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BSF cuts: £1 million CABE programme axed

The government has cut almost £1 million from CABE’s budget, following its decision to axe 719 school-building projects

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, today told the House of Commons that all BSF schemes yet to reach financial close would not go ahead, while a review team would look at sample schools that had reached preferred bidder status.

The decision, which represents savings worth £7.5 billion for the government, includes an end to CABE’s BSF advisory services – costing annually £972,000.

Paul Finch, CABE chairman, responding to the announcement emphasised the ‘significant, measurable impact’ of CABE advice, offering to help the review team’s work.

He said: ‘We acknowledge the Government intends to pursue a new approach towards the school estate; but we also know the combination of practical advice and minimum standards has a significant, measurable impact on the quality ofbuildings provided for teachers and pupils alike.

‘CABE has a wealth of experience and insight which we will now offer the Review team, helping them address the challenge to cut costs and still deliver a world class schools infrastructure in Britain.’

Five of the organisation’s staff will be released from their contracts while approximately £700,000 funding will be cut in the current financial year.

BSF Review - key points

  • 715 BSF schemes scrapped (180 new build, 319 refurbishments, 63 ICT-only and 153 undisclosed)
  • 706 BSF scheme to go ahead under ‘new arrangements’ (386 new build, 262 refurbishment, 26 ICT-only and 32 undisclosed)
  • 123 Academies yet to reach financial close to be reviewed on a ‘case-by-case’ basis
  • ‘sample’ projects be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in recognition of local need in 14 cases
  • A comprehensive Review of all capital investment in schools, early years, colleges and sixth forms
  • End £972,000 annual funding for CABE design advice service associated with BSF

Read the RIBA’s response here.

The full list of stopped and ‘under discussion’ projects is attached (right)

Gove’s BSF review team


(Chair) Sebastian James, Group Operations Director of DSG international

Kevin Grace, Tesco - Director of Property Services

Barry Quirk, Chief Executive of Lewisham

John Hood former Vice-Chancellor of University of Oxford

Sir John Egan, former Chief Executive of Jaguar and BAA

Readers' comments (1)

  • dear sir, i work at Cardinal Newman School in Luton and although we have not reached financial closure we were accellerated to a higher phase so do we still go ahead with the BSF program as we are on the same level as unaffected schools in Luton yours sincerely Mitch Eastwick

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