Monday, 10 January 2011

The James Review..... a waiting game....

When the new Government took office, one of it's first actions was to effectively stop many of the system changing Building Schools of the Future new / refurbished school schemes that had just started or were awaiting the formal start to the process. As predicted, many students 'lost' their new schools, despite being actively involved it the scheme development. Staff, parents and local authorities got very angry and, of course, very disappointed. Even existing schemes, well underway were instructed to save money wherever possible.

In addition of course, were numerous job losses, local authority staff, construction companies, ICT companies, educationalists and so on.
What did happen was the establishment of a Review to consider how the DfE capital expenditure could be distributed more effectively over the Spending Review periods 2011 - 2015. The "James Review', as it has become known, was created and instructed to consider how this may be achieved.
Their brief included how best to meet parental demand, make current design and procurement more cost effective and efficient, and overhaul how capital is allocated and targeted. The Review team were also asked to take into account allocation of capital funds to ensure new providers would be able to enter the system and enable the establishment of new schools. It is expected that priority will be given to funding new and refurbished buildings for Gove's flagship academies and free schools programmes.
Lots of people are waiting anxiously for this - obviously students, staff and parents, but also all those who have jobs depending on the outcome - including lots of education companies / staff, construction and ICT companies.
It was widely expected that the result of the Review would be made public in December 2010 - in fact, lots of decisions were due in December - including at least two totally separate schemes I am involved with, in different parts of the country, involving numerous schools.
It's now well into January 2011 and not a word has been heard... we' re waiting!!!!

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