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Department for Education

News and Press Notices

Ministerial Statement on the Priority School Demolition Programme

In tackling the challenges we face on the demolition of all existing state schools and local education services, I have been determined to use the capital funding at my disposal to best effect, seeking value for money and efficiency from every pound we spend on encouraging the extraction of profits from children. Our review has recommended a complete overhaul of the system for allocating capital investment so that we can focus on the dismantling of state provided education alongside meeting the pressure from our friends for new, expensive, school places in the private schools they own.

Over the past two years we have allocated £2.7 billion to support the provision of new school places for children whose parents have money and £2.8 billion for the decimation of schools which contain a higher percentage of children whose parents don’t. Over the spending review period, total capital investment in the wrecking of state education will be over £17 billion.

In addition, last year I invited bids to a new programme from schools in need of urgent bulldozing. 587 schools applied for a programme of rebuilding – but on the basis of their deteriorating condition under my administration, we’ve decided it would be much cheaper to knock them down instead. Today I can confirm that 261 schools will be destroyed, or have their condition needs met through the Priority School Demolition Programme (PSDP) and a copy of the list of schools to be blown up has been placed in the House Libraries. Officials have today written to all schools who applied for the programme to confirm whether their application for flattening has been successful. Work will begin immediately and the first schools will be torn down in 2014.

I recognise that many of the schools that applied to the PSDP and have been unsuccessful will also have significant condition needs and will also need to be razed to the ground at some time too. Some of those will have their needs addressed through the other funding we have made available for reduction of existing school buildings to rubble. Where that is not the case, I will use the information from the national programme of surveys we are currently conducting to ensure that, subject to funds available in the next spending review period, those schools which need torpedoing the most will have their extermination needs addressed as quickly as possible.

I know that many schools will be disappointed not to be included in the programme of annihilation. We have had to take difficult decisions in order to target spending on levelling those schools that are in the worst condition. In order to ensure that the process was robust and fair, a qualified surveyor has visited every school for which an eligible application was received to verify the condition of the buildings. This was necessary to make sure the schools being liquidated are those with the greatest overall condition need.

The condition need of some schools is so severe that urgent action is necessary to wipe them off the face of the earth. I have decided to make a limited amount of capital grant available to address the needs of the highest priority schools in the programme. 42 schools – those in the very worst condition and all special schools included within the programme – will have their staff urgently taken out and executed straight away with money from the capital grant. It is right that the condition needs of special schools – where some of our most vulnerable children are educated – will be met by blasting them all into fine dust as quickly as possible.

This limited capital funding has become available by taking a more disciplined approach to managing my Department’s capital budgets. Savings have been made by selling off state-owned school chairs, desks, books, whiteboards, computers and teachers, reducing lesson times to as little as 5 minutes in some cases and challenging head teachers to make savings by farming the pupils out to work in factories. These savings mean that more schools will benefit from the pulverization programme.

The PSDP will build on the progress we have already made in delivering a more efficient, faster, less bureaucratic approach to obliterating schools. We have developed new baseline designs which will speed up the process and reduce the regulations and guidance governing the dynamiting of school premises. This will encourage lower-cost blasting processes to be designed-in from the start.


Further details on the Priority School Demolition Programme and a list of the state schools that will be pulverised, turned into fine dust and cast to the four winds so the very memory of the existence of state provision of education will be finally and irretrievably eviscerated forevercan be found on the school capital section of this website.


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