BCSE in the News
£1.4bn funding for Wales - BCSE Press Release
Commenting on the announcement by the Welsh government on new capital funding for school buildings, Nusrat Faizullah, chief executive of the British Council for School Environments said:
"It's great news to see the Welsh government taking the issue of learning environments so seriously, especially when we compare it to the cuts to the school building programme in England.
"This is much needed investment for the long term, which will benefit teachers and children across the whole country.
"The key now is to ensure this money is well spent. The work around the '21st century school standard' in Wales, which offers guidance around procurement, design and construction of schools, gives a good starting point.
This is especially important as there isn't as much money as was originally envisaged, and hard-pressed local authorities will still need to find additional funding.
"Nevertheless, this commitment from the Welsh government is more than welcome, and shows it understands that school environments matter."
TES Article 'Decay and Prosper' on School Buildings
The BCSE's response to the article.
My anxiety at your "Decay and prosper" cover (2 December) was tempered by a well-balanced article ("Make do, don't mend") on the role of school buildings in teaching and learning.
The study by the National Federation for Educational Research (NFER), cited in the article by Professor Dylan Wiliam, which suggests that children perform worse in newly built schools, confirms its findings are based on a "limited set of data" and contradicts the experience of many teachers (including me).
The NFER's research underlines a vital point - that we need a robust programme of post-occupancy evaluation for all new and revamped learning environments, so we can learn more about what works and what doesn't. This is particularly important with the forthcoming Priority School Building Programme.
We should strive to have inspirational and functional learning environments that bring out the best in teachers and pupils. Let's make sure we don't squander the limited resources we have by revamping or building schools in a way that doesn't allow the environment to play its part in children's education.
Nusrat Faizullah, Chief executive, British Council for School Environments.