Michael Gove has declined to set a date for the completion of the government's review of the Building Schools for the Future.
In an education debate in the House of Commons yesterday, the schools secretary repeatedly declined to answer questions about the future of the £55 billion programme, stating merely that the programme was "under review".
Asked when that review would be concluded, Gove responded that he "hoped to have the opportunity very soon to explain... exactly when the review I am conducting is being concluded."
In a move likely to be interpreted as an attempt to soften the programme up for cuts, Gove repeated criticisms that much of the programme's budget had been wasted.
In response to claims by one Conservative MP that Nottinghamshire had spent £5 million on its scheme "without a single brick being laid", Gove said he was "actively reviewing how we can ensure that the maximum amount of money goes to schools."
"It is quite wrong that a bureaucratic system put in place under the previous Government should prevent money from going where it deserves to go - to the front line," he added.