Latest Public Sector News

25.05.12

Priority schools allocated funding for rebuilding

The Government has announced the schools that will receive funding from the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP). 587 schools applied for projects and 261 were approved, with the most rundown 42 prioritised.

The programme replaces the Building Schools for the Future scheme, introduced by Labour with the aim to rebuild every secondary school in England. That scheme was expected to cost £55bn, compared to the PSBP budget of £2bn over five years.

The areas with the highest number of approved projects were Nottinghamshire, with 15, and Kent with 14. Over half of those who applied received no funding.

Education secretary Michael Gove said in a statement: “In tackling the challenges we face on school building, I have been determined to use the capital funding at my disposal to best effect, seeking value for money and efficiency from every pound spent.

“I recognise that many of the schools that applied and have been unsuccessful will also have significant condition needs.”

The announcement was delayed from December, and Labour’s shadow education secretary, Stephen Twigg, said: “Schools and parents have for too long been kept in the dark. This delay exposes the incompetence that has marred the education secretary's handling of schools capital, since his scrapping of the BSF programme”.

Cllr David Simmonds, from the LGA, said: “This funding...will go some way to addressing the problems facing some of our most dilapidated schools.

“But we are still in a situation where more than 300 run-down schools have been left in limbo after lengthy delays in government decision making.”

The areas in which schools will receive priority funding include: Sheffield,Coventry, Devon,Derby, Harrow, Hertfordshire, Liverpool,Birmingham, Tameside,Durham, Barnet, Cambridgeshire andSouthampton.

To see the full list of allocations, visit http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/p/priority%20schools%20building%20programme%20list.pdf

Image c. BSFinHull

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