As Education Secretary Michael Grove brings an end to Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme
Yesterday Education Secretary Michael Grove set out a complete overhaul of capital investment in England’s schools which effects over 87% of the plans for secondary schools in the borough - the two that have not been stopped are "sample for discussion".
He said, "In the light of the public finances, it would have been irresponsible to carry on regardless with an inflexible, and needlessly complex programme."
The news will be a great blow to the newly appointed head, staff and pupils of Elliott School which has struggled through some turbulent years with poor grades and changes in governors but hope for the school and its pupils were raised with the appointment at Easter of "high flying" head Mark Phillips who had turned his previous school around. Also the promise of a £35m refurbishment of the school under the Building Schools for the Future programme. This was to produce "a complete overhaul of the school's buildings to improve classrooms and other facilities and ensure a better learning environment for pupils".
Adam Gray the Campaign Manager for the Putney Labour Party said:
"The axing of Elliott's urgently needed rebuilding money was signed off by Putney's own Tory MP, a Treasury Minister. Elliott needed this money long before the Tories came to power nationally: in fact they needed the money when the Conservative council inherited responsibility for Elliott back in 1990. It even needed it when I was a student at Elliott in the 1980s!
"This is a spiteful and needless cut by Justine Greening on a major school in her own patch. The Tories could have halved the national debt in four years whilst honouring the rebuilding plans of Elliott and the other schools that have lost their funding. But dogs bark, cats meow and Tories cut, cut and cut again. Justine Greening, the Tory Minister for cuts has proven yet again that she'll make Putney pay any price for her own advancement within the Conservative Party."
MP for Putney Justine Greening has told PutneySW15.com:
“The Building Schools for the Future Programme failed to deliver funding for Elliott School over the past 5 years since I met with Lord Adonis. Though the BSF Programme has been stopped because of the massive bureaucracy problems, there is still capital funding available to improve schools. I have spoken with the Head of Children’s Services at Wandsworth Borough Council, and he has confirmed that they will continue to make a case for investment to improve Elliott School. As local MP, I will continue to make our case for support for the School.”
The other schools effected were:
According to the report "Sample for discussion" means that these "cases, prioritised locally as 'sample' projects - the first taken forward in the area - will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in recognition of local need. Although financial close has not been reached, very significant work has been undertaken to the point of appointing a preferred bidder at 'close of dialogue'. "
The Government is launching a comprehensive Review of all capital investment in schools, early years, colleges and sixth forms. Led by Sebastian James, Group Operations Director of DSG international plc, the Review team includes Kevin Grace, Tesco - Director of Property Services, Barry Quirk, Chief Executive of Lewisham, John Hood former Vice-Chancellor of University of Oxford and Sir John Egan, former Chief Executive of Jaguar and BAA.
The Secretary of State also announced that he will be ending funding for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) design advice service associated with the BSF programme.
July 7, 2010