Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in edtech
How a school should look: Jesmond Gardens (Pic: Andrew Heptinstall / Architects: ADP)

RIBA: “new schools not fit for purpose”

Spending on schools needs to be increased by 20%, according to a new report from The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Posted by Dave Higgitt | July 21, 2014 | People, policy, politics, money

A new report from RIBA has set out a number of recommendations for the next UK Government. One the education front, RIBA’s report, Building Better Britain: A vision for the next Government, says:

“Faced with the greatest shortage of school places in decades, too many of the UK’s schools are past their life cycle and riddled with asbestos. The current school building programme is just too cheap. We need to be spending 20% extra on the new schools we build  

 “By September 2014, we will be short of one quarter of a million spaces in our schools. Years of underinvestment, coupled with recent changes to school building, rebuilding and refurbishing programmes, have left us with crumbling schools which fail those trying to learn and teach in them. 80% of schools are operating beyond their life cycle, and more than 75% contain asbestos.

The Government’s current standardised ‘baseline’ school designs are 15% smaller than those built under the Government’s previous programme ‘Building Schools for the Future’. Standardised designs have smaller corridors, smaller assembly halls and canteens.  

“Overcrowding in narrow corridors exacerbates bullying and harassment; fewer social areas outside classrooms limit students’ abilities to socialise. The new schools being built aren’t fit for purpose and will certainly not stand the test of time.

“The next Government should invest in our children’s future by increasing the cost per square metre of schools by 20%.”

RIBA President Stephen Hodder said:“The next UK Government should empower our cities, towns and villages to prosper and provide the homes, education, services and jobs that are vital for the nation; it needs to look at architecture and the built environment as part of the solution. Reform of the green belt, building more new homes, tackling the failed current school building programme and empowering English cities to compete on the global stage, must be priorities.”


Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in edtech

Related stories

How to keep schools safe

Education sector benefits from maintenance reducing products

Enriching the student experience through design

Market place - view all


Gerflor is a group that creates, manufactures and markets innovativ...


Nova Sport are a leading safety surfacing supplier in the UK. We of...


Interface is a global leader in the design and manufacture of susta...