'A sticking plaster' – DfE's £500m energy efficiencies fund not enough

There is “deep concern” among school leaders that the government has already decided to end the energy relief scheme in March leaving schools exposed to huge hikes in their bills.

News that the government is to invest £500m to help schools and colleges “futureproof” themselves with “energy efficiency upgrades” has been welcomed – but there is an underlying fear at what lies ahead.

Responding to the Department for Education announcement this week (DfE, 2022a), the Association of School and Coll̀ege Leaders (ASCL) and National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said it would do nothing to address the current crisis.

Further criticism has come from the national Let’s Go Zero initiative which is campaigning for all schools to be carbon-neutral by 2030. It labelled the £500m investment as a “sticking plaster”.

Under the scheme, the DfE’s estimations show that, on average, a primary school will receive approximately £16,000 while a secondary school will get £42,000.

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