The first round will include 50 school rebuilding projects plus 21 new free schools.
Over the next decade the Government has pledged to deliver 500 projects as part of the programme.
The schools include primary, secondary and specials as well as a sixth form college in West Yorkshire, with more than 70% of the schools in the North and Midlands.
Project planning for the 50 rebuilds is already advanced on a number of schools following site visits last year, so construction can begin on the first projects from autumn 2021.
The majority of the first 50 rebuild projects under the programme are expected to be completed within three to five years.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Today we are launching the first phase of our ambitious new schools programme.
The rebuilding projects are just the start of our major ten-year programme, transforming hundreds of schools and improving the education of tens of thousands of children.
“Alongside this, over 15,500 children will now benefit from 21 new free schools across the country as we look to build back better after the pandemic.”
The investment of over £1bn to support the first round of the School Rebuilding Programme comes on top of the Government’s commitment to allocate £1.8bnfor school repair and upgrade projects over this coming year.
Further details about the School Rebuilding programme will be set out later in 2021, including how evidence about schools’ condition needs can be provided to support prioritisation for future rounds of the programme.
Projects will range from replacing or refurbishing individual buildings through to whole school rebuilds.
The department also plans to consult this year to gather views on how schools are prioritised for future rounds of the long-term programme.