BCSE Comment on Policy Exchange's report on the Building Schools for the Future programme
Commenting on the Policy Exchange report on the Building Schools for the Future programme, Ty Goddard, chief executive of the British Council for School Environments said:
“It was inevitable with a programme of this scale and complexity that there would be some tensions in the early stages. There are signs that relationships and processes are improving.
As to the report’s anonymous allegations of bullying by Partnership for Schools – they are the biggest kid in the playground but that doesn’t make them bullies.
A £55b programme has to have an organisation with specific responsibility for administering the capital budget - you only have to look at the mess of the college building programme to see what happens without one. A capital programme of that size needs careful tracking and support.
However, the DCSF should put in place a national advisory council for school design and build which works directly with the department, to speed up the sharing of good practice and feedback on key issues and learning.
BSF got off to a slow start, got worse and is now getting better.
This report must not undermine the case for investing this money to put right decades of neglect in school buildings. We are talking about schools that will maximise the educational opportunities of our children and grandchildren and no Government should water down that investment in our children and our nation’s future.
The Policy Exchange is right to raise the issue of 'transformational education' but it may not be sensible to detach that principle from the design and build process.
We can't just create new 'old' schools and hope for the best. The quality of these spaces really matters for our young people, their teachers and all our futures.
While we might still be debating what educational transformation means we know that transformation of school buildings is more than just bricks and mortar.
Along with great teaching and inspired leadership, it's about quality environments - air, light, good furniture and equipment, fit for purpose ICT and proper acoustics with outdoor spaces that inspire fun, sport and play.
To bring some clarity to what 'educational transformation' means and learn more about what works, the BCSE has set up the Great Schools Inquiry, chaired by former education secretary Baroness Morris of Yardley.”
For further information or to arrange an interview with Ty Goddard please call Chris Mahony on 0207 923 7677 or 0781 2692722