Building Schools for the Future

Tue, Nov 17, 2009


7 September 2009


20 Ministers including the Prime Minister and Schools Secretary Ed Balls visited new schools around the country on 7 September to celebrate the opening of 400 new or refurbished schools this year.


Thanks to teh Government’s investment more than 4,000 schools will have been built, rebuilt or refurbished by July 2010 since 1997 – the biggest sustained period of school building since Victorian times. We have also brought forward almost £1 billion of schools capital investment from 2010/11 to 2009/10 to support the economy during the recession.


The Government has transformed the legacy of under-investment we inherited and put an end to the days of leaking roofs and freezing classrooms. We are investing £21.9 billion capital in schools in 2008-11 and £8 billion this year alone – up from just £700m a year in 1997. Since 1997, every single school has benefited from increased capital investment.


The Opposition are committed to cutting £4.5 billion from our Building Schools for the Future programme and have suggested their new ‘Swedish style schools’ would open in rented office blocks.


The 400 new schools opening this year include:

o       67 new Academies, hitting the 200th Academy target a year ahead of schedule, and with up to another 100 opening in the next school year

o       33 Building Schools for the Future schools – meaning 120 BSF schools are now open.

o       the first 97 schools built under the Primary Capital programme, which aims to rebuild half of all primary schools

o       200 schools built through local authority run projects

o       and 22 National Challenge Trusts – where a National Challenge school links up with a strong educational partner – are also due to open this term.



Building Schools for the Future


By the end of September, 120 schools will be benefitting from BSF investment – up from 42 open in December 2008.


85 local authorities across England – and nearly a third of all secondary schools – are now involved in the BSF programme.


Current projections are for 115 BSF schools to open in 2009-10 and 165 in 2010-11 rising to at least 200 opening a year in 2011-12.


Ministers expect that the vast majority of local authorities will have finished their projects by 2020, with the remaining areas in the final stages of renewing their estate. For more information on the BSF announcement please:






Academies continue to make rapid improvements. For those Academies with results in 2008 and 2009  the increase in the proportion of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths is expected to be 5.1 percentage points  – likely to be above the national average rise and an increase on last year’s Academy improvement rate of 4.3 percentage points. 


In these Academies the average proportion of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths is 35 per cent – almost double the average final results of the schools they replaced (17.7 per cent).


These figures are based on self-reported results from the 63 Cialis 20 mg Academies that have been open long enough to have two years of exam results. Full verified results will not be published until January 2010. The national average increase was 2.5 percentage points last year.




Ed Balls has today announced that there will no longer be a financial requirement for new Academy sponsors for schools opening from September 2011.


This builds on the success of abolishing the £2m sponsorship fee for universities, further education, college and high performing school sponsors in 2007. 55 universities, 28 further education colleges and 21 high performing secondary schools are now involved in the Academies programme.


The test will now be the organisation’s educational track record, their skills and leadership and their commitment to working with local parents, teachers and pupils rather than ability to contribute financially.


The changes will smooth the path to creating chains of state schools under single management, with a single ethos and identity, which were proposed in June’s Schools White Paper. 


The proposals for how Academy sponsors will be accredited will be published for consultation in the autumn – with the first selected under it in spring 2010 in time for the academies to open in 2011.


Sponsors will have to prove outstanding management skills; a clear commitment to working with parents, teachers, and pupils; and capacity and potential to drive up educational standards.


Sponsors will still be expected to make serious and sustained financial commitment – with financial commitments for existing projects, past the expression of interest stage, to be honoured and sponsors still encouraged to set up endowment funds to drive up standards – as in US universities.


Ministers waived the £2m sponsorship in July 2007 for educational institutions wanting to take over academies – which has lead to a boom in new university, college and school sponsors now involved in Academies programme. 





Comments are closed.