Academy trusts and councils will be able to nominate schools for future rounds of the government’s 10-year rebuilding programme and submit evidence to back up their case, the Department for Education has confirmed.
The government will also select “up to” 300 successful projects at the same time in the next phase, ministers have said, after leaders called for clarity.
The school rebuilding programme was launched last year and will see 500 schools partially or fully rebuilt over a 10-year period.
The first 100 projects were selected by the government based on its condition data collection survey – schools did not need to bid to be considered.
But in its response to a consultation on how future waves will be selected, the DfE said “responsible bodies” – councils for maintained schools and trusts for academies – will in future be asked to express an interest on behalf of schools “with the greatest condition need”.
The DfE’s prioritisation for this group will be “largely informed by consistent data” from the condition data collection.
But there will also be an “opportunity for responsible bodies to submit professional evidence of severe need not captured by CDC, such as structural and other issues, which could cause imminent closure of a building”.
The government only received 205 responses to its consultation, with 60 per cent of respondents in favour of letting responsible bodies put schools forward for the programme.
The DfE has also confirmed it will continue to prioritise schools with “higher intensity needs” rather than schools with the “greatest volume of need” across the site.
Places will be allocated based on the condition and “significant safety issues”.
They won’t target buildings of certain ages or of particular construction types, nor will they consider wider school characteristics including education performance.
Next 300 schools to be selected this year
The first 100 schools being rebuilt as part of the project were named last year, and the DfE confirmed today it intends to conduct “at least two” further selection rounds.
One will be held in 2022 for the “majority” of the remaining places on the programme, while some places will be reserved and announced “at a later date”.
Schools selected “will be informed that they have been provisionally allocated a place on the programme, and projects will then enter delivery at a rate of 50 a year”.
The DfE said today that “up to 300 projects” would be provisionally selected this year.
The department has also published guidance for schools on how to nominate a school.
Nominations are open from today until March 3.