Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Scrapping Schools for the Future

So, now that Conservative central government has scrapped the Building Schools for the Future scheme, what is Barnet Conservative council going to say?

When they were in line for £80m for Barnet secondary schools, back in September 2009, the scheme was a good idea. Then council leader Mike Freer, and now Conservative MP, also boasted that the council had the expertise to manage the complex contracts for the construction project:
"We are obviously delighted that we have been recognised for our work with schools in the borough.

"We submitted a bid to get the money early, and because they were impressed by our track record and expertise - our ability to deliver First Class Schools on time and on budget - they fast-tracked us to the front of the queue.

"Managing major capital projects is fraught with difficulty, and we feel this was a strong mark in our favour."
The Times series reports on who will be the losers now:
...the projects at Bishop Douglas RC, Copthall, Oak Lodge, St Mary's CE High, The Pavillion, and The Ravenscroft, have all been stopped.

Only East Barnet school, which was opened last month, has successfully been completed under the BFS.
Mr Gove said the national scheme had been “characterised by massive overspends, tragic delays, botched construction projects and needless bureaucracy”.
Would Mike Freer agree? And would it worry him anyway if it were true?

UPDATE: Here, on the Times series website, is what Barnet Tories are saying: "Tory bosses at Barnet Council admit school spending cuts are 'disappointing'"

1 comment:

Mrs Angry said...

Please note that the schools you list are all non selective schools many with pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. At the same time, selective schools with middle class pupils are rushing to get academy status and 'free' themselves from local authority links. As predicted in my blog 'Mrs Angry's schooldays', the gulf between the haves and havenots in this borough is only going to get wider and wider. Woinder what our Friend Mike Freer has to say about that?