• BSF - Building Scrapped for Future (In Places)

    Large swathes of the controversial Building Schools for Future (BSF) project have been cut today by Michael Grove, Secretary of State.

    The list, published here by the BBC, details a list of all BSF projects in the country and which ones have been stopped or will continue. As a general rule of thumb, a BSF project should go ahead if the Local Authority (LA) has obtained Financial Closure. Local Authorities who haven't attained this closure have a very high risk of their BSF projects being stopped.

    The debate, which ran in the House of Commons between 4.30pm and 6.30pm, was also marred by the failure of Michael Gove to supply MPs with the list of schools and their status in the scope of the BSF cuts. The list itself did not make it into the Commons Library until after the debate had started and only one copy was made available forcing MPs to queue. The result was a number of MPs standing up and "begging for information on an individual basis." Typically, copies of important documents are left on the centre table for all MPs to collect and look at during a debate.

    However, amidst the swathes of budget cuts some good news was announced for Senior Leadership Teams in need of funding. A statement was made that schools suffering from dilapidated grounds would receive favourable treatment in future financial decisions. No further details were given on the statement during the debate leaving questions as to how much and who will be eligible.

    To join the discussion and see more resources posted by our members, check out our BSF Cuts Thread on the forum.
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. ahuxham's Avatar
      ahuxham -
      I did see this coming, but everyone up in arms saying it wouldn't happen.

      All I can say is: I told you so
    1. carlk2008's Avatar
      carlk2008 -
      I Would have to agree with you ahuxham. Shame though we was in one of the final stages of getting the go ahead.

      However I've just been told that BSF might be coming back under a different name and with a different set of rules.

      Can anyone confirm this ?
    1. jsnetman's Avatar
      jsnetman -
      I guess they will look at each individual school and if it really REALLY needs cash and a rebuild it would come. Probably with the carrot of you have to be an acadamy or free school.
    1. Dos_Box's Avatar
      Dos_Box -
      To let schools rot would be political suicide. My guess would be that schools would be prioritised for renovation (forget new builds unless there is no alternative) or turned into academies. As I have said earlier though, they could have adopted the 1950/60s model of having a standard blueprint for schools and building those instead. It would save money in architects, building materials and lots of other related costs at the same time.
    1. Galway's Avatar
      Galway -
      Quote Originally Posted by carlk2008 View Post
      I've just been told that BSF might be coming back under a different name and with a different set of rules.

      Can anyone confirm this ?
      Whatever name and rules they dig up, they will need cash to fund it. Im sure the consultants can provide the first two, but the latter has to go though the CONDEM coffers and this is where it will all go pear shaped.

      Since letters went out to all schools inviting them to become acadamies, I would put my money on private investment being the backing of any future progress .... and I can remember the Tory squeeze of the 80's so doubt this will have the same result as the BSF plans of labour.
    1. rsenior's Avatar
      rsenior -
      One comment that was made (on Newsnight I think) was that they would continue to build some schools but cut some corners .A lot of the problems that we are suffering from now are due to cutting corners and poor building standards of the 80’s ,with a lot of these schools now in need of rebuilding. Our main college building was built in 1927 and is solid as a rock. If we are going to build these schools,it would be better to build less and to a higher standard so that we are not in the same position in another 25 years.
    1. broc's Avatar
      broc -
      The Govt had to cancel BSF because it was a Labour flagship policy they had soundly criticised. It will re-emerge in some shape or form in time for the ConDem Govt to get the credit for any new schools 'they' build.....

      See how long the Liberal & Tory back-benchers spend making a fuss about schools cancelled in their constituencies... when it goes quiet you will know they have been told what will happen in the future .....
    1. davipton's Avatar
      davipton -
      Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
      The Govt had to cancel BSF because it was a Labour flagship policy they had soundly criticised. It will re-emerge in some shape or form in time for the ConDem Govt to get the credit for any new schools 'they' build.....

      See how long the Liberal & Tory back-benchers spend making a fuss about schools cancelled in their constituencies... when it goes quiet you will know they have been told what will happen in the future .....
      It'll probably be called "Future School Buildings"
    1. hillskill's Avatar
      hillskill -
      "FSB" ha!!
    1. freaky_seb's Avatar
      freaky_seb -
      Thankfully our build has started, the temporary units are now up and they will start demolition in August.

      Would have been interesting if they had scrapped us as well though!
    1. davipton's Avatar
      davipton -
      I know that some people are for BSF and some not! What has BSF actually to your school/local authority? Just interested as I am in one of the 14 sample schools that are being "reviewed"!
    1. Gatt's Avatar
      Gatt -
      Just to be pendantic - buts it micahel Gove - not Grove
    1. SpuffMonkey's Avatar
      SpuffMonkey -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gatt View Post
      Just to be pendantic - buts it micahel Gove - not Grove
      Its tricky being pedantic when you can't spell it - micahel who??
    1. Disease's Avatar
      Disease -
      Ed Balls has made me laugh all week with his Bleeding Heart cry of "Think of the Children!!!!!!!!!!".

      If Ed and his mate Gordon had thought of the children years ago and not spent all our cash on illegal immigrants, a Welfare handout society and Criminal Rights then we would have the cash to spend on the children.

      Way to go Ed, once again we see Labours rank hipocrisy in oppostion yet again.
    1. oalcock's Avatar
      oalcock -
      The thing that makes me sick is 1,000,000s of tax payers money has gone into planning of BSF schools. Will anybody other than the planning companies see that again? Now there are worthless plans in place that no school on its own can afford to work via. They must have one massive drain hole where all this money just gets pored!
    1. duncane's Avatar
      duncane -
      Our school is due to close at the end of the new academic year... explicitly linked to the BSF process in the closure consultation process.

      BSF in our area has been canceled.

      Three other schools in the area were going to be refurbished and expanded to accommodate our students... the council hasn't decided what it's going to do yet, and is still pressing ahead with the closure.

    1. broc's Avatar
      broc -
      Quote Originally Posted by oalcock View Post
      The thing that makes me sick is 1,000,000s of tax payers money has gone into planning of BSF schools. Will anybody other than the planning companies see that again? Now there are worthless plans in place that no school on its own can afford to work via. They must have one massive drain hole where all this money just gets pored!
      Don't be too surprised if some of the projects at a well advanced stage get dusted off & become part of a 'new' ConDem school building program to replace BSF. Many of these only need building contracts to be awarded, so they will appear 'cheap' compared to New Labour BSF schools because much of the design & consultancy money has already been spent. The Govt will want to have them complete by the next General Election, especially those schools that were to be rebuilt as Academies.

      The Govts plans for Academies & Free schools has already failed to live up to the hype so they will need some good news for education from somewhere.

      Notice how the outcry from the Govt MPs about BSF cancellation has died down...
    1. torledo's Avatar
      torledo -
      [QUOTE=broc;549633]

      The Govts plans for Academies & Free schools has already failed to live up to the hype so they will need some good news for education from somewhere.

      [quote]

      agreed. but then again, i think ideas like free schools were completely overhyped in some quarters. i'm not sure the govt. ever expected or wanted free schools to be in any way a replacement for rebuilding existing schools...for starters they would have known what could have been accomplished just by looking at the state of the public finances, nor was there ever [i don't believe] the type of diversion of funds into free schools that the scaremongering seemed to suggest. As for condem style academies...again i don't believe the initial response is unexpected, how many schools really want to be the guinea pigs and be the first to go from expressing interest to making applications ? i don't think the govt. should be surprised either. i think academies could eventually become quite popular.

      Notice how the outcry from the Govt MPs about BSF cancellation has died down...

      yep. i've noticed that, do you think some may have been given indications by govt. that the schools needing rebuild/refurb in their constituencies will get built under a rebranded scheme ?
    1. broc's Avatar
      broc -
      [QUOTE=torledo;549641]
      Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
      yep. i've noticed that, do you think some may have been given indications by govt. that the schools needing rebuild/refurb in their constituencies will get built under a rebranded scheme ?
      I do. It was inevitable that BSF would be canned by the incoming administration, it was after all a New Labour flagship policy & the opposition had soundly criticised it. The fact remains that many schools are still in an appalling state of repair; many millions has already been spent on the design & planning of all those schools 'stopped' by Gove.... note stopped, not cancelled.....

      I may not agree with this Govt (or the previous Govt for that matter) but they are not total fools: they must recognise that a lot of BSF money has already been spent on design, planning and consultancy, schools still need rebuilding & the state must still help lead the county out of recession; add to that the building industry will go into terminal decline once the Olympic building program finishes & the current BSF school building program comes to an end (both in 2012).

      The Govt have promised a spending review; I think at the end of it they will announce a 'value for money' school building program; BSF was 'only' costing the country 5-6billion per year, so they could deliver a streamlined program for much less by capitalising on the the money already spent; spending money on schools is popular amongst the electorate, it might be a sweetener when cuts bite elsewhere, it could be a vote winner in the 2014-2015 timescale in time for the next election. I would be willing to bet that BSF 'academies' that were in the pipeline are the first to get approval under the ConDem revitalised school building program.
    1. GrumbleDook's Avatar
      GrumbleDook -
      One of the other problems with this sort of planning about schools ... Govts tend to plan around each term in office (no point planning for longer unless they think it is a vote winner) but LAs and schools themselves are planning over much longer periods ... up to 25 years and beyond at times. When some Govt agenda comes in to change stuff they *have* to try and do some damage limitation. It might be that they retains rights to architects plans, keep the documentation about the process of getting it all running again ... the sticking point is that in 3 years the school that really needs the refurb or rebuild might have changed ... and changed again in the subsequent 5 years ... but the process is still the same, it is just about tweaking the building to fit on the allocated plot, changing around some specialist needs ... and Bob is your Mother's brother.
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