22 May 2008 | Jake Kanter
The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme will undergo its third review in 18 months in an attempt to maximise its efficiency.
The review will establish how BSF public-private partnerships, or Local Education Partnerships (LEP), are working by looking at a range of issues. These include how the partnerships provide value for money over the long term and whether they deliver continuous improvement.
Nineteen BSF projects have been signed with the private sector in local authorities, worth more than £2.5 billion.
Earlier this month, the BSF programme overhauled its procurement procedures following a review by stakeholders such as local authorities, contractors and industry groups (Web news, 8 May). This latest effort will focus on the operation of the project.
Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools - the BSF delivery body - said the procurement initiative delivered time and cost savings. He added the attention must shift to the partnerships themselves.
"We are already hearing how the long-term partnership between the public and private sectors created through the LEP has the capacity to procure wider local services beyond secondary schools, such as primary schools, healthcare, housing and leisure facilities. This review will help us to understand more about what makes a successful LEP and how we can ensure strong and healthy partnerships in the future," he said.
The study will begin over the summer.