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Labour warns of over £3.5bn black hole in school repairs budget 

Less than £600m announced in latest spending figures

Labour is today warning of a gaping black hole in the budget for school repairs and maintenance that totals over £3.5 billion. 

Figures obtained through Freedom of Information requests show that in the 89 local authorities who have responded (59% of the requests made) the estimated total cost of the repair backlog in schools in England is £3,606,502,746. Across all local authorities the figure is set to be even bigger.

The Tory-led Government’s capital allocation for 2013/14 will cover less than a quarter of the real costs – they have allocated £595 million of capital to local authorities to support the needs of schools and Sure Start children’s centres they maintain. 

Stephen Twigg MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“David Cameron slashed funding for school buildings by 60 per cent when he came into office – twice the Whitehall average cut to capital spending. 

“Too many pupils are having lessons in classrooms that are crumbling, overcrowded or with leaky roofs. David Cameron and Michael Gove are letting pupils and parents down – they must get a grip.

“Labour would bring forward capital spending on schools to get our flat-lining economy growing again. That would be good news for construction jobs and good news for children."

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