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School builds 'should be long term'

School construction and refurbishment should be planned according to long-term goals, the government in Wales has said.

Any new cash will be in line with the Foundation Phase for children aged under seven and Learning Pathways for 14-19-year-olds, it said. Major spending decisions will be guided by how poor a condition the school is in.

Education minister Leighton Andrews said he will give further details in an announcement to the Welsh Local Government Association. A “new 21st century schools standard” intended to account for priorities in local areas will replace the mantra of making schools “fit for purpose”.

School buildings had £667 million spent on them in 2004-08, according to the Assembly Government.

Mr Andrews said: “We must however move away from the spread-the-butter-thinly approach of the past to more effective, strategic funding based on need. We’ve already started investing £216 million into school buildings this financial year using this more strategic approach. A further programme of investment will be announced over the summer.”