Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education
On September 26, I published my new Action Plan for Education in Wales. This plan sets out our national mission, which will see implementation of a brand new curriculum, with a focus on leadership, professional learning, and a self improving system.
My ultimate goal is that educational standards are raised for all, that we reduce the attainment gap and that we deliver an education system that is a source of national pride and public confidence.
To support this aspiration, we must overcome barriers and support learning through provision of fit for purpose schools and colleges of the right size, in the right location, with the right facilities to deliver our new curriculum.
Our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme is the means to achieve this ambition, and represents the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s.
The Programme has been developed in partnership between the Welsh Local Government Association, Colleges Wales and Diocesan Directors. The first wave of funding provided though the Programme will see investment of more than £1.4 billion over the five year period ending 2019. This will support the rebuild and refurbishment of over 150 schools and colleges across Wales.
However, more needs to be done, which is why I am delighted to announce a second wave of investment for the Programme, which will begin in April 2019.
As with the first tranche of investment, the second tranche, Band B, will be jointly funded between the Welsh Government, Local Authorities and others. The bulk of the Programme will be funded from capital budgets. However, in contrast to the first wave of the Programme, this next wave will seek to include additional investment with a capital value of around £500m funded through the Mutual Investment Model.
Local Authorities and Further Education Institutions have proposed £2.3bn of projects, which meet the investment objectives of Band B of the Programme. The Welsh Government is committed to supporting all of these projects, subject to approval of business cases.
We will work closely with our partners to agree the pace of delivery for their projects, and put in place investment plans that are affordable and meet our shared ambition to create sustainable learning environments that meet the needs of our communities.