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James Review: 'local investment plans' at heart of new system

Councils and other school governing bodies should draw up ‘local investment plans’ listing the priorities for schools capital spending in their area, according to the James Review.

The government-commissioned task force today published its report recommending a schools procurement system to replace the axed Building Schools for the Future scheme. A key recommendation is that local authorities should have a greater say in how capital funding is spent.

The report calls for councils to manage a process that allows all bodies in charge of running schools to come together to produce an LIP for capital projects in their area.

The report says: “This plan should briefly lay out the priorities for expenditure, whether they are to provide new schools, extensions or refurbishments… it should describe the local plan for maintenance and upkeep of the estate.”

The report notes there is likely to be “tension” as academy trusts, charitable foundations, councils and others compete for funding. To ensure the process is carried out fairly, the LIPs should be subject to approval by a central body, the report says.

It alo says several councils should be able to join together to produce one LIP.

Read what the James Review means for contractors - see Greg Pitcher’s blog.

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