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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Excellence in environments for learning...

Today I attended the UK Learning and CEFPI (Council for Educational Facilities Planning International) Lead Member and Champion Forum at the Royal Society of Arts, London.

This was a fantastic day with a small but mixed group of people including architects, planners, headteachers and students discussing the future of new learning places.

I came away from the event today bemused with the current government’s thoughts on building new learning spaces (more information below) but also enthused. What enthused me was the dedicated group of people I met who really care about great learning. It would be easy to think that many architects just want their buildings to look nice and to do ‘a basic job’. Today I saw though, how key architects and planners see the engagement with learners as essential to support innovation and engagement of the whole learning community.

To save me writing a really extended piece (it’s been a long day), I am going to share a pause for thought and three highlights from the day. These three hightlight will be published as separate blog posts.

Pause for thought - Spending cuts are deeper than I first thought...

The axing of the BsF (Building School for the Future) project is well publicised and one I know far too much about the pain of, being involved in the IPACA vision and work with our community. Although painful, one can understand why this has happened in the current financial climate where budget in every area are tight.

The above is a EFA baseline design - is this what our learners want for 21st Century Learning?

Where money for school builds is being granted, it is being made with the tightest restrictions for new builds. Today I found out that this includes:

- Limited funding for furniture, schools are expected to take all legacy items with them.

- Very limited funding for I.C.T - again, school are expected to take all legacy items with them. In my world, this seems crazy and incredibly short sighted.