Author: Cyril Richert
Hundreds of school building projects are being scrapped as England’s national school redevelopment scheme is axed by the government.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said on Monday that 715 school revamps already signed up to Labour’s Building Schools for the Future scheme will not now go ahead.
It includes 14 schools in Wandsworth being stopped and 2 further schools under review:
Battersea Park = Stopped
Bradstow = Stopped
Chestnut Grove = Stopped
Elliott = Stopped
Ernest Bevin = Stopped
Francis Barber = Stopped
Garratt Park = Stopped
Graveney = Stopped
Linden Lodge = Stopped
Nightingale = Stopped
Oak Lodge = Stopped
Paddock = Stopped
Saint John Bosco = Stopped
St Cecilia = Stopped
Burntwood = Sample – for discussion (considered on a ‘case by case basis’ as part of the national review)
Southfields = Sample – for discussion
Originally all of England’s 3,500 schools were to be revamped by 2023. The plan was to replace out-dated buildings with facilities that suit modern education. But the new government said the scheme had “massive overspends, tragic delays, botched construction projects and needless bureaucracy” and Mr Gove said it was responsible for one thirds of his department’s capital spending (£55 billion programme is to be abandoned).
Furthermore Michael Gove admitted in Thursday 25 errors in the list, where several schools which thought their building projects were safe have now been told they will not go ahead. The Education Secretary apologised to the Commons chamber but Labour has since claimed the revised list still contains inaccuracies.
In Thursday’s press release, Wandsworth Council said that he was still hoping to persuade Department for Education officials that advanced plans to redevelop four Wandsworth secondary schools should be allowed to go ahead.
Detailed designs have already been prepared for Burntwood and Southfields. The council also wants the ‘case by case’ review to include plans for the remodelling of Elliott School in Putney and the construction of Saint John Bosco – a new Catholic secondary school in Battersea. Both are also at an advanced stage.
Last week the council made a decision to appoint Bovis Lend Lease Ltd as preferred bidder for the borough’s BSF programme. The appointment came ahead of schedule and marked the conclusion of an 11-month selection process which began in July 2009.