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Building Schools for the Future hits major delays

The government's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme is being delayed due to a failure to deal with the scale of spending at a local-government level.

Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, admitted in a recent interview with the AJ's sister title Local Government Chronicle that local councils involved in the early stages of the £45 billion project struggled with the sheer scale of it.

Byles said: 'There were problems to do with local government's capacity to get to grips with the size of the spending. In some cases this is doubling the size of their turnover.'

Byles added that all councils will now have to illustrate that they clearly understand what they are expected to deliver, to avoid future setbacks.

The admission from Byles is the latest in a long line of hold-ups - last July CABE warned that all design briefs for the programme needed a complete overhaul as a matter of urgency.

The design watchdog stated that the vast education initiative was in danger of badly letting down Britain's children, unless it illustrated better design standards.

The news of more delays will be worrying for the government as it hopes to rebuild or refurbish all secondary schools by 2019.

by Richard Vaughan

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