Lilian Greenwood MP has today welcomed a decision by the High Court asking the Education Secretary to think again about the cancelled Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Programme.
Nottingham City Council was one of 6 councils who took the Conservative Minister to court to protest at his decision to cancel hundreds of multimillion pound school rebuilding projects, including Trinity and Top Valley schools in the city. Under the £55bn BSF scheme introduced by Labour, every secondary school in England was to be either rebuilt or refurbished. More than 700 schools' building projects were cancelled when the scheme was scrapped.
The Judge, in ruling, against the Education Secretary, called his decision an “abuse of power” and asked him to reconsider “with an open mind”.
Lilian Greenwood said:
“Today’s decision is a real victory for children and families in Nottingham, who have been betrayed by Michael Gove and this Tory led Government.”
“The Education Secretary’s hastily conceived and ill thought out plan, shows how out of touch the Coalition are with people and communities in Nottingham and across the country.”
“The decision to scrap Labour’s plan to rebuild or refurbish every secondary school in England, has left Councils – like Nottingham City – in real difficulties, with thousands of pounds already spent on planning and contracts.”
“I hope Michael Gove will take the High Court’s advice and think again for the sake of our children, their education, and our economy, which would undoubtedly benefit from such large scale construction projects.”
Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow education secretary, said:
"School building and repair is in complete chaos thanks to Mr Gove. He condemns many children to crumbling classrooms and Portakabins whilst waving his cheque book to try to force through more free schools, which will be irrelevant for the majority of parents,"