More BSF schools axed following Gove list gaffe

Grant Prior 14 years ago
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A number of schools that thought their building plans had been saved have now been told they are being axed under the BSF cull.

Education Secretary Michael Gove is to “apologise unreservedly” over errors in information released about scrapping England’s school building programme.

Steve Eling, deputy leader of Sandwell council, one of the affected areas, said the situation was “bizarre and disgraceful”.

Eling told the BBC that hopes for new schools had been “stolen from under our noses”.

Gove is to write an apology to the Speaker of the House of Commons – and his department has issused a statement saying: “We apologise unreservedly for these errors or lack of clarity for parents, teachers and local communities.”

On Monday, the coalition government set out a list detailing which projects from the Building Schools for the Future scheme would be continued and which would be reviewed or cancelled.

It has now emerged that his department’s list, informing schools of the fate of their building plans, had 25 errors.

This affected schools in areas including Sandwell, Derby, Northamptonshire, Peterborough, Doncaster, Greenwich, Staffordshire, Wiltshire, Lancashire and Bexley.

The mistakes have infuriated Sandwell council, where schools thought they had received good news.

But instead it is now thought that nine projects have been cancelled and three are under review.

“The official letter lodged in the House of Commons library says our Building Schools for the Future scheme was confirmed and now that appears to have been reneged upon,” said Councillor Eling.

“On the face of it members of the House of Commons have been misled, as indeed we have been.

“The situation is bizarre and disgraceful and it is something we will have to challenge because the impact of not going ahead on our educational facilities will be dire.”

A corrected version of the list of cancelled projects has been given to the House of Commons library.

This revised list is also available here.

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