Government asks CABE to review design of new secondary schools
18 January 2007
CABE's expert advice and support will help local authorities to achieve well-designed schools through the Building Schools for the Future programme.
The government has made a new commitment to ensure that every new or refurbished secondary school is built to the highest quality design.
No less than six hundred secondary schools will be rebuilt or refurbished by 50 local authorities over the next six years, as part of the Building schools for the future (BSF) initiative.
CABE has agreed to provide expert advice and support to local authorities, and establish a new schools design assessment panel, funded by the Department for Education and Skills. This will ensure that the right choices are made from the earliest stages in order to achieve design quality and value for money. The aim is inspiring places that will transform the way teachers teach and children learn. It is now widely recognised that well-designed schools lead to higher motivation and educational attainment
CABE's design panel will be drawn from a pool of around 20 advisors from England's architectural and built environment community and will include specialist schools experts. It will consider the designs from every construction company team bidding to rebuild or refurbish secondary schools as the private sector partner of local authorities. The panel will help local authorities to evaluate the design quality of projects and support bidders in meeting brief requirements and refining their proposals.
At the launch of wave 4 of BSF, involving 15 local authorities, Schools Minister Jim Knight said that local authorities should be confident they will get excellent designs for their new schools. 'CABE's increased involvement in the design and evaluation process should ensure consistently high quality in all projects'.
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 buildings.