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Could Gravesend school rebuilds be back on the agenda?

PUBLISHED: 16:34 13 April 2011

Kent County Council  leader Paul Carter

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter

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» Education chiefs have asked the government to progress with 15 school rebuilds after they were forced to reconsider the axed proposals following a High Court ruling.

Plans at 36 schools in the county were dramatically halted when ministers stopped the Building Schools for the Future scheme last year blaming a lack of money due to the economic climate and previous governments expensive plan.

Pledge

Hopes were dashed for planned multi-million pounds rebuilds at Gravesend Grammar School for Boys and Girls, Meopham School and St George’s School in Gravesend.

But these now feature on a list presented to the government by Kent County Council in a bid to continue the scheme after the High Court found the government did not consult properly over the cuts.

Council leader Paul Carter said they had suffered when months of planning was scuppered by the government’s decision.

He added: “Let’s hope for these schools and the young people educated within them that we get the orange or green light.

“It’s our belief that the promises made by the previous government were beyond the point of no 
return.”

Education Secretary Michael Gove has promised to consider the council’s submissions, along with those made by another five local authorities who challenged his original decision.

Criticism

The challenges related to the revamp or rebuild of 58 schools which, if allowed to go ahead, would have cost the government £1billion.

A final decision on Kent’s schools is not expected until June or July.

The rebuilding programme itself was criticised in a report commissioned by the government and published on Friday.

Northfleet Technology College, St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School and Thamesview had already been completely rebuilt, Partial rebuilds were done at Northfleet School for Girls and Ifield School.

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