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  MP calls for 'imagination' after school deal collapses
 

  Schools across Norfolk face further delays and uncertainty as the County Council contemplates pulling the plug on the PFI deal
37 Norfolk schools could be left relying on mobile classrooms, as the PFI deal with Jarvis collapses

SOUTH Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has called on the government to show 'more imagination' in considering alternatives to private funding, after the 92 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal for Norfolk's schools collapsed earlier this week.

Mr Bacon, a member of the commons public accounts committee, said: “It would be

 
 

sensible for all parties to engage in a period of sober reflection as to the best way forward for Norfolk's schools”.

The deal was scrapped after preferred contractor Jarvis announced they were selling their PFI bidding arm to French firm, Vinci, but Norfolk County Council feared neither company could deliver on plans to renovate 37 schools.

Mr Bacon said: “What is needed is greater imagination. There are plenty of schools making exciting improvements to their facilities without PFI. When an able headteacher leads a committed team of governors and parents with a clear idea of what they want, an outside company does not necessarily provide the best solution”.

Mr Bacon wrote to Education Secretary Charles Clarke recently to ask him to consider developing possible alternatives to PFI.