HC Deb 19 July 2000 vol 354 cc199-200W
Dr. Kumar

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he has taken to update school science laboratories in the constituency of Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East; and if he will make a statement. [131206]

Jacqui Smith

[holding answer 18 July 2000]: Under the initiative "School laboratories for the 21st Century", £60 million is being allocated from the Capital Modernisation fund to tackle deficiencies in secondary school science accommodation over the next two years. This will enable around 400 improvement projects to be carried out at those schools most in need.

In line with the Department's policy of reducing bureaucracy and paperwork, grants are being allocated to local education authorities (LEAs) by formulae. LEAs will then distribute funding to schools according to need. Middlesbrough LEA is to receive £115,109 this year and a further £115,109 in 2001–02.

Additionally, LEAs have been able to apply for funding from the New Deal for Schools (NDS) programme to improve the condition of school laboratories. So far, 151 such projects have been funded, at a cost of just under £37 million. They may also have incorporated improvements to science accommodation within larger schemes of school expansion or rationalisation.