Revamp of schools foiled by bad design

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The Independent Online

A £2.2bn plan to refurbish every secondary school in England will fail in its goal of creating a world-class education system for the UK, the Government's architectural advisers have said.

The programme, Building Schools for the Future, was seen by Tony Blair as a major element in delivering his pledge to improve the quality of education on offer for the nation's seven million state schoolchildren.

His advisers have told him the newly designed buildings created by the scheme are repeating the mistakes of previous generations.

The report from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe) tells the Prime Minister the quality of the schools' design is not good enough to achieve the Government's ambition to transform pupils' education. Of 52 new school buildings surveyed, half were poorly built, badly designed and failed to provide inspiring environments.

Under the Government's ambitious programme, every secondary school in England will be rebuilt or refurbished by 2018.

Richard Simmonds, the chief executive of Cabe, said: "This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve our children's education and we need to make sure we get it right."