Design of New BSF Schools to be Reviewed by CABE

The government today is making a new commitment to ensure that every new or refurbished secondary school benefits from the highest-quality design.

The Department for Education and Skills is providing up to £2 million over two years in additional funding to CABE to establish a new schools design assessment panel. CABE will also provide expert support and advice to local authorities leading up to the assessment. The new panel will consider the designs from every construction team bidding to build or refurbish secondary schools as the private sector partner of local authorities. CABE will assess their proposals and provide an evaluation to each local authority.

Welcoming the 15 local authorities for wave 4 of the government's building schools for the future initiative, Schools Minister Jim Knight said:

'CABE's increased involvement in the design and evaluation process should ensure consistently high quality in all projects. Local authorities can be confident that they will get excellent designs for their new secondary schools.'

CABE's team of specialist 'enablers' will help local authorities make the right choices from the earliest stages for the 600 new or refurbished schools planned by 50 local authorities over the next six years.

CABE chair John Sorrell added:

'Design review by CABE will mean that every one of those 600 schools should benefit from excellent design. More than 80 per cent of those using CABE's existing design review service have found the advice useful and agree that it has a significant impact on the quality of new buildings. This new initiative will result in inspiring places that will transform the way teachers teach and children learn. All the evidence shows that well-designed schools lead to higher motivation and educational attainment.'

Building schools for the future already aims to provide school design that will support the transformation of children's education. Working with the Department for Education and Skills, CABE will ensure that the opportunities for radically improving school design are exploited to the full.

This major new initiative should ensure that there are no more badly planned and environmentally unsustainable buildings, no more poorly lit and ventilated classrooms, no more narrow, cramped corridors, and no more inadequate outdoor spaces.

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