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Building Schools for the Future Programme

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in how many local authorities the implementation of the Building Schools for the Future programme has been suspended in the absence of a visionary or transformative bid. (291798)

Three Building Schools for the Future projects—Hull, Oldham, and Stoke—have previously been suspended in the pre-procurement phase while the local authorities were asked to re-examine their school estate proposals to ensure that the proposals would make a significant educational impact.

Local authorities are required to demonstrate that their BSF plans are visionary and transformational at two key points in the process. At initial entry, local authorities must submit a robust ‘Readiness to Deliver’ document which explains how their plans will impact on the local educational environment. Once the programme has commenced, they are required to submit a ‘Strategy for Change’ which describes the educational impact of their plans across all of the local schools to benefit from BSF investment. If, at either milestone, it is judged that the local authority is not setting high enough aspirations, they are asked to revise the strategies and resubmit them. This process helps to reduce the need to suspend BSF programmes.