Headlines: September 24th, 2008

The Building Schools for the Future programme aims to rebuild or renew nearly every secondary school in England and teachers want a say in the planning. The call for their involvement has come from the Teacher Support Network and the British Council for School Environments.

The newly published report, which calls for greater teacher involvement in the development of new school buildings, highlights the outcome of discussion between architects, teaching unions, representatives from government and other key stakeholders in the building programme. A major conclusion from the discussions was that the success of the programme was threatened by a lack of interaction between architects and teachers.

The report argues that a named individual in each building process should be responsible for ensuring teachers are fully engaged and supported from beginning to end and that time should be freed up from teachers’ working lives to make sure they can by involved. Teacher involvement is seen as an unprecedented opportunity to create amazing, functional and inspiring schools for the benefit of the tax payer and all those who use the schools.

Teacher Support Network Chief Executive, Patrick Nash, said: “In order to build schools for the future, designers must be able to listen to teachers, stakeholders and school communities today. The opportunity to engage is not enough. Teachers must be given the time and advice needed to pass on their expertise in the design process. With billions of spending still planned for the years ahead, we look forward to working with the Government and the Partnership for Schools to ensure the building programme is as successful as it should be.”