Schools yet to reach financial close in the Building Schools for the Future programme, a key source of school ICT investment, will be worried by a report on the Education Investor website that a Conservative government "could cancel BSF schemes, even if they have already appointed a preferred bidder". The report's source was shadow schools minister Nick Gibb MP.
Pressed by a headteacher to give an assurance for schools already in the BSF "pipeline" but not yet signed, he was quoted: "What we're saying is if financial close has been reached, it will go ahead." If not, "then it won't be guaranteed."The former KPMG accountant added: "We think [BSF] is a hugely wasteful approach to procuring new buildings. It's very top down, very bureaucratic and costs a huge amount of money." The centrally planned nature of the programme "works against the direction we want to go in."
Nick Gibb made his remarks at a seminar on the schools sector under a Conservative government, organised by law firm Winckworth Sherwood. It's not the first time his replies have alarmed those involved in BSF projects (see also "BSF contract fears follow Conservative's SSAT reply")
Full Education Investor report here.
More on this topic on the Novatia blog covering ICT and capital projects