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More than 700 school projects cancelled

Education secretary Michael Gove has scrapped all Building Schools for the Future projects that have not reached financial close.

He said he would also look at the 14 schemes where a preferred bidder has been selected, to see whether the sample schools should go ahead.

A total of 715 schools will no longer be rebuilt or refurbished through BSF, of which nearly 180 schools were projected to be new build, 319 to be remodelled or refurbished, 63 to be ICT-only and 153 had unconfirmed plans.

Mr Gove launched a review of all capital investment in schools, early years education, colleges and sixth forms to guide future spending decisions over the next Spending Review period.

Mr Gove said: “BSF has been responsible for a third of this department’s spending. It has been characterised by cost overruns, tragic delays, bothed construction jobs and needless beauracracy.”

The UK Contractors Group, of which the HVCA is a member, said in a statement: “UKCG members are up for the challenge of working with the new government to eliminate waste and delays on school building programmes.  UKCG members have long argued that the BSF programme could be simplified and that too much was wasted on sample designs that were never used.  Many of these unnecessary costs were borne by contractors.

Members will also be working with government to try and find ways to enable the sample projects in 14 areas to go ahead.  There has been a considerable amount of upfront expenditure on these schemes and it would be a shame if all this went to waste.