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Building Schools for the Future

Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made in implementing the Building Schools for the Future programme; what the role is of PricewaterhouseCoopers in delivering the programme; and if he will make a statement. (111366)

To date, six local authorities have signed contracts for their Building Schools for the Future (BSF) projects. The first of these was Bristol in June 2006, which marked the establishment of the first Local Education Partnership (LEP), a long-term public-private partnership which is the preferred model for delivering local BSF projects. Greenwich and Manchester signed contracts with their respective private sector partners in October and November 2006, followed by Lancashire, Bradford and Lambeth in December 2006. We expect several more contracts to be signed in the coming months. 18 local authority projects are currently in procurement; seven are now at preferred bidder stage. All but five of the wave 1-3 projects have had their strategies approved. We are just starting work with the 15 authorities in wave 4, which were announced in December 2006.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has no role in delivering the BSF programme. Following Official Journal of the European Union procurement, the Department has placed a contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers to evaluate the impact of the Building Schools for the Future programme on educational achievement. This is in line with Treasury “Green Book” requirements for major new programmes. This evaluation also aims to learn lessons from the early stages of the programme to inform its development.