Two school redevelopments approved
Published: Monday 9th August 10
Education Secretary Michael Gove has given the go ahead for the redevelopment of two Wandsworth secondary schools.
Burntwood School in Earlsfield and Southfields Community College will both benefit from a major improvement package.
The final details are yet to be confirmed but work is expected to start in spring next year.
The projects had been on hold while the Government carried out an urgent review of the national Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. Ministers were concerned that the BSF model was overly bureaucratic and failed to deliver value for money.
A Capital Review is now underway to look at new ways of delivering school improvement projects. The aim is to establish a more cost efficient approach and a report is expected in mid-September.
Leader of Wandsworth Council Edward Lister said:
"We worked very hard to develop these schemes and I'm delighted that we can now move ahead.
"Many more of our schools are in need of major new investment and we expect to hear details of how these projects will be financed following the outcome of the Capital Review.
"What is already clear is that there are far quicker and more efficient ways of delivering these schemes. The BSF model has forced councils all over the country to waste millions jumping though bureaucratic hoops before any building work could get underway.
"Now more than ever, it is absolutely vital that public spending is kept under tight control and programmes that fail to deliver value have to be shelved."
Executive member for children's services Kathy Tracey said:
"This is terrific news for these two schools and the thousands of children who will benefit from a huge improvement to their learning environment.
"Our next priority is to secure funding for the rest of our schools and we look forward to submitting our ideas to the Capital Review Team on how these schemes can be delivered in a more cost efficient and timely manner."
Education Secretary Michael Gove said:
"I know how hard councils and schools have worked on these projects and I have been anxious to ensure we can do everything we can, in difficult economic times, to support the crucial work of raising educational standards. Planning for these projects is well advanced and we are keen they should proceed without further delay.
"We will also work with councils, sponsors and the construction industry to ensure we bear down on costs and bureaucracy so every new school is built in as cost-effective and efficient a way as possible, and I am delighted that they have already responded so positively to this challenge."