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Where we will spend pound;13.3 billion

ACCORDING to government figures, over the next three years government investment in school buildings will total pound;13.3 billion, including PFI credits. In 199697, the then Department for Education and Employment invested pound;683 million in school buildings. In 200304, the Department for Education and Skills will investpound;3.8 billion.

Every school is allocated pound;11,300 of government money for 200304, rising to pound;13,150 by 200506 - and yet it will be up to the local education authority to decide how best to use the money to address local schooling issues.

From 2001 until 2004, 650 schools will be either rebuilt or refurbished; 7,000 schools will see major repair and improvement projects, and up to 250,000 new pupil spaces will be provided.

Private-sector investment has exceeded pound;1.2m, with 47 PFI contracts involving schools signed. Despite the recent Audit Commission report suggesting that PFI schools saved neither time nor money nor improved quality, it seems such funding is still favoured by the Government.

(See www.audit-commission.gov.uk for the full report)

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