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Schools: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 124796, tabled on 3 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much additional funding has been allocated to schools in (a) Norfolk and (b) Norwich South constituency for health and safety adaptations during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

11 December 2020

Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in the 2020-21 financial year, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to the 2019-20 financial year. This increase in funding will help schools with costs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. As stated in our guidance, schools should use their existing resources when making arrangements for the autumn term. This guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

This year, Norfolk is receiving an extra £25 million for schools, an increase of 3.8% per pupil. This takes total funding for the 2020-21 financial year in the local authority to over £507 million. Norwich South is receiving an extra £1.5 million for schools this year, an increase of 3.0% per pupil. This takes total funding for the 2020-21 financial year in the constituency to over £55 million.

Keeping schools, nurseries and colleges open is a national priority. The Department has announced a new COVID-19 workforce fund for schools and colleges to help them to remain open. It will fund the cost of teacher absences over a certain threshold for those schools and colleges facing high staff absences and significant financial pressures. Guidance on the claims process will be published shortly.

On Friday 4 December the Department updated the guidance for exceptional costs associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. These instructions are to help schools claim exceptional costs that were not claimed for during the first window, which closed on 21 July 2020. Guidance on exceptional costs is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19/exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19--2.

Over 9 million items of personal protective equipment have been delivered to schools, colleges and universities as part of 50,000 one-off deliveries distributed by the Department of Health and Social Care to build resilience across the education sector to respond to any suspected cases of COVID-19 on-site. This was a one-off delivery with no cost to schools.