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£15.8bn for schools capital

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Schools capital projects are to receive £15.8bn in government funding over the next four years, chancellor George Osborne has revealed.

Schools capital projects are to receive £15.8 billion in government funding over the next four years, chancellor George Osborne has revealed.

The figure represents a 60% reduction on previously planned spending for the period, but Mr Osborne said 600 of the rebuilding or refurbishment projects from the scrapped Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and Academies programmes would go ahead.

The decision will still leave uncertainty over the fate more than 100 other BSF and Academies projects cancelled in July.

The Treasury said the capital decision would allow spending to be focused on meeting demographic pressures and addressing maintenance needs.

Mr Osborne also told the House of Commons that there would be a real increase in the money for schools for each of the next four years of the spending review.

School budgets for 5-16 year-olds will see an increase of 0.1% per cent in each year of the period, but this increase includes the coalition government’s much vaunted £2.5bn pupil premium. It is aimed at offering an incentive for good schools to take on pupils from poorer backgrounds.

The Treasury said the Department for Education was being forced to make overall resource savings of 12% over the spending review period, including a 33% reduction in central administration costs.

It added that there would be unit-cost reductions in the 16-19 participation budget and that support currently provided by education maintenance allowances would be focused on the most disadvantaged children, offering £500m in savings.

The Department for Education’s resources expenditure limit was set at £50.8bn for 2011-12, rising to £53.9bn in 2014-15.

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