College may sue over pupils hit by PFI delay

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A college is threatening to sue after being forced to close for a week because building work was incomplete.

The 1,600 pupils at Cockshutt Hill Technology College, in the Yardley area of Birmingham, have been told not to report back to school from the half-term break until Tuesday ­ a week later than they should have been back at their desks.

David Gentle, the school's headteacher, said: "It costs the taxpayer £22,000 a day to run this school.You can't argue that five days education is not going to make a difference."

The building work is financed under the Government's Private Finance Initiative, which is seen by ministers as one of the ways to improve public services through private-sector involvement.

Mr Gentle said the school was investigating whether there was a clause in the £12m contract that would result in compensation for loss of education, but if that failed then the college would consider legal action.