School buildings ‘cost 35% less’

The Press Association (via the Mail) is reporting claims from ministers that school buildings are now being constructed for about a third less, saving the taxpayer millions of pounds…

A total of 260 schools in the worst condition across England are being refurbished or rebuilt through the Government’s £2.4 billion Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

Under the scheme, building projects are costing about 35% less than the previous scheme set up under Labour, the Department for Education (DfE) claimed.

It said that the average cost of rebuilding a secondary school through PSBP is about £15 million, with each one saving around £5 million of taxpayers’ money.

The time for building work to begin on a project has been cut from three years, on average under the old scheme, to around one year, the DfE added…

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Investing in the Priority School Building Programme is not only delivering great new schools that will help prepare thousands of young people for life in modern Britain, but it is also a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a stronger economy, creating jobs and security for hard-working people.”

She added: “We’re also making sure each school is built efficiently so that we get value for money for the taxpayer while delivering excellent schools for pupils and teachers.”

The Government has announced a second phase of the scheme, worth about £2 billion, and applications are currently being considered.

PSBP has not been without contention and last year town hall chiefs raised concerns about delays to the start of the programme…

More at: School buildings ‘cost 35% less’


Your thoughts on how PSBP is working out in practice? Do the savings come at a cost in terms of the type of buildings now being constructed or are they just better value? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove I am a big believer in “you get what you pay for”. You can’t tell me that you get the same quality for 65% of the price

  2. janetmarland

    miconm SchoolsImprove buildings cost less under ‘basic needs’ formula funding. Pity they don’t cover the basic needs though.

  3. janetmarland

    miconm SchoolsImprove buildings cost less under ‘basic needs’ formula funding. Pity they don’t cover the basic needs though.

  4. Britinfloridaus

    Many of the former scheme buildings used expensive archetics with large areas of open glasshouses which are like saunas in summer. Many of these schools are having to make practicle changes to their buildings. Also the current building regs have gone back to 56 sq m classroom as opposed to 60 sq m.

  5. Janet2

    The scheme is beset with delays.  Work on some schools approved under BSF has only just started.  Would have been completed if Gove hadn’t pulled the plug on BSF.  And the phased introduction (known as ‘batches’) are PFI – a scheme which the Tories criticised when in opposition.

  6. Mando_Commando

    SchoolsImprove Makes no difference what it costs if your school loses BSF and is allocated nothing to re-build/re-model with. #injustice

  7. Britinfloridaus

    BSF produced lots of improved facilities but few additional classrooms which is why there is a shortage today of school places. I can think of a school that built theatre that is hardly used, even by the outside community.

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