News story legal challenge

29th June 2020 • Emma Cooper

The Prime Minister has announced today that schools across England will benefit from a transformative ten-year rebuilding programme, the first of its kind since 2014.

Schools will benefit from substantial additional investment with further details to be revealed in the next Spending Review and there will also be funding to refurbish buildings in order to continue raising standards across the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

  • ‘All children deserve the best possible start in life – regardless of their background or where they live.’
  • ‘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.

He has pledged to commit:

  • Over £1bn to fund the first 50 projects of a new, ten-year school rebuilding programme, starting from 2020-21. These projects will be confirmed in the autumn, and construction on the first sites will begin from September 2021.
  • £560m and £200m for repairs and upgrades to schools and FE colleges respectively this year.

Earlier this month, the Education Secretary announced a £1bn Covid catch-up plan to tackle the impact of lost teaching time.

This included new measures to help primary and secondary pupils catch up, including £650m for state schools to lift educational outcomes and a £350m tutoring scheme specifically for the most disadvantaged

This one-off grant to support pupils in state education during the 2020/21 academic year recognises that these young people have lost time in education as a result of the pandemic, regardless of their income or background.

In his first months in office, the Prime Minister announced an extra £14.4 billion in funding for schools over three years. That translates to £135 million a week and means that every secondary school will receive at least £5,000 a year for each pupil, and primaries at least £4,000 a year.

Plan for September

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has also made an announcement today that it will be compulsory for all children to return to school in September unless there is ‘a good reason.’

Expecting the classes to be full size again, but with bubbles remaining in some cases, Gavin Williamson said that parents should expect fines if they do not send their children back. ‘A local spike’ in coronavirus which meant that the school would have to close and a ‘good reason for the absence’ were the only justifications given for children not to be able to be back in school in September, but full guidance is due to be released soon.