CABE welcomes minimum design standard for schools
17 September 2008
Richard Simmons welcomes government announcement about the need for all secondary school designs to meet a minimum design standard
All secondary school designs coming through the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme will now have to meet a minimum design standard, the government has announced.
CABE chief executive Richard Simmons said:
"We are delighted. This is a principle that CABE has long argued for and it applies beyond schools. Design thresholds are a tool that government could use across the whole public building programme, without over-burdening the procurement process, to prevent bad design and motivate bidders to set themselves the highest standards.
"We are in positive discussions with Partnerships for Schools and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) on how a standard might operate in practice, and hope that these will be concluded soon."
This new measure will mean that when designs are reviewed at bidding stage, those that do not meet the required standard must be improved.
The announcement was made at the annual conference of Partnerships for Schools - the body responsible for delivering the government's secondary school renewal programme.
The announcement follows early reviews of BSF proposals by CABE's schools design panel which found that of 25 schemes at planning application stage up until September 2008, or where a single design has been chosen, three were 'good' or 'excellent', with 22 either 'not yet good enough' or 'mediocre'.
The government is seeking educational transformation through its £45 billion BSF programme, with all of England's 3,500 secondary schools rebuilt or renewed. CABE strongly supports the investment in the programme.