Minister invites class-cutting bids
David Blunkett, the Education Secretary, announced last week that the Pounds 1.3 billion New Deal for Schools launched by the Chancellor in July has become a Pounds 2bn five-year programme. Central government's contribution, funded by the windfall tax on the utilities, stays at Pounds 1.3bn: the rest is to come from "partnership funding". The contribution by the churches, which pay 15 per cent of capital costs in voluntary-aided schools, might be similar to the Pounds 20-30m spent last year.
None of the building money in the currect year comes from the private sector as Private Finance Initiative schemes have yet to get started.