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Sun November 01 2020

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Under-fire Gove issues fifth list of schools affected by BSF cuts

13 Jul 10 Beleaguered Education Secretary Michael Gove was yesterday forced to issue a fifth list of schools affected by cuts to the Building Schools for the Future programme, after errors in his previous announcement.

Beleaguered Education Secretary Michael Gove was yesterday forced to issue a fifth list of schools affected by cuts to the Building Schools for the Future programme, after errors in his previous announcement.

According to the latest list, 735 schools will see planned construction projects halted.

This is an increase of 20 on the original list published by Gove last week, when he announced that BSF would be cancelled.

However, shadow education secretary Ed Balls said that the list contains two further errors, claiming that a school in Nottingham was told a project was being cancelled, when it was already completed, while another in North Lincolnshire was described as 'open' when it was still under construction.

However, the Department for Education refuted the claims.

In stormy exchanges in the House of Commons, Balls told Gove: "You must now know there is widespread anger on all sides of the House.

“We all know you're on very shaky ground. You're fast losing the confidence of pupils and of parents and of teachers.

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"If you had any sense, you would end this shambles, you would withdraw these error-strewn lists and you would let our communities have our new schools."

Gove responded with heavy criticism of Labour's mismanagement of the programme, the cost of which spiralled from £45bn to £55bn.

He said: “Everyone involved in this process said to me: 'Make sure that you ensure that this faltering and failing project ends'.

"And that is what I have done. I inherited a mess from you and we are clearing it up.

"Yes, when mistakes are made, we apologise and we take responsibility.”

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