Anger over school building cancellations

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Hundreds of teachers will march on Parliament today in protest at a decision to abandon a £55bn school building programme. More than 700 projects were hurriedly scrapped as the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, rushed to find the cuts of 10 to 20 per cent in his budget demanded by the Treasury.

And Mr Gove has risked angering MPs by rushing a new education Bill through Parliament at a speed normally reserved for emergencies.

With schools about to break for the summer, he is determined that some shall have the option to convert themselves into academies, run directly by the Government rather than by local councils, before the new school year begins.

Teachers and union leaders say cancelling the building work will leave many children in dilapidated buildings.

"These cuts will inflict major damage in schools already in a dire physical condition," said Chris Keates, head of the NASUWT teaching union.

"Run-down., dilapidated buildings are not being replaced, while schools in good repair are getting brand new buildings just because they are becoming academies," he said.