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Review launched into Local Education Partnerships

Partnerships for Schools (PfS) has launched another review, this time looking into Local Education Partnerships (LEPs) – public-private partnerships formed to deliver the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

It is the third independent review undertaken by PfS, which will again look to auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers to examine how LEPs are performing once the contract is signed between the contractor-led consortium and the local authority.

The AJ revealed last month (AJ 10.04.08) that CABE and many architects have concerns that contractors will try to build schools as quickly and economically to see the best return on them.

PfS chief executive Tim Byles said: ‘Having reviewed both the pre-procurement and procurement phases of BSF, it is right that we should now turn our attention to the operational phase itself.

‘We are already hearing how the long-term partnership between the public and private sectors created through the LEP has the capacity to procure wider local services beyond secondary schools, such as primary schools, healthcare, housing and leisure facilities.’

The review will cover:

• Experiences from the existing operational LEPs;
• Consideration of best practice in 'embedding partnership behaviours';
• Ways to demonstrate value for money; and
• Recommendations on how to further align objectives within LEPs.

Byles added: ‘This review will help us to understand more about what makes a successful LEP – and how we can ensure strong and healthy partnerships in the future.’

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