School’s out

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
August 11, 2010, 5:44 PM GMT+0

Nearly half (49%) of the British public feel the abolition of the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme (BSF) is ‘unfortunate’ but ‘necessary given the state of the public finances’, a recent survey on behalf of the Sunday Times reveals. Nevertheless, over a third of the total population (38%) still believe the cut is ‘unacceptable’.

The scheme, drafted by the previous government, planned to redevelop 715 secondary schools in England, but was scrapped by Education Secretary Michael Gove following alleged inefficiency and overspending.

Older people are the most likely to support the cut, with just 34% of over 60s branding it ‘unacceptable’ (compared to a high of 42% among those aged 40 to 59), and 55% saying ‘there is no alternative’ given the current need for cutbacks (compared to 37% among those aged 18 to 29).

Notably, political persuasion appears to greatly influence one’s view of the situation. While just 13% of Conservative voters oppose the scrapping of BSF, a significant majority of Labour supporters (72%) feel that the Government ‘should have found saving elsewhere’. Accordingly, 78% of Conservatives voters feel there was ‘no alternative’ compared to just 18% of Labour supporters.

Survey details and full results

Related story - ‘More than just buildings’? - Panelists' reactions to cutting BSF