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Schools minister: We won't cut BSF spending

Schools secretary Ed Balls has pledged to maintain spending on the £55 billion Building Schools for the Future programme.

There has been much speculation that schools capital spending will be cut by whoever wins the next election and is tasked with reducing national debt.

But Mr Balls told delegates at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton yesterday: “We will not deny school leavers the college and apprenticeship places they need, or cut our school building programme to pay for an unfair and unfunded free market education experiment - that’s [Tory shadow schools secretary] Michael Gove’s plan.”

The Conservative Party has promoted a system where parents can choose which schools to send their children to.

But shadow minister for schools Nick Gibb told Construction News in May that Tory schools plans were on hold in the wake of April’s Budget.

He said: “The Budget was a shock. With that level of debt there will need to be significant savings – and it is not clear where they will come from.

“We are worried about what funds will be available if we are elected. It concerns us that there will be less money.”

BSF aims to rebuild or refurbish every state secondary school in England by 2023.