Upcoming Events :
E:gen Breakfast Club
Wed 29 May 2013
Minerva House, 5 Montague Close, London , SE1 9BB
Government announces school building plans
Thu 24 May 2012
The government has announced that it will invest in upgrading 261 schools across England.
Some 587 institutions applied for state support as part of the new Priority School Building Programme after being invited to do so last year.
Education secretary Michael Gove acknowledged that many of those who submitted a bid will be disappointed they have not been chosen, particularly as they "also have significant condition needs".
However, he said "difficult decisions" need to be taken to ensure schools in the worst condition are improved.
Mr Gove insisted he is committed to ensuring the needs of unsuccessful applicants are "addressed as quickly as possible", courtesy of other funding programmes and a survey to measure the condition of every school building in the country.
The Priority School Building Programme is a replacement for the Building Schools for the Future initiative that was introduced by the previous Labour administration.
Mr Gove believes it is a "more efficient, faster, less bureaucratic approach" to building schools.
Andrea Squires, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood Solicitors, commented: "This long awaited announcement will have brought joy to many hearts, in the education and construction sectors after such a long period of quiet. BSF was cancelled very nearly two years ago.
"The number of unsuccessful bids demonstrates the continuing need and this ignores those schools whose condition is not dire but simply in need of investment. The lack of capital monies generally will inevitably exacerbate this problem, storing up problems for the future.
"The challenge going forward for the PSBP will be demonstrating that PFI can deliver a value for money and popular solution. A centralised procurement and the batching of schemes is nothing new, but engaging schools without dictating solutions is going to need careful handling."