Ex-SRA boss to head £30 bn schools rebuilding and renewal scheme.

Richard Bowker, the former chairman and chief executive of the Strategic Rail Authority, is to head a £30 bn programme aiming to rebuild or renew every secondary school in the country.

As chief executive for Partnerships for Schools, Bowker will be paid £200,000 a year. Described by the Telegraph as being “as Blairite as they come”, Bowker will be responsible for an organisation that must deliver the 15-year Building Schools for the Future programme announced during the last Labour government. Bowker will report directly to Jacqui Smith, the School Standards Minister.

Bowker said yesterday that he had foregone several offers from the private-sector to take up the position with Partnerships for Schools.

He said: “I still feel there is a bit of unfinished business for me there. I am a passionate believer in the intelligent public sector client. What’s fantastic about this job is that it isn’t just about delivering bricks and mortar through PFI; it’s about delivering improved performance in our schools so that kids do better.”