Funding for School Revamp Is Defended; Education Chiefs Say Private Finance Is Seen as a 'Main Tool'

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), March 30, 2001 | Go to article overview

Funding for School Revamp Is Defended; Education Chiefs Say Private Finance Is Seen as a 'Main Tool'


Byline: Nigel Hart

EDUCATION chiefs who want to use private funding for the first time to rebuild a Coventry school have defended their decision.

Caludon Castle Secondary, in Axholme Road, Wyken, is poised to get money for the work through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Government officials gave Coventry City Council permission to proceed with the bid this month.

Under the PFI, a private firm will rebuild the school and manage the site for a fixed contract, normally about 25 years.

Caludon Castle - with more than 1,400 pupils - tops the local education authority's secondary school list for improvement work, which is estimated at pounds 12million.

After an Ofsted report, inspectors noted that deficiencies in accommodation had a direct effect on standards in math, science, design and technology.

But Bob Jelley, a Coventry-based member of the Campaign for State Education (CaSE) said: "Once again the council is virtually forced to follow the PFI route because of its beloved government. …

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