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Burnham For Mayor

Thursday, 9 June 2011

James Review of Education Capital

Michael Gove has made a complete mess of the schools capital budget. He caved in to Treasury pressure at the spending review and accepted an appalling capital settlement for schools, twice as bad as the Government average. His decision-making over the scrapping of 700 Building Schools for the Future projects was described by a High Court judge as an ‘abuse of power’.

The average secondary school has seen its budget for maintenance and repairs slashed by £86,000 this year, and the average primary school by £26,000. It makes a mockery of his claim to have found more resources for schools, and risks a return to the bad old days of the 1980s when children tried to learn in crumbling classrooms with equipment not up to the job.

And as if this wasn't bad enough, there is a complete lack of transparency over funding for his free school programme. With mainstream schools facing harsh cuts, he must set out details of free school funding so that local communities can judge whether this is the most effective use of scarce resources.