What a sad story of waste and stupidity (3 November). In a week when our children are reported to be the worst in Europe, our government creates so much red tape that it costs a contractor £2m to be unsuccessful in bidding for Building Schools for the Future.

One solution is to ask each of the 3,500 heads to appoint a BSF project manager who would select design-and-build partners from the local education authority’s list of architects and contractors. Each head could select a design from the “standard BSF layout”, based on size, speciality and the number of students. The successful design-and-build team will build on the standard design to suit the school’s needs, the final price is agreed and then the school is built or refurbished. At the end of the project, the BSF project manager becomes facilities manager for the successful contractor.

The funds – about £12m per school – are given directly to the school and the teachers have an input. The local economy benefits and the procedure is sped up.

Adrian Phillips, estates manager, Tendring Technology College, Essex