PFI in schools: pass or fail?

Bill McCabe, Jim McKendrick, John Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the past eight years the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) has grown in size as a means of financing and delivering public sector projects. However until New Labour was elected at the last general election PFI has had very little impact on local government. In the context of the new government's suspension of compulsory competitive tendering in local
government and its replacement with the introduction of Best Value, PFI has been stated as one of the possible ways of achieving Best Value. PFI projects have in recent years grown in number in local government. In particular, one area of local government has seen the bulk of PFI projects, schools. The introduction of PFI projects into schools in the UK has generated a great deal of debate as to whether value for money has been achieved. This article examines the introduction of PFI into schools and evaluates in detail the Glasgow City Councils schools PFI project, worth £1.2 billion over the lifetime of the project. This single project has a lifetime value greater than all the other signed education PFI schemes added together. An assessment will be made to see if value for money has been achieved and that the Best Value criteria have been followed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Finance and Management in Public Services
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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