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More cash for maintenance

chools will receive pound;7.8 billion for building maintenance and repairs, the Secretary of State for Education, David Blunkett, has announced.

The funds, which will be distributed over a three-year period, will go torepair and modernise 7,000 schools and transform or replace a further 650. The capital spending devolved irectly to primary schools will rise from around pound;6,500 a year to pound;16,000 by 2004.

"This year we are spending pound;2 billion on repairs and renewal - three times as much as the previous government did in 1996-97," Mr Blunkett said.

"Since 1997 we have been able to spend pound;5 billion (on capital spending)."

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