Gove apology for errors on schools list

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The Independent Online

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, is set to apologise for errors in information released about cancelled school building programmes.

There were 25 mistakes in a departmental list which set out which schemes would be scrapped, reviewed or protected following the axing of the £55bn "Building Schools for the Future" project. It means several schools in Sandwell, Staffordshire, and Doncaster, South Yorkshire, which thought their building projects were safe, have now been told they will not go ahead.

Mr Gove was sending a letter to the Speaker, John Bercow, yesterday, apologising for the errors.

A spokesman for his department added: "We apologise unreservedly for these errors and lack of clarity for teachers and parents in these areas."

However, Mr Bercow appeared to agree with Labour's former schools minister, Vernon Coaker, that Mr Gove should apologise to the House of Commons in person, saying it would be "more helpful in these circumstances and perhaps more apposite if the relevant minister were indeed to come to the House to make this statement".

Under the original BSF scheme, set up by Labour in 2004, all 3,500 secondary schools in England were due to be rebuilt or refurbished by 2023. In Mr Gove's list, released on Monday, 715 schools were told that their rebuilding projects had been cancelled.