Minister admits errors in identifying cancelled school building projects

Education secretary Michael Gove is to apologise for errors in information released about which school building projects are being cancelled, according to the BBC.

On Monday the government produced a list of which projects under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme would be continued and which reviewed or cancelled.

Several schools originally led to believe their plans had evaded the axe have now been told they are actually among the 700 cancelled schemes.

The list has turned out to have numerous errors, with possibly as many as 22 projects incorrectly listed, and a new version has since been given to the House of Commons library.

The BBC said that Gove would write to the Speaker of the House of Commons apologising for the mistakes.

Shadow education secretary Ed Balls yesterday wrote to Gove demanding an apology, saying: “There was dismay in the House of Commons yesterday when you made an announcement about cuts to the school building programme without making a list of the schools affected available to Members of Parliament who were in the House for your statement.

“I believe this is a disgraceful way for a Secretary of State to make an announcement when opportunities for young people and the hopes of communities are in the balance.”

One example he cited was in Sandwell, where schools were listed as “unaffected” but the local council was told by the Department for Education to expect cancellations.

Steve Eling, deputy leader of Sandwell council, told the BBC that the situation was “bizarre and disgraceful” and that hopes for new schools had been “stolen from under our noses”.