Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Cut BSF centralisation, urges report

  • Comment
The government has been urged to reduce centralised control over the Building Schools for the Future programme.

A new report published by the New Local Government Network (NLGN), argues that the centralised nature of the£45bn programme and its procurement procedures means that opportunities to harness local benefits are not always realised.

Concerns centre on the prioritisation of resources, delays in the programme and the design of the new schools.

There is considerable scope to devolve decision-making to local people and elected representatives so that wider strategic goals can be met, it says.

The report argues BSF projects should be more closely tied into Sustainable Community Strategies , Local Area Agreements and, where relevant, Multi Area Agreements in order to secure wider community goals.

Pivotal role

The report recommends a more pivotal role for Local Strategic Partnerships in the process and putting council leaders at the head of delivery bodies.

It suggests new freedoms for local authorities to design and pilot their own procurement procedures and make better use of sub-regional partnerships through MAAs.

And it pushes for less central prescription of design processes to allow greater local innovation and variation.

Vision

Nigel Keohane, the report’s author and senior NLGN researcher, said: “Currently the mechanisms for delivering the BSF policy hamper the local vision and strategic integration that are necessary to make these new buildings transform their environments and their pupils. Government should look to remove central prescription so that local input is allowed to come to the fore.

"This new generation of schools can have a positive impact not only on the learning environment, but also on a local community’s skills profile, regeneration projects, leisure and civic life, even on health issues and congestion.

"But, these are very complex interrelated policy areas and this thinking can only occur by joining-up strategy at the local level."

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.