Building Schools for the Future

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 14th February 2011.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Education 3:33 pm, 14th February 2011

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the fair way in which he makes the case on behalf of his constituents. I should point out that Waltham Forest has already received £68 million from BSF, but I appreciate, as he rightly says, that there are many schools in Waltham Forest which are not in the state of repair that either he or I would wish to see.

The hon. Gentleman makes the point that by 2014 Waltham Forest secondary schools will be 500 places short. I am sure that he, like me, is aware that many primary schools across London are short of places. We must balance the need to ensure that there are places in secondary schools with investment in primary schools, which BSF did not cover.

The hon. Gentleman asked three specific questions, one of which was about the time scale. I have already been in touch, through my Department, I understand, with Waltham Forest. We want to make sure that we can receive proper representations on behalf of the local authority and its schools in a way that enables us to make comprehensive judgments in the most rapid time available. For that reason, in response to his second question, I will of course keep an open mind and will be keen to hear from him, other Waltham Forest Members and anyone with an interest in the decision. His third question was on consultation with the local authority and the relevant schools. I will be in touch with the local authority to find the most expeditious way of ensuring that the judge's directions can be followed.