Could dbe folded into Education Funding Agency in April

Partnerships for Schools could be absorbed into a new education funding agency that is more closely controlled by government, under plans being discussed by officials.

The future of PfS is being discussed as part of the government’s response to the Sebastian James Review into the school building programme, which recommended that a powerful central agency be given responsibility for running the programme.

However, officials are discussing watering down the proposal in favour of having more responsibility for procuring work at a local level. Instead of creating an independent agency with greater powers, they would move PfS into the Education Funding Agency – a new body that comes into being next April. PfS could be folded into the agency at the end of the financial year.

The new agency, unlike PfS, will not have its own board, and will instead report directly to the Department for Education. The Young People’s Learning Agency, which handles funding for academies, is set to become part of the body.

As revealed by Building, Tim Byles, PfS chief executive, will leave the organisation at the end of the month. Ruth Thompson has been appointed interim chief executive.