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News archive - November/December 2017

PFI deals bad for schools, says Labour MP

Schools are paying thousands of pounds more than they should for everyday items because they are locked into PFI contracts they have no control over, a Tes investigation has revealed.

The newspaper quoted Tim Gilson, head at Malmesbury School, in Wiltshire, who said: “We had some benching put in the canteen, just along one wall, about 20 yards. We have to pay about £40 a month for the facilities management cost of that bench, on top of the cost of putting that bench in and all the materials. It’s a monthly charge that continues for the length of the contract.”

With 13 years left on his school’s PFI contract, the secondary will be charged £6,240 just for the management of the bench.

Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, in north-east London, told Tes that the companies that profit from financing PFI deals were the “legal loan sharks of the public sector”.

The National Audit Office is currently examining PFI schemes in schools and other aspects of the UK’s public sector estate.