-quality facilities and learning environments, to gain the skills they need to climb the ladder of opportunity into further study and work, whilst supporting efforts to grow the economy.”

The funding announced today includes:

  • A £1.8 billion investment for the 2023-24 financial year to improve the condition of the school estate across England. This builds on over £13 billion to upgrade school buildings since 2015.
  • A further £487 million will be invested to support councils to provide additional school places needed for September 2026.
  • Alongside this, 146 colleges will benefit from the final phase of the £1.5 billion Further Education Capital Transformation Programme, to upgrade buildings and transform campuses.

The FE Capital Transformation Programme is just one part of a wider programme of government investment to transform post-16 education and training, ensuring that every student can gain the skills they need to progress and secure a good job.

This includes massive investment to support the roll out of new T Levels, boost capacity so there is a place for every 16 to 19-year-old and a £300 million investment to establish a network of Institutes of Technology.

Sector Response

Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, Bridget Phillipson MP, said:

“The Conservatives have already admitted that school buildings are now likely to collapse but parents are still in the dark about where dangerous buildings that pose a risk to children’s lives are situated.

“The NAO’s assessment of what’s needed to fix crumbling school buildings lays bare the reality of public services after 13 years of Tory failure. This investment is simply a distraction from the Conservatives inability to resolve teachers’ strikes that could have been avoided.

“Parents won’t fall for the Conservatives governing by three card trick; it is high time that the Secretary of State tells parents where dangerous buildings are and resolved the ongoing industrial dispute with teachers.”

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“While we are always pleased to see any investment in schools and colleges, this announcement comes against a background of inadequate funding that has literally left school buildings on the point of collapse.

“Between 2009 and 2022, Department for Education capital spending declined by 50% in real terms, according to a recent House of Commons report. The department’s own reports have identified the risk of ‘the collapse of one or more blocks in some schools’ and put the overall backlog of repairs in England’s schools at £11.4 billion.

“As such, we have to seriously question whether the funding in this latest announcement – which is the result of adding up various funding streams – is anything like enough to meet the needs of an education estate that has been shamefully neglected over the past decade.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“This is not new money, but funding previously announced in the 2021 spending review. 

“This falls well short of what is needed after more than a decade of underinvestment and the government has itself admitted that the risk of collapse in some school buildings is now ‘very likely’. 

“This repackaging of previously announced funding only goes to highlight the shocking absence of a plan by the government to deal with the worrying condition of parts of the school estate.

“What we need is absolute clarity that wherever such risks exist, they will be addressed immediately and that the necessary funding will be made available to do this and help ensure the safety of pupils and staff.”

  • The final stage of the FECTP will deliver £286 million to 146 FE colleges, to address the condition need across their college estates. The list of colleges receiving the funding in this phase can be found here – FE Capital Funding GOV.UK (
  • This funding boost is designed to improve the condition of college estates and set Further Education students on a path to success, delivering on a manifesto commitment.
  • The statutory duty to provide sufficient school places sits with local authorities. We provide capital funding through the Basic Need grant to support the provision of mainstream school places, based on local authorities’ own forecast and capacity data.
  • The £487 million Basic Need capital funding for the 2025-26 financial year is on top of our investment in the Free Schools programme and almost £14 billion of basic need capital funding we have already committed to create new school places since 2011. This investment will support the Government’s priority to ensure that every child has the opportunity of a place at a good school.
  • The department expects local authorities to create new places in schools or academies that have an overall Ofsted rating of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding,’ and to consider a range of performance indicators and financial data before deciding which school to expand.
  • In addition to basic need funding, local authorities also receive High Needs Provision Capital Allocations to support the provision of new places for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities or requiring alternative provision. Further information is available at High needs provision capital allocations – GOV.UK (
  • The £1.8 billion in capital funding in 2023-24 for improving the condition of schools will be allocated as following:
  • £1.1 billion of the total capital budget will be allocated to local authorities, large multi-academy trusts and large voluntary aided bodies through the School Condition Allocations
  • Approximately £200 million will be given directly to schools through Devolved Formula Capital
  • Approximately £500 million will be available through the Condition Improvement Fund programme for smaller academy trusts and sixth form colleges.
  • Further Information is available at School capital funding – GOV.UK (
  • The Further Education Capital Transformation Programme launched in September 2020 and supports colleges to rebuild and refurbish estates that meet the needs of students and can support in high-quality training.
  • The first phase of the fund was launched with an initial £200 million allocated to all colleges so they could undertake immediate remedial work to refurbish their buildings.
  • The second phase of programme was announced 8 April 2021, with DfE working in partnership with the 16 colleges identified as having some of the worst condition in England, to fund projects that will ensure they are excellent places to learn.
  • The third phase was launched in January 2021, where colleges were invited to bid for additional funding to help upgrade their campuses.

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