Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gove Claws Back [Pounds Sterling]400m to Save School Rebuilding

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gove Claws Back [Pounds Sterling]400m to Save School Rebuilding

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Waugh Deputy Political Editor

SCORES of school rebuilding projects are to get the go-ahead from Education Secretary Michael Gove in a bid to reduce the public backlash against his cuts plans.

All 33 pilot schemes for so-called "sample schools" have now been approved following intense discussions with the Treasury, the Standard has learned.

But in a move that is sure to continue the row, more than 60 per cent of new academy schools will be put on hold in a bid to save [pounds sterling]1.8 billion.

Mr Gove's department and local councils will have to find [pounds sterling]400 million from cuts to other budgets to pay for the rebuilding works.

Whitehall sources revealed that Mr Gove has agreed with the Treasury Chief Secretary a final list of school building projects that can and can't go ahead, with a formal announcement likely next week. Their top-secret deal was referred for approval to the PM last week.

Tory MPs have joined Labour counterparts in objecting to the impact the cuts would have on their local communities, with many complaining that their local school was in desperate need of refurbishment after decades of under-investment.

The issue has been a key test of nerve for the Lib-Con coalition as it tries to find cuts to tackle the deficit.

Mr Gove infuriated town halls and parents this year when he announced the cancellation of 600 Building Schools for the Future projects set in train by the Labour government. …

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