Clarity on BSF future expected by autumn

RM is expecting clarity on the future of the Building Schools for the Future programme by the autumn as uncertainty continues to hang over the initiative. As revealed by MicroScope at the back end of last year, some LEAs were bringing forward BSF tenders in anticipation of potentially dramatic chan

RM is expecting clarity on the future of the Building Schools for the Future programme by the autumn as uncertainty continues to hang over the initiative.

As revealed by MicroScope at the back end of last year, some LEAs were bringing forward BSF tenders in anticipation of potentially dramatic changes that a new Government may ring through; the Conservatives favour the Academies scheme.

Phil Hemmings, director of corporate affairs at education specialist RM, which has just secured two wins worth a total of £79m with Barking and Dagenham (£44m) and Derby City Council (£35m), said the flurry of project sign offs had continued.

"Our view is that contracts that are currently known about - at preferred bidder stage or beyond - are pretty likely to run the way we expect them to run through," he added.

Details on the future direction of the scheme should be outlined by the coalition in the 20 October Spending Review, along with other cuts that will impact IT suppliers.

"We'd be really surprised if we didn't have clarity after that point," said Hemmings.

The Conservatives are however known to favour the Academies scheme over BSF and in light of yesterday's announcement that some Government departments are facing up to 25% budget cuts, RM is anticipating changes.

"I think we'll see the way that capital spending is allocated moving a bit," he said.

The BSF deals with Derby and Barking and Dagenham represent the eighth and ninth wins RM has had this fiscal, taking it total tally to 21 contracts. 

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