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autumn statement determines priority in school building projects

6 December 2012

The government’s Autumn statement has set out plans to provide £1 billion to finance building projects for academies and free schools. The funds will be made available due to reduced spending in Whitehall. This announcement provides clarity over the extent to which government policy is now based on academies and free schools being the primary method by which standards will be raised and the gap narrowed between the “haves” and “have-nots”. The new funding will sit alongside the Priority School Building Programme which is aimed at renovating or replacing the schools with the worst facilities. 

The difference between the programmes would appear to be that only academies or free schools are eligible for the new funding whereas any school may be eligible for the priority funding.This may provide a further incentive for schools to convert to academy status as it is clear that government priorities point in this direction irrespective of the name given to policies or programmes.

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