Back to school: building a better learning environment
BRE Trust funds new guidance for head teachers on getting the most out of their buildings and in turn, their students, as the new academic year begins
Report from – Keri Jordan
Schools in the UK vary widely in terms of their age, condition and the facilities that they offer. However, there is one factor that is common to all educational establishments and that is the link between well maintained buildings and a productive learning environment.
Government allocation of funding for investment in school buildings is returning to an approach based on assessments of the condition of a school's estate. In the past, schools have received direct support from local authority building professionals who could provide advice on managing facilities and identifying maintenance priorities. Today, many schools are now independently operated and therefore, a resource such as this may not be available.
This prompted the BRE Trust to fund the production of a non-technical guide for head teachers, site managers and caretakers on how to set priorities for investment to help optimise their buildings and grounds. The guide presents benchmark information for levels of investment and for typical lifecycles of key building elements. It also sets out the principles behind a building investment strategy and its components, together with a range of approaches to implementation.
Advice featured in the publication is applicable to all schools across the UK. To find out more or to download a copy of IP 10/13: Prioritising maintenance and investment in school buildings, visit the BRE Bookshop.