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Teachers want bigger say on school builds

The Teacher Support Network (TSN) called for greater teacher involvement in school building programmes as the Department of Children, Schools and Families announced plans to rebuild hundreds of primary schools as part of its £7 billion Primary Capital Programme.

TSN has proposed that a named individual in each building process should be responsible for ensuring teachers are fully engaged and supported from beginning to end and that time should be freed up from teachers’ working lives to make sure they can by involved.

TSN feels that getting teachers involved in the process will lead to more effective school buildings.

A survey carried out by the British Council for School Environments (BCSE) showed that while 87 per cent of respondents believed that school environments influence pupil behaviour, only 12 per cent thought that their school premises offered an effective learning environment.

TSN feels the success of school building programmes is threatened by a lack of interaction between construction professionals and teachers.

TSN chief executive, Patrick Nash, said: “We’re very happy to see this investment into primary school buildings which could potentially really improve standards of education and the wellbeing of teachers.

“But designers must be able to engage with teachers and others working and studying in schools in order to make sure new buildings really suit the needs of the whole school community.”