Monday, 7 January 2013

BCSE - Farewell!

It's really sad to hear that the British Council for School Environments )BCSE) has had to finally shut its doors.  In this difficult economic environment funding is scare for such charities, and in the end there appears to have been no option.

It's a great shame though, because many staff and members of BCSE  represented the best views in the UK regarding the importance of excellent school design upon learning.  It was a mouthpiece for headteachers,  architects, construction partners and educationalists like myself.  The media frequently approached BCSE for comment on issues or projects, including very recently.

Many will consider the high quality research undertaken by the team as well of excellent quality, as the various international trips round school buildings.

Yes, there were times when people may not have agreed with everything they said - changing a campaign from 'Great Schools' to 'wanting 'Decent Schools' was considered potty by many, with the vocabulary appearing to require lower than the highest standards. But, the vision and celebration of high quality work by the industry was always recognised and celebrated.

The important thing is to ensure we still have a strategy for the key message of great school design getting out there - I know several people are discussing it right now - whatever the final vehicle, it  deserves our support.     

It's sad to see BCSE go, but many thanks to the team who worked so hard to make it the success it was!    

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