Campsmount used as model for affordable projects

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EMBATTLED Education Secretary Michael Gove hailed plans to replace a fire-ravaged Doncaster school as an example of how modern buildings can be built affordably and quickly.

Mr Gove highlighted the project to rebuild Campsmount Technology College, near Askern, as he came under fire in the Commons for the way the coalition government ditched Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme.

The Education Secretary was forced to answer an urgent question in Parliament following Friday’s High Court ruling that he had unlawfully failed to consult six local authorities before axing their BSF projects.

Shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said it was a “damning verdict” which raised doubts about his “competence and judgment.”

But Mr Gove insisted the BSF programme was “wasteful and inefficient” and he contrasted it with the way in which Campsmount, which is in Labour leader Ed Miliband’s constituency, is being rebuilt.

He said: “I should point out that as a direct result of changing this scheme we have been able to take a school that was in Building Schools for the Future in the constituency of the Right Honourable gentleman for Doncaster North.

“We have now ensured that school is going to be built one year faster than it would have been under Labour with 30 pc savings.

“Under this coalition government we are making the savings and we are beating the timescales in order to ensure that in the most deprived areas schools are built.”

More than 60 firefighters tackled the fire, caused by an electrical fault, at Campsmount in December 2009. The gymnasium, library and a number of classrooms were saved but the rest of the school was gutted and pupils have been in temporary accommodation since last March.

Doncaster Council planning committee recently backed the £10m rebuild, which is going ahead under a pilot scheme.

n Fight to save school: P7