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Building Schools for the Future Programme

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he expects to (a) receive and (b) approve the first Building Schools for the Future proposal for (i) Barnet, (ii) Bexley, (iii) Birmingham, (iv) Bournemouth, (v) Bromley, (vi) Buckinghamshire, (vii) Calderdale, (viii) Cumbria, (ix) Devon, (x) Enfield, (xi) Essex, (xii) Gloucestershire, (xiii) Kent, (xiv) Kingston, (xv) Kirklees, (xvi) Lancashire, (xvii) Lincolnshire, (xviii) Liverpool, (xix) Medway, (xx) North Yorkshire, (xxi) Poole, (xxii) Plymouth, (xxiii) Reading, (xxiv) Redbridge, (xxv) Slough, (xxvi) Southend, (xxvii) Stoke-on-Trent, (xxviii) Sutton, (xxix) Torbay, (xxx) Trafford, (xxxi) Walsall, (xxxii) Warwickshire, (xxxiii) Wiltshire, (xxxiv) Wirral, (xxxv) Wolverhampton and (xxxvi) the Wrekin local authority. (195595)

In 2004, after wide consultation, we invited all authorities to submit expressions of interest for inclusion in the Building Schools for the Future programme. These included how their schools would be grouped into projects. Additionally, those authorities which wished early prioritisation were invited to provide evidence of their readiness to deliver the programme.

All projects were prioritised on the average educational and social need of the schools in them. For pathfinders and wave one authorities, we also appraised their readiness to deliver. All authorities were given an indication of where their projects are prioritised in the overall programme in early 2005. This information is available in the House Libraries.

We have now launched projects in the first six waves of the programme. In total, these include 90 projects in 72 authorities. These projects are being developed through several stages of development and scrutiny with the assistance of Partnerships for Schools, 4ps, the Sorrell Foundation and CABE, other bodies and the Department.

Bournemouth and Poole, Essex, Kirklees, Telford and Wrekin and Wolverhampton are now developing their proposals prior to submitting an outline business case.

Birmingham and Kent have had outline business cases agreed and are in procurement for their first projects.

Stoke-on-Trent is currently reviewing its proposals after the Council’s Children and Young People’s Services were placed under Government intervention in October 2006.

Lancashire and Liverpool have provided robust final business cases, and have signed procurement contracts and schools in their projects are now being built.

Details of the progress of projects in waves one to five can now be found on the Partnerships for Schools website, at: www.p4s.org.uk and following the ‘Programme’ and then ‘Progress’ links.

The following authorities are prioritised in waves seven to 15 of the programme and have not yet entered it: Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Buckinghamshire, Calderdale, Cumbria, Devon, Enfield, Gloucestershire, Kingston upon Thames, Lincolnshire, Medway, North Yorkshire, Plymouth, Reading, Redbridge, Slough, Southend, Sutton, Torbay, Trafford, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Wirral. These authorities will be given the opportunity for revising their expressions of interest later this year when we have consulted on management of these later waves of the programme, and detailed prioritisation will follow.