Hounslow schools lose out on £85m after Building Schools For The Future scheme axed

First published in News by

Thousands of disappointed pupils will miss out on much-needed investment in modern facilities after the Government dropped its Building Schools For The Future (BSF) scheme.

Headteachers expressed their sadness that £85m worth of building projects at one special needs school and four secondary schools in Hounslow were postponed this week.

Teachers, students and parents at Chiswick Community School, Feltham Community School, Hounslow Manor School, Longford Community School and Oaklands School had been developing the plans to fit their educational needs, and Hounslow Council had already spent £2m on preparatory work.

Victoria Eadie, headteacher at Feltham Community College, said: “Secondary schools in Hounslow have put a great deal of time and energy into preparing for this project. At Feltham we have involved all of our staff, parents and pupils in the planning for transforming learning.

“We always hoped that there would be other schools to follow behind in the next wave in Hounslow. Sadly now we have falsely built the expectations of all in our community and will have to manage the fall out.

“I dread to think of the money that has been wasted on this project which will see no fruits. How sad for our children and their children.”

Alan Howson, headteacher at Chiswick Community School, added: “It is such a shame that we have lost the opportunity to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of the hundreds of thousands of students, who have been engaged in the planning to date.

“They have been excited and motivated by the prospect of modern facilities and resources fit for 21st century learning.

“Instead what they see is a system that allows the failed banking system to award bonuses to bankers in one year that would pay for the whole 20 year BSF programme, and vast wealth being accumulated by the minority at the expense of basic formal education for the average family.”

Education Secretary Michael Gove said on Monday the coalition Government was postponing plans to rebuild more than 700 schools across the country in a bid to save more than £1bn.

Councillor Sachin Gupta, executive member for education at Hounslow Council, said the cut will have a “hugely detrimental” impact on the borough.

He said: “The scheme is not just about bricks and mortar, it’s more about educational transformation and ensuring that young people are given the best possible chance.

“The decision is disastrous news for Hounslow’s pupils, parents and teachers, who had been expecting much-needed investment in modernising schools across the borough.

“The planned redevelopment of all of these schools now hangs in the balance. In the short term, we will have to start planning with schools to develop stopgap solutions to deal with the immediate building problems.”

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