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Building Schools for the Future Programme: Standards

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans his Department has to ensure that the operational performance of Building Schools for the Future schools meets the standards projected by the design team in each case. (252664)

Within ‘Building Schools for the Future’ (BSF), the strategic partnering agreement between a local authority and its private sector partner (PSP) requires the PSP to carry out a customer satisfaction evaluation of every school that is built one year after it has opened. The methodology is to capture customer views through use of the design quality indicator tool, DQI for Schools.

All major school projects, including those constructed within the BSF programme, are required to undergo an environmental assessment using the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). This method now includes a post-construction review which compares an assessment of the environmental impact of the school as constructed against impact as designed.

But BSF is much more than a building programme; it forms part of the Government's wider strategy to transform children and young people's experience of schooling. So in 2006 the Department commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to evaluate the impact of BSF on educational attainment. PwC has now delivered its second annual report on this evaluation, which was published on 20 January 2009.