Commenting on media reports that the Government has frozen the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme and removed the responsibility for BSF from local authorities, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:
"This news is not unexpected but nevertheless deeply disappointing.
"Schools and parents will be horrified to realise that money for existing schools is being sacrificed to fund the ideologically-driven policy of 'free' schools, which has no proven educational merit.
"The public can be forgiven if they find themselves totally bemused by the fact that at a time of economic recession, the Government's priority is to divert money from existing schools to fund a more expensive raft of new ones.
"To remove local authorities from the process seems to reveal a gaping hole in the Government's much vaunted commitment to localism.
"All the research shows that parents and the public want democratically accountable local authorities to play a key part in planning and organising school provision."
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