Expert architect responds to £2bn UK school building plan / by Broadway Malyan

Bournville College, Birmingham, UK

Today the UK Government announced plans for a second phase of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) with the aim of ensuring that every child will have a good-quality school place in school buildings which are safe and fit for purpose.

As part of the Government’s capital expenditure over the next spending review period from 2015 to 2021 a second phase of the PSBP will be launched with an investment value of around £2 billion.

The original PSBP worked on the basis of the condition of the whole school site and the Government will now refine this to target individual school buildings as well as whole school rebuilds where appropriate.

Rob Howard, Director of Architecture and an expert in school design at global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan, said: “While many school estates are still in poor condition the intention to target the worst buildings should prove a fairer way to allocate the limited funding available.

“However, we believe that the reported ‘condition survey’ on which the funding is based should take account of the suitability of the spaces for modern teaching and not just the condition of the building fabric.

“We also urge that the practicality of piecemeal renewal and how the resulting school will work as a whole should be considered in the prioritisation of projects.

“The statistics in the Government’s announcement are telling and with over 10,100 primary and secondary community schools in England as of January 2013, even accounting for the improvements already made, £2 billion will not go very far.”

Distinguished by our global reach with 16 studios across world centres, unrivalled diversity with 500+ design experts and distinctive client focus with over 75% income from repeat business, Broadway Malyan creates world-class and fully-integrated cities, places and buildings to unlock lasting value and deliver a ‘return on design’.

(Pictured) – Bournville College, Birmingham, UK – an example of the practice’s education project portfolio.

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