"The government has been accused of 'wasting precious time' with school building plans, by the Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg. The Department for Education has pushed converting schools into academies and creating new Free Schools. But it has been accused of taking its time over rebuilding the dilapidated premises of existing schools.
"The Department for Education said that these were important decisions and should not be rushed."
In various posts on Buildings Schools for the Future and Mr Gove's reckless haste over BSF, academies, quango scrapping, inspection exemptions, etc, etc, we have warned about the Education Secretary's hasty behaviour.
We have expressed our alarm at the "breakneck speed" with which the Government is rushing ahead in allowing more schools to become academies, calling for a 'less haste, more speed' approach and urging the Government to implement its programme within a practical and fair timescale, allowing a proper period of consultation with staff, parents and local communities before schools decided to change their status. There has been considerable opposition to the introduction of academies around the country and there must be sufficient time for consultation.
An article in The Guardian, "Academies drain our education funds, councils warn" raised concerns that "the academy programme is draining resources and vulnerable children may lose most".
Using the same justification that the Government used for its haste over academies, the Prime Minister has tried to justify pressing ahead with untried policies on untested free schools by saying that:
Yet when it comes to school repairs or the urgent issue of asbestos in schools, these decisions cannot be "rushed". What about the "children let down" "every year" because they have to be sent home or work in corridors because of the poor state of repair of their school buildings?
The Education Secretary was happy to go on the BBC and other media to defend his colleagues over their dealings with the Murdochs and even to discuss the Culture Secretary's dancing skills but neither he nor any of his ministerial colleagues was available to go on the Today programme to explain his department's record on part of its own remit. (2:32:40)
The Government doesn't seem to have it priorities right.