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Is there still light at the end of the tunnel for priority schools?

14 May 2013

The Government has announced that 137 of the 221 schools on its Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) will now be delivered using capital funding after failing to raise sufficient private capital.

Whilst the Government has confirmed the first batch of schools will go out to the market in June – to be followed in the next 12 months by a further four batches – the value of the privately financed element of the PSBP has been slashed by almost £1bn to £700m.

This is a major blow both to the Government’s plans to pilot their new private finance approach PF2 on the PSBP and to those schools in dire need of rebuilding, many of whom were victims of the government’s cull of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme in 2010.

One hopes swift progress is made on the first and subsequent batches of privately financed schemes. Only then might the dying embers of the flickering light at the end of the tunnel be rekindled!

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