Schools building review led by supply chain head

7 July 2010

7 July 2010 | Angeline Albert

A supply chain expert is to lead a review of the UK government’s investment in educational buildings following its decision to axe the £55 billion Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.

The Department for Education has appointed Sebastian James, group operations director of DSG international (DSGi), to chair the review of the government’s investment in the UK’s building and maintenance programme for early years institutions, schools, colleges and sixth forms. The review will also consider how cost-effective procurement can be part of future spending decisions.

At DSGi, James leads both the retail and services teams and is responsible for the supply chain. Previously, he managed the Currys store building programme, reducing costs by 25 per cent. In the past James was involved, as operating partner, in the foundation of eGS, an e-government procurement platform.

At the time of the announcement to end BSF, 1,500 schools were going through the programme. After launching in 2003, the scheme aimed to rebuild or refurbish the UK’s 3,500 schools if required by 2020. To date, 96 schools have been rebuilt and 84 refurbished.

Education secretary Michael Gove said a total of 715 UK schools would no longer be rebuilt or refurbished through BSF, while the future of 153 projects had not yet been confirmed. The government has, however, committed to build or refurbish 706 schools outside the scheme. A total of 123 academy projects in development will be reviewed case by case.


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