DfE under pressure to explain how Carillion collapse affects schools

The new education secretary Damian Hinds is under pressure to release information about the impact of Carillion’s collapse on schools.

It was announced on Monday morning that the construction firm, which works closely with the government on a huge range of outsourced projects, is to go into liquidation, threatening thousands of jobs.

The company works either directly or indirectly with almost 900 schools. In a statement issued yesterday, the government said it had been working with councils and academy trusts since before Christmas to “make sure contingency plans are in place”.

In a letter to Hinds and cabinet office minister David Lidington, Robert Halfon, the chair of the parliamentary education committee, has requested details of both the direct and indirect impact of the company’s collapse on areas within the DfE’s responsibility.

Halfon said the committee was aware of specific issues in some areas, including Gateshead in the north-east, where committee member Ian Mearns is the MP.

“It would be helpful if the department published an analysis by constituency or local authority level of where the impact of Carillion’s collapse will be felt,” he wrote.

A DfE spokesperson said the department continued to offer support to schools to “help minimise disruption for pupils” through its designated advice service.