Over 30 Yorkshire schools to be rebuilt – but many will miss out

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MORE than half of the dilapidated Yorkshire schools which bid for Government money to be rebuilt have been included in a new £2bn capital programme to replace crumbling classrooms.

Education Secretary Michael Gove revealed yesterday that 261 schools across the country will be rebuilt under PFI contracts, although another 326 missed out.

In Yorkshire 36 school have been successful but at least another 23 bids failed to get into the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP). They include all three bids from Calderdale where the council had wanted to rebuild Todmorden High, Calder High and Moorside Primary which were all said to be in need of urgent improvement.

Todmorden High has previously been forced to cope with an evacuation after a gas leak, water being cut off after a boiler failure and a power cut in the space of a week.

Swinton Community School and Saint Pius X Catholic High in Wath Upon Dearne were among those facing double disappointment as they missed out on PSBP money having previously lost their Building Schools for the Future funding when Mr Gove scrapped the £55bn programme in 2010.

Mr Gove admitted that the BSF cut had been done clumsily as he launched the new programme yesterday. In a written statement he said: “I know that many schools will be disappointed not to be included in the (PSBP) programme. We have had to take difficult decisions in order to target spending on those schools that are in the worst condition.”

Work on the successful schools is set to begin immediately, with the first repaired and refurbished schools opening in 2014.

A decision on the PSBP was originally expected in December last year but schools have been forced to wait an extra five months. Now those which missed out could be forced to wait another five years as Mr Gove said they could be redeveloped in the next spending review period.