Money brought forward to improve schools

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Money is to be set aside to refurbish more primary and secondary schools.

Alistair Darling said £3 billion in capital spending is to be brought forward from 2010/11, some of which will be used to improve the country's schools.

It is understood that up to £800 million of the £3 billion is to be spent on small-scale school refurbishment or modernisation projects.

Earlier this month 41 local authorities were handed funding to carry out building projects over the next two years under the Government's Primary Capital Programme.

It is now expected that, following the Chancellor's announcement, they will be told they can bring forward projects planned for the year 2010/11.

It is thought local authorities will now also be asked to put forward any other small-scale proposals that are ready to go for Government approval, to take advantage of the money now available.