Urgent reinvestment into school buildings needed

British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has commissioned a survey into the condition of more than 900 schools. 

This comes after the National Audit Office report into the condition of school buildings found that 700,000 pupils were attending schools in major rebuilding or refurbishment. 

The report brings together key voices from across the sector to issue a call for a new funding settlement to enable schools to modernise their estates and facilities. 

Instead of focusing on one individual aspect of the school, the report took each department into account.

Caroline Wright, BESA's general director, explained that "a good education is built on strong foundations: the workforce, the classroom and the supplies" and "no one element lives in isolation of the other."

The report found that over 70 per cent of schools reported the provision of IT equipment as "inadequate," with 28 per cent indicating this was having an impact on teaching and learning. 

It also suggested that over 50 per cent of schools say that current levels of investment in PE facilities is having a negative effect on outcomes for students, and almost half of schools describe their netball courts and indoor gymnasiums as in a poor state of repair.

More than half of schools say that they need but do not have outdoor sheltered areas which BESA said are essential to enabling schools to deliver lessons outside of the classroom.

Wright added: "It’s well documented that the quality and condition of a working environment has a strong influence on your wellbeing as a member of staff or the attention of a pupil."

Wright said this report demonstrates the need for urgent reinvestment in our school’s estates and facilities. 

"At its current rate," she said, "the entire schools’ estate would take over 400 years to rebuild. This is simply not good enough when a school building is typically built to last around 70 years."

You can read the full report below. 

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