The government has today responded to the judgment following judicial reviews from 6 local authorities on the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
We are delighted that the judge did not call into question the decision to end the wasteful and bureaucratic Building Schools for the Future programme. On the substantive points he concluded that it was a rational decision and that the authorities involved had no expectation of being allowed to proceed with their projects.
Mr Justice Holman today found that the Secretary of State’s decision to end the BSF programme was rational and the claimants had no legitimate expectation of receiving funding.
The judge set out that the Secretary of State’s decision ‘is not open to legal challenge on the ground of irrationality, however that argument is developed or put’. He also said that further examination of the rationality of the decision would ‘be a grave and exorbitant usurpation… of the minister’s political role.’
Mr Justice Holman also concluded that ‘there was no promise or expectation’ that any of the claimants’ projects would definitely proceed.
The Secretary of State will now look again at his decision with regard to these authorities with an open mind, taking representations from them. The judge set out, however, that ‘the final decision on any project still rests with him and… no one should gain false hope from this decision’.