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Gove announces £500m priority schools jackpot

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Education secretary Michael Gove has today allocated £500 million of funding to more than 100 local authorities to address the shortage of pupil places this year

Gove announced the funding in July and today released details of how much each authority would receive under the programme, reported sister title Construction News.

The funding has come from efficiencies achieved on existing Building Schools for the Future (BSF) projects, Gove said.

In a written ministerial statement he said:  ‘I can announce today that over one hundred local authorities will receive a share of the funding.

‘The allocations have been calculated using figures provided to the Department for Education by local authorities through the 2011 School Capacity and Forecast Information returns.

‘By using the most up-to-date information available we are making sure the savings identified are being targeted to local authorities experiencing the most severe need.’

The education secretary also announced his decision on the six local authorities that brought a judicial review over the cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future programme.

He said:  ‘I announced what I was minded to do in July and have received further representations from each of the claimant authorities.

‘I considered these carefully but I am not persuaded that I should depart from the decision which I announced I was minded to take.

‘My final decision is, therefore, not to fund the schools in the claim but, instead, to fund, in capital grant, the value of the claimant authorities proven contractual liabilities.’

And he confirmed the launch of a 12 week consultation on the revision of school premises regulations.

The consultation document sets out how the government intends to reduce bureaucracy surrounding the current requirements.

Gove added:  ‘I am proposing to make the requirements for independent and maintained schools identical and to reduce the overall number of regulations.

‘Some regulations are duplicated in other pieces of legislation or are simply unnecessary and I propose to remove these regulations completely.

‘I also think that other regulations can be simplified to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and make requirements proportionate, without reducing the quality of buildings.

‘I would welcome views on my proposals, further details of which can be found on the Department for Education’s website.’


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