Screen capture from High Court rules against DfE over BSF cancellation

High Court rules against DfE over BSF cancellation

A judge has said Michael Gove is guilty of "an abuse of power" over his scrapping of parts of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. Mr Justice Holman said the Education Secretary failed to seek proper consultation or give valid reasons for stopping individual BSF projects, and that even in the current economic climate there was no public interest or justification for his decisions.

"No one should gain false hope from this decision" - Michael Gove MP, Education Secretary

Legal action was brought against the Department for Education by six councils: Waltham Forest, Luton Borough, Nottingham City, Sandwell, Kent and Newham. Councillor Chris Robbins from Waltham Forest said: "We always said the government was the government and it could make decisions... It was their refusal that was wrong and this judge has upheld this position"

The Department for Education issued a statement pointing out that the judge "concluded it was a rational decision and that the authorities had no expectation of being allowed to proceed with their projects."

And in a written statement, Mr Gove went further, saying this was not an order to reinstate any funding and that the final decision "on any given school or project still rests with [me]; and that I may save all, some, a few, or none." He concluded by saying that "no one should gain false hope from this decision."

The councils will now submit more detailed evidence of their individual schemes for consideration, with Sandwell Council planning to pursue further action to claim legal costs.


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