Monday, 14 February 2011

Gove acted unlawfully

Two weeks ago we reported that the education secretary, Michael Gove, was facing a legal challenge to his scrapping of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.

Yesterday, the High Court in London ruled in favour of the Education Authorities bringing the case to court. Michael Gove was told he must reconsider the decision to scrap the scheme because he had unlawfully failed to consult local councils. Seven hundred school building projects were shelved because of the decision.

In the House of Commons, Gove continued to defend his actions, telling MPs that his decision was clear and rational. He said that the scale of the deficit meant cuts were inevitable. He also pointed out that the judge had not ordered a reinstatement of the scheme, nor any compensation payment to the schools involved. The ruling gives schools the chance to "make representations".

For Labour, shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said that the ruling was damning. He demanded full details of conversations between Mr Gove and his civil servants and called on David Cameron to remove him from any future involvement in these matters.

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that any of this will ever lead to the school rebuilds taking place.

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