11 Feb 11

Scrap in haste, repent at leisure. We did warn you, Mr Gove!

"The government has been defeated in the High Court over the scrapping of school building projects in six local authority areas. The councils claimed Education Secretary Michael Gove's decision to scrap Buildings Schools for the Future projects in six local authority areas was unfair and unlawful. Mr Gove will now look have to look again at his decisions in these six areas.

"Lawyers for the councils argued the education secretary failed to consult properly, and that he did not give adequate reasons before stopping projects" .

"Mr Gove had unlawfully failed to consult [the councils] before imposing the cuts. In five of the cases the failure was 'so unfair as to amount to an abuse of power', said the judge."

"However pressing the economic problems, there was no 'overriding public interest' which precluded any consultation or justifies the lack of any consultation."

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 'dangerous driving' of his Department. Now, at last, he has been given a speeding ticket!

Perhaps he should be a guest on Top Gear. With his talent for swerving, skidding, crashing and causing offence, he would be an ideal guest! Apparently, with its "celebration of individual freedom, capitalist excess and private-sector innovation" and "buccaneering Toryism", Mr Gove finds it "totally absorbing". Presciently, he admits to once "crashing my vehicle into a motorway bridge", and in his "tenure behind the wheel I fear I may have been drifting just a tad poor lane discipline".

He could also start the promised Building Schools for the Future Apology Tour and, at the same time, create an action plan for asbestos in schools comprising audits, risk assessments, relevant training and guidance with all asbestos to be identified and removed in a phased programme.

While he's at it, he could commission research to establish conclusive facts about the potential long-term effects of wi-fi on children.

However, he should do these things promptly but not hastily. Less haste, more speed, Mr Gove!

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