Schools Funding: SEND, Alternative Provision and Building Conditions Debate

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Department: Department for Education

Schools Funding: SEND, Alternative Provision and Building Conditions

Gillian Keegan Excerpts
Tuesday 26th March 2024

(1 month, 3 weeks ago)

Written Statements
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Gillian Keegan Portrait The Secretary of State for Education (Gillian Keegan)
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Today, I am announcing a further £850 million investment in places for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities or who require alternative provision. I am also announcing £1.8 billion in capital funding for the 2024-25 financial year to improve the condition of buildings at schools and sixth-form colleges.

Funding for SEND and AP places

Spread over this financial year and next, our £850 million investment forms part of our record £2.6 billion funding in high needs capital between 2022 and 2025, and represents a significant, transformational investment in new high needs provision. This funding will support local authorities to deliver new places in mainstream and special schools, as well as other specialist settings, and will also be used to improve suitability and accessibility of existing buildings. Along with the funding already provided, it will mean this Government are delivering over 60,000 new places for children with SEND or who require AP since 2010.

The methodology for calculating each local authority’s allocation has been updated to target the funding to the areas where it is needed most. This will help to ensure that families have access to the localised, specialised support that their children need. 30 successful applications to run special free schools have also been announced today.

Full details of this announcement, including allocations broken down by local authority and the methodology used to distribute funding, have been published on the Department for Education section on the gov.uk website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-needs-provision-capital-allocations

Funding for school condition

Today’s announcement on funding to improve school condition means we will have invested over £17 billion since 2015 to support local authorities, academy trusts and other bodies responsible for school buildings, to keep their estates safe and well-maintained.

The £1.8 billion includes £450 million made available through the condition improvement fund programme for financial year 2024-25. As part of this, we have today announced projects to improve conditions across 733 schools and sixth-form colleges. It also includes almost £1.2 billion in school condition allocations, including for local authorities, large multi-academy trusts and large voluntary-aided school bodies, to invest in improving the condition of their schools. The proportion of funding allocated through SCA continues to grow as more schools become part of large, strong academy trusts. Over £200 million in devolved formula capital will also be allocated directly for schools to spend on their capital priorities.

The amount of SCA allocated to each eligible responsible body, and the total for CIF, have been calculated informed by evidence from the condition data collection. Previous Administrations took no action to have a national assessment of the condition of the school estate. This Government introduced the condition data collection: the first ever comprehensive survey of the school estate and one of the largest data collection programmes of its kind in Europe.

Condition allocations for 2024-25 are in addition to our continued investment in the school rebuilding programme and our commitment to remove all RAAC from the school estate in England.

Details of today’s CIF announcement are being sent to all CIF applicants and a list of successful projects will be published on gov.uk. Copies will be placed in the House Library. The full methodology, guidance and allocations amounts for SCA and DFC will also be published on gov.uk.

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