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School buildings programme 'will be fair and rigorous'

Thu 15 Dec 2011

Education secretary Michael Gove has promised the selection process for the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) will be "fair and rigorous".

In a written ministerial statement on education funding, Mr Gove explained Partnerships for Schools is currently reviewing applications to the scheme to ensure this goal is achieved.

The identity of schools set to benefit from the PSBP will not be confirmed until all candidates have been fully assessed, the politician said.

He revealed an announcement on the matter is set to be made in the new year and insisted he understands the "high level of interest in this programme".

Andrea Squires, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood, commented: "The sector continues to wait with baited breath for announcements on capital allocations. It will continue to be a challenge to see works delivered under the PSBP by 2015, the government's unofficial target, if ministers are serious about following through intentions to create a more flexible user friendly version of PFI."

Last month, the government unveiled plans to free schools across England from "confusing and unnecessary regulations" affecting school buildings.

The coalition claimed some of the current red tape affecting independent and maintained schools includes "complicated" lighting requirements, the need to provide a space to dry pupils' coats and specific rules on the number of wash basins and toilets for each student.

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