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Gove defends scrapping of BSF

Education secretary Michael Gove has laid bare his criticisms of the Building Schools for the Future programme – and pledged to defend his decision to scrap it.

Four local authorities are bringing legal challenges against the coalition government’s abandonment of their BSF schemes.

Labour MP Andy Burnham yesterday told Parliament that Mr Gove “threw schools into chaos” with the decision.

Mr Gove replied: “We will vigorously contest the judicial review of our decision. It is really important that people appreciate that the BSF programme had failed.

“Unfortunately, in 2008, instead of 200 schools being built, fewer than 50 had been built. Under the BSF programme, £11 million was wasted on consultants. One consultant secured the equivalent of £1.35m.

“We will make no apology for ensuring that in the education budget money goes not to lawyers and consultants but to the front line and that 13 years of Labour failure is at last reversed by a coalition government committed to aspiration.”