Government hands out £424m for school safety projects

The government has announced funding for more than 850 projects to keep school buildings safe.

The Department for Education published details of £424m awarded through the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF).

More than 2,000 schools applied for grants through the scheme, with just over a third successful.

Data tables showed that 137 education providers in the South East secured a combined £110m from the fund for 2024/25. This compared with 14 schools sharing £6.4m in the North East.

A government leaflet said that most of the CIF funding was awarded to “address building issues with significant consequences that revenue or devolved formula capital funding cannot meet”.

“These include issues with poor building condition, building compliance, energy efficiency or health and safety,” it added.

“We give the highest priority to condition projects that address compliance and health and safety issues. These include structural safety, fire protection systems, gas safety, electrical safety [and] emergency asbestos removal.”

Education secretary Gillian Keegan told BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday morning (26 March): “This money is on top of what we’ve done to sort out reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) and on top of the School Rebuilding Programme.”

The government last month published a “final list” of schools and colleges in England receiving funding to tackle RAAC concerns.

Meanwhile, a report by the National Audit Office last summer warned that contractors had turned down deals through the School Rebuilding Programme because of inflation risks.

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