Teaching in a tin can is bad for the health

Handy for Michael Gove that a report, very much at odds with the existing literature, should come out just as he needs to show that all that money spent on refurbishing and rebuilding schools was wasted ("Make do, don't mend", 2 December).

I don't think many of us expected that the #163;235m construction of Portcullis House to provide office space for just 213 MPs would actually improve their performance. The MPs felt they were entitled to go about their work in something better than a Dickensian cupboard and HM Government made sure they got it.

I feel the same about the pupils and staff at my primary school. The old building, an uninsulated, aluminium-framed construction with high, single-glazed windows, was dreadful to work in. Tropical in summer, freezing in winter, it made huge demands on the forbearance of my staff and children.

Luckily, our funding came through just before the till slammed shut. Phase 1, the infant department, is complete, and my infant staff now work in a warm, comfortable environment. When Phase 2, the junior department, is finished we can look forward to spending the thousands of pounds now wasted on heating bills on the education of the children. Will this improve results? Maybe. Will it improve the health and well-being of every single person who attends my school? Unquestionably.

Kath Coyle, Headteacher, Aintree Davenhill Primary, Sefton.

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