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Have more say in pound;45bn plan to update secondaries

Teachers and pupils are not being properly consulted on plans to refurbish secondary schools in England, according to a new study.

Consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, who carried out the review on Building Schools for the Future, the pound;45 billion programme to rebuild or refurbish every secondary school by 2020, said the administrative burden of the initiative added to headteachers' workload. Schools should consider employing managers to oversee the building projects, it said.

The independent study was supposed to assess the impact of BSF on pupil attainment.

However, only one school, Bristol Brunel Academy, has opened. Around 100 schools were supposed to have been finished by the end of the year, but the programme has been hit by a series of delays since it began in 2004.

Almost 2,000 headteachers who took part in a survey said they were confident that new school buildings would lead to better results.

Nine out of ten teachers said BSF would improve the overall quality of teaching and learning; over three quarters that it would broaden the curriculum; and more than 60 per cent that it would improve behaviour.

Only 11 per cent of pupils said they felt 'inspired' by their schools.

Headteachers were most concerned about the temperature in their buildings while the pupils fixed on the comfort of the classroom furniture.

Training programmes are now being run by the National College for School Leadership for headteachers whose schools are being rebuilt.

Headteachers said there was not enough time for them to focus on BSF and that attending meetings added to their work.

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