Gove faces the music

By Ian Dunt

A delegation of councillors, teachers and pupils has travelled to Westminster to try and prevent Michael Gove from cancelling plans to improve their schools.

It is the latest stage of Mr Gove’s trials since he accidentally released an incomplete list of cancelled projects, leading many schools to believe they had been spared the axe.

The £55 billion Building Schools for the Future initiative was cancelled by the education secretary on the basis that it was bureaucratic and did not offer value for money.

Over 700 schools have had their projects cancelled, with another 151 waiting to find out if their plans have been spared.

The issue is an emotive one for teachers, many of whom have spent years working on the plans, and a potentially ruinous one for the coalition government, with news reports of leaking roofs and dilapidated schools providing a potent attack against spending cuts for Labour.

Today’s delegation arrived from Sandwell in the West Midlands, whose schools did not originally feature on the list, leading to celebrations among staff until it was revealed that their projects would be cancelled after all.

The council’s leader Darren Cooper told the Today programme: “Our schools are in such a poor state. Some of them date back to the 1920s.

“And clearly that is not conducive to good quality of education for young people – an environment that’s falling apart.”