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Billions are needed to bring the school estate up to scratch, say school leaders

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The condition of school buildings has been a source of concern to us for many years. As far back as 2017, the National Audit Office concluded it would cost £6.7 billion to return all school buildings to satisfactory or better condition, and a further £7.1 billion to bring parts of school buildings from satisfactory to good condition.

“These figures should be seen in the context of a significant decline in capital spending between 2009/10 and 2019/20, where capital spending declined by 44% in real-terms according to data compiled for MPs.

“NAHT welcomed the government’s pre-pandemic promise that £1.4bn would be allocated to improve the school estate in 2020-21. However, given the evident scale of investment needed, it is essential for the government to put a high priority on school capital funding.

“The government has stated that it wants every pupil to receive ‘a superb education’, a key part of this should be a schools estate that is fit for purpose.”

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