Crumbling schools across Sussex will need repairs costing £131 million over the next five years.

The figure is for restoring buildings to a serviceable state and does not cover modernisation or take account of changes to pupil numbers.

West Sussex County Council has the largest bill of £76.4 million.

A total of £4.2 million is regarded as urgent work.

A further £27.1 million will need to be spent within two years and the remaining £45.1 million within five years.

East Sussex County Council has a £5.9 million bill for urgent work, £16 million to be spent within two years and a further £11.3 million within five years - a total of £33.2 million.

Brighton and Hove requires no urgent work. But £11.7 million of work must be carried out within two years and a further £10.1 million within five years, a total of £21.8 million.

However, West Sussex County Council is spending only 2.48 per cent of its education budget on repairs in the current financial year.

Brighton and Hove is spending 3.17 per cent and East Sussex 2.61 per cent.

Ten local authorities are spending more than five per cent of their annual budgets on repairs.

The figures were revealed in the answer to a Parliamentary question tabled by Phil Willis, Liberal Democrat education spokesman.

Education minister John Healey said the Government had provided £5.5 billion for school repairs over the last two years and would spend a further £6.3 billion by 2004.

The total repairs bill for England's education authorities was estimated at just over £7 billion, he said.

Mr Healey added: "The figures are derived from data supplied by local education authorities over the past two years, based on surveys carried out mainly in 1999 or early 2000.

"We have enabled LEAs and schools to tackle a significant proportion of the school repair and renewal needs which had built up over many years."