Today, I am confirming £500 million of additional capital funding for schools, sixth form colleges and Further Education colleges to help improve energy efficiency this financial year.
This comprises £447 million for schools and sixth form colleges and £53 million for FE colleges to spend on capital improvements to buildings and facilities, prioritising works to improve energy efficiency. The department has published guidance for schools and colleges on sensible steps for reducing energy use and small-scale works to improve energy efficiency, which can be implemented quickly to make a difference through the colder months and beyond.
Schools and colleges will be allocated at least £10,000 of additional capital funding, with further funding allocated in proportion to size. Primary schools have been allocated an average of approximately £16,000 and secondary schools an average of £42,000. An average group of FE colleges will be allocated £290,000. Schools and colleges can decide how best to invest the capital funding on energy efficiency measures. Where they judge this is not appropriate based on local circumstances, they have discretion to spend this on other capital projects.
The funding will be made available to FE colleges and designated institutions, as well as schools already eligible for Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) allocations in financial year 2022-23. This includes eligible maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools, academies and free schools, pupil referral units, non-maintained special schools, sixth form colleges and specialist post-16 institutions with eligible students.
This funding comes on top of £1.8 billion of capital funding already committed this financial year for improving the condition of school buildings. In addition, the School Rebuilding Programme will rebuild or refurbish buildings at 500 schools and sixth form colleges over the next decade. The allocations are also on top of the £1.5 billion investment in upgrading the FE college estate through the FE Capital Transformation Programme, the more than £400m of capital funding provided so far for T Levels providers, and the £150 million allocation of capital funding for colleges announced on 29 November.
The government understands that like families and businesses across the country, schools and FE colleges are facing challenges with rising prices due to inflation. Significant increases to school revenue funding will help schools to manage these higher costs, with core schools’ funding (including funding for both mainstream schools and high needs) increasing by £4 billion in financial year 2022-23 compared to the previous year. The Autumn Statement 2022 confirmed that this government will protect the per pupil funding levels committed to at Spending Review 2021 in real terms, providing an additional net increase in the core schools budget of £2.0 billion in both 2023-24 and 2024-25. This brings the core schools budget to a total of £58.8 billion in 2024-25. This additional funding will be used to support both mainstream schools and local authorities’ high needs budgets.
Overall funding for the FE sector is increasing with an extra £1.6 billion in 16-19 education in 2024-25 compared with 2021-22. This funding has come with stretching deliverables to transform our technical education offer – including T levels, and extra provision to support education recovery to enable learners to catch up from the pandemic.
Schools, FE colleges and education providers are also benefitting from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. This will reduce how much schools and other providers need to spend on their energy, and give greater certainty over budgets over the winter months.
Further details and the allocations for individual schools and college groups have been published on GOV.UK
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords