Crumbling classrooms to stay

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The Independent Online
Local authorities have been told they can borrow only a fifth of what they say is needed next year to repair and rebuild crumbling school buildings.

Government figures out yesterday reveal councils will be allowed to borrow up to pounds 422m for school buildings projects - pounds 46m less than last year. By contrast, capital allocations for voluntary-aided and for grant-maintained schools, both outside local authority control, have risen compared with this year.

Education minister Cheryl Gillan said the total available to schools amounted to almost pounds 700m. But Labour said the allocation was not enough to tackle a crisis in the condition of school buildings. Lucy Ward