Bad school design harms pupils

A report out today claims that more than a third of teachers feel the poor design of their school has a negative effect on their ability to teach.

The research, carried out by the Teacher Support Network and the British Council for School Environments, marks the start of National School Environments Week, which runs from 25-30 June.

Almost 90 per cent of those who took part in the research said that classroom layout is the single most important factor in the school environment when it comes to teaching and learning.

Only 60 per cent, however, said they were able to make adjustments to aid teaching.

Concerns about levels of security were also expressed, with almost a quarter saying that their school did not have sufficient levels of safety and security.

The research also found that, while most teachers believed information and communication technologies to be a vital part of teaching, only 60 per cent said they had adequate resources, while more than a third of teachers did not have the workspace necessary for the preparation and planning of school activities.

The BCSE is calling on the Government to follow a list of recommendations aimed at establishing good practice in the design and build of schools.

It says that a regular, large-scale survey of teachers and pupils to find out what can be done to improve the design of schools across the country will also help to get the future design of schools right.

In addition, it is calling for the creation of a national databank containing information on designs that do and don’t work.

Director of the BCSE, Ty Goddard, is calling on for the Government’s schools capital funding programme to reconsider the design and building process for schools.

‘The promise of billions of pounds to refurbish or rebuild schools is a fantastic opportunity – a real cause for celebration. But this new research shows the importance of getting the design and build process right, or we’ll end up with new schools that don’t work and fail our children, teachers and communities,’ he says.

The survey results can be found at

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