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Emily Thornberry slams government for ‘£13m wasted on ill-conceived free school’

Failed free school Tech City College cost £7.7m to buy and £5.8m to refurbish, according to government figures.

18 February, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Emily Thornberry  MP for Islington South and Finsbury 

THE government “should be held to account” for a failed free school project which cost the taxpayer more than £13m, a leading Labour politician has said.

The Department for Education (DfE) was slammed by Isling- ton South and Finsbury Labour
MP Emily Thornberry for giving the green light to Tech City College in Clerkenwell.

The DfE has agreed “in principle” that the sixth-form college – previously called STEM Academy – will close at the end of this academic year.

In a letter to education secretary Damien Hinds,Ms Thornberry says: “It is completely unacceptable that public money should have been wasted funding a project which was ill-conceived and badly managed from the start.”

The City Road four-storey block cost £7.7m to buy and £5.8m to refurbish, according to government figures. The college was designed to take about 400 pupils but has 49 enrolled at the moment.

The DfE is gauging the views of pupils, parents and local groups before a final closure decision is made.

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