The 21st Century Schools and Education Programme represents the largest strategic investment in the educational infrastructure since the 1960s – totalling £3.7 billion ending in 2024 – thanks to the Welsh Labour Government. It has been designed to end the piecemeal ‘patch and mend’ approach to investment in educational infrastructure that characterised earlier funding packages.
The Programme was designed to be delivered over a number of waves, or ‘bands’ of investment. ‘Band A’ of the 21st Century Schools Programme represented a £1.4 billion investment over the five-year period ending earlier this year. The Welsh Government funded 50% of the Programme with the remaining 50% funding provided by Local Authorities and others.
The ‘band A’ wave of investment ended in March 2019, supported the rebuild and refurbishment of over 160 schools and colleges across Wales. The ‘band B’ of investment for the programme began this April and will play an important role in raising the standards of education across Wales, in line with the national mission.
A long-term infrastructure investment in Welsh schools and colleges. The programme aims to:
- improve the quality of school buildings
- ensure places are available to serve local pupil demand
- reduce surplus capacity
- reduce running costs
- promote sustainability
As with the first wave of investment, the second band is jointly funded between the Welsh Government, Local Authorities and others. The bulk of the Programme will be funded from capital budgets, with significant additional investment funded through the Mutual Investment Model (MIM). The MIM has been developed by the Welsh Government to finance major capital projects due to a scarcity of capital funding.