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Building Schools for the Future Programme

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of the Building Schools for the Future programme to educational transformation and learning attainment; and if will make a statement. (252589)

In 2006, we commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to evaluate the impact of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) on educational attainment. This is in line with HM Treasury “Green Book” requirements for independent evaluation of major new programmes. PricewaterhouseCoopers has now delivered its second annual report on this evaluation, which we published on 20 January 2009. I will make this report available in the House Library.

Although 50 BSF schools are now open, the pupils have only been in the new schools for a short time. So it is still too early for pupils' results in tests and exams to tell us about the benefit the pupils are deriving from the new schools. The report therefore concentrates on management of the programme. It shows that BSF is gaining momentum, and that as schools and authorities progress through it, there is increasing sharpness of focus on achieving educational transformation. The majority of head teachers view BSF as educationally transformational and believe that it will allow their schools to deliver better outcomes for pupils, that teachers will be able to focus more on personalised teaching and learning, and that it will increase the range of services offered to support learners and their families.