School Rebuilding

School Rebuilding Delayed

13th March 2013

The previous government committed themselves to an extensive rebuilding project entitled BSF, ‘Building Schools for the Future.’ When Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education came into post, he pretty much pulled the plug on BSF over night, leaving 150 school building projects in limbo. In the end, 75 of these school projects went ahead.

In May 2012, Michael Gove announced that 261 schools would be rebuilt or refurbished under his new Priority School Building Programme.  It now transpires that the government is struggling to find private finance to fund the programme and rebuilding and refurbishment will be delayed.

How does this affect your choice of school?

  • New buildings in themselves do not make a good school. I have been to outstanding schools housed in prefabs. I have been to inadequate schools in shiny new buildings. 
  • Extensive modern resources support learning.  But good teaching has to come first.
  • If buildings are a health risk to staff and pupils, and dilapidated, then this is clearly a cause for concern, and can impact on morale.
  • A good school makes the most of the facilities they have.  Pupils take pride in their environment, regardless of its intrinsic quality, and the school takes every opportunity to turn the building into a stimulating place to learn. You, as  parent, should look for vibrant displays, and no graffiti, rather than high specification atriums.
  • Building work can be a distraction.  Head teachers can become pre-occupied by it at the expense of improving achievement.  Pupils’ behaviour can suffer during a building project.  If you are considering a school that is in the the process of a building project, find out how well it is being managed, so that good learning can still take place. Investigate whether results have dipped during the building project.  If they have, this is a cause for concern.

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