School buildings & free schools – Budget announcements

Comment on the proposed announcements on the building of free schools and refurbishing of existing buildings from Dr Pam Woolner, Newcastle University, who is an expert in the relationship between school buildings and learning:

“There is good evidence of benefits of renewal of school space (rebuilding and refurbishing), but these are mainly not direct effects on learning. Instead, there are important indirect effects via staff morale and practices, student attitudes and behaviour.

But the key question is whether free schools are an efficient way to get this renewal to the communities that need it. Areas without rapidly increasing pupil numbers either won’t get the renewal or they’ll get free schools that aren’t needed, potentially compromising the viability of existing schools.”
Notes to journalists
More details about Pam Woolner’s research can be seen here:

Making school buildings fit for purpose

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