HC Deb 26 February 2004 vol 418 c539W
Mr. Chris Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reasons the London Borough of Islington was unsuccessful in its recent bid for support from the Building Schools for the Future Fund. [156594]

Mr. Miliband

All applications for funding in the first wave of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) were appraised against the criteria we set out in our invitation to all authorities to apply for prioritisation. These criteria were need, as shown by low school standards and relative social deprivation indicated by high levels of take-up for free schools meals, the strength of the authority's educational vision and its capacity to deliver a large procurement project to support that vision. All proposals were rigorously appraised against these criteria and there was stringent moderation to ensure fairness. We prioritised projects which best met these criteria. Unfortunately, total demand was several times the total of over £2 billion we have available for BSF in 2005–06. All unsuccessful wave 1 authorities are automatically eligible, without further application, for prioritisation in subsequent waves of BSF, along with all authorities which expressed interest in later inclusion. Prioritisation of wave 2 and beyond will be on need as shown by low school standards and take-up of free school meals. We aim to announce prioritisation of authorities in further waves of BSF funding later this year.