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School Buildings

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

10. What research his Department has undertaken into the effects on educational standards of the quality of school buildings. (292201)

We have recently extended until 2012 the contract for the independent evaluation by PricewaterhouseCoopers of the impact of Building Schools for the Future investment on pupil achievement. As more and more BSF schools open, this work will include evaluation of design quality. We will continue to publish annual reports from PricewaterhouseCoopers and work with Partnerships for Schools to ensure that lessons learned from this evaluation inform the BSF programme, and design guidance for schools.

It was a pleasure to welcome my hon. Friend to Plymouth in the summer, particularly to Stoke Damerel school, where he saw for himself the best results that it has ever had and, alongside the efforts of students, teachers and parents, the contribution made by investment in the buildings. May I ask him when he expects to announce the next round of Building Schools for the Future, in the hope that Plymouth will feature?

Stoke Damerel community college is an excellent school, and it was excellent to see its design and the improvements that have been made. We hope to announce the next round of Building Schools for the Future in a few weeks, including the six authorities over and above the initial six that we announced a couple of months ago. Part of the purpose of my visit to Plymouth was to look at its readiness to join the roll-out of the programme.