Edition eight editorial

New DfE building to include gym and art collection

When Nicky Morgan said spare money should be spent in schools, she was right. Given we have reported on schools with malfunctioning generators and temporary premises there are plenty of places that need it.

Though the government may save money with the move, it still matters what you spend that saving on. And it is right questions are raised about whether upgrading a gym for DfE staff or installing the government art collection is a good use of money.

There is a reasonable argument to say it is worth spending the money. Staff perks attract a strong workforce. Art collections hold value if looked after.

Yet the DfE didn’t make these arguments. Instead, despite it being in the tender specification, they said “no final decision” had been made on the gym or location for the art.

So where does this leave the contractors in responding to the specification?

And, the question that has to be asked, is that if you aren’t prepared to defend a spending decision publicly then should it be authorised? That’s one for Morgan and Whitehall to ponder.

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