Tuesday, 1 December 2015

♯Great Schools

I'm really pleased to see the digital version of Great Schools - making the case for good design published by the Architects Journal and sponsored by Hawkins\Brown Architects.

It is now commonly accepted by many that the minimum standard schools that follow the baseline school designs promoted by Mr Gove a few years ago do not provide outstanding learning environments and are simply 'functional spaces'.  Students deserve better than this if we are to encourage and motivate them to a future of life long learning.

We have learnt a great deal since the days of BSF and aspirational school design - this knowledge needs to be further enhanced and developed - not restricted as so many new school designs do currently.  The more conversations regarding new high quality school design that can be restarted - the better.

To access the link to the digital version click here.

North South Divide

Depressingly Ofsted are still reporting a north south divide in the chances of students attending a 'good' school. Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector, notes sixteen local authorities where over 40% of students do not attend a school rated as good or better.  This, possibly inevitably will result in them failing to achieve as good grades as they may be capable of.

Having said that, I know of several schools where staff and students do extremely well, they are outstanding schools in many ways - but student progress does not keep up, often because of lack of aspiration and role models in their social life as opposed to the work that teachers are doing.  In these cases it is simply not fair to simply blame the school. It is so much more complex than that.

To read the Sky News story, click here.