EDUCATION Secretary Michael Gove insists that the coalition Government had no choice but to cancel BSF after being faced with a “desperate mess left by the last administration.”
The massive project’s set-up was mired in bureaucracy and failed to meet any of its targets, he said.
Axing the multi-billion pound BSF scheme puts an end to £222 million of investment in Rotherham’s secondary schools over 15 years.
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Tory Mr Gove said: “Over the last ten years we have declined from fourth in the world for the quality of science education to 14th, seventh in the world for literacy to 17th and from eighth in the world for maths to 24th.
“At the same time the gulf between rich and poor has got wider, with the attainment gap between students in fee-paying schools and those in state schools doubling.
“Faced with the desperate mess left by the last administration this Government has had to prioritise.
“And our first priority is raising the attainment of the poorest by investing in great teaching.”
Charity Teach First—which attracts new staff to the classroom—will be doubled in size and introduced to primary schools.
Mr Gove said that Teach First has done more than any organisation to encourage educators to join “our most challenging schools,” helping to raise attainment in poor areas.
With a national debt approaching £1 trillion and a budget deficit of £155 billion, the Government has prioritised cracking down on wasteful schemes.
Mr Gove said: “In order to clear up the economic mess we have been left, we have to bear down on the waste and bureaucracy which has characterised Labour’s years in office and rein back projects which have not been properly funded.
“BSF has been characterised by massive overspends, tragic delays, botched construction projects and needless bureaucracy.
“It is perhaps no surprise that it can take almost three years to negotiate the bureaucratic process of BSF before a single builder is engaged or brick is laid.
“Given the massively flawed way in which it was designed, and led, BSF failed to meet any of its targets.
“BSF schools cost three times what it costs to procure buildings in the commercial world and twice what it costs to build a school in Ireland.”
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