£500m for schools and colleges to make buildings more energy efficient

Allocations range from £1.8m to £10k and colleges can decide to spend it on 'other capital projects'

Allocations range from £1.8m to £10k and colleges can decide to spend it on 'other capital projects'

Schools and colleges will get £500 million funding to “futureproof” buildings by making them more energy efficient.

This will work out, on average, as £42,000 per secondary school, £16,000 for a primary school and £290,000 for a futher education college.

Allocations for 183 colleges and designated institutions were published this morning and have been based on total ESFA revenue funding for 2021/22. This means NCG, Capital City College Group and New City College will each receive over £1 million.

The Department for Education said funding would be paid to colleges in January and can be spent over the next two financial years.

Improvements could include “installing better heating controls, insulation to reduce heat loss from pipes or switching to energy efficient lighting”, the government said.

However colleges have been given discretion to spend the funding on “other capital projects” if they deem efficiency projects to be “not appropriate based on local circumstances.”

New guidance was also be published today to “support schools to maximise energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and improve sustainability and resilience this winter and beyond”.

As expected, government confirmed the energy support for schools and colleges will end in the spring.

It’s not clear if the £500 million is new funding, or recycled from elsewhere.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan said: “We’re putting this cash in the hands of school and college leaders quickly, so they can decide what work is needed and so that our brilliant teachers can focus on teaching in a warm and safe environment.

“Education is rightly a top priority for this government and we will continue to strive to provide every child with a world-class education.”

But Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the investment will “not pay energy bills in the immediate future”.

“We are deeply concerned that the government intends to end the energy relief scheme that is currently in place to help schools and colleges meet rising costs at the end of March.

“Removing this support will expose them to massive increases in energy bills that are simply unaffordable, and this will necessitate cuts in educational provision. Funding for energy efficiency upgrades is a longer term undertaking and will not address the present crisis.”

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