Schools' £200m for repairs

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Schools are to receive a direct injection of about £200m to pay for repairs to crumbling buildings. The extra funding will double the money already promised for repairs and should be in schools' budgets within a few weeks.

Schools are to receive a direct injection of about £200m to pay for repairs to crumbling buildings. The extra funding will double the money already promised for repairs and should be in schools' budgets within a few weeks.

Each secondary school will get £36,000 instead of the expected £19,000 and each primary school will receive £12,000 instead of the expected £6,500. The money is not for new building but for repairing roofs and windows, installing new boilers and redecorating classrooms.

David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, has begun to devolve increasing sums to schools rather than channelling money through local education authorities. He said: "We inherited a situation where less than £700m a year was being spent on crumbling buildings and widespread disrepair. We are now investing over three times that amount each year and we are giving all heads greater flexibility in deciding how the money is spent."

Extra cash is available because the Government has not spent all the money it raised from the windfall tax.

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, welcomed the money but added: "He really should have held a bit back to cope with the ever-increasing problems of teachers' pay."

Ministers will also spend £5m on laptops with internet access for children from poor families. The money will be given out through local branches of the National e-Learning Foundation. More funds for post-16 education and training will be announced today.

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