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Government loses court battle over cancelled school building projects

11 February 2011

The government has lost a high court case against six councils protesting Michael Gove’s decision to cancel over 700 Building Schools for the Future projects. The judge held that the cancellation was “an abuse of power”. The government may now have to pay compensation.

It was argued that the decision to scrap the projects was unfair and unlawful, that Gove had not consulted properly or given good enough reasons for stopping projects.

The government argued that cuts had to be made quickly, that the decisions were not made lightly and were not open to legal challenge. However, in light of this case, Gove will have to review his decisions.

Whether or not this case will result in any cancelled projects being re-started remains to be seen. However, it is possible that other councils may seek review of the decision to cancel other projects. But the judge emphasised that the final decision rests with Gove, and that no one should gain false hope from this case.

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