Location, location, location now tops parents' priorities

12th February 2010 at 00:00

Parents believe the location of a school is the most important factor when deciding where to send their child, a YouGov survey has revealed.

The location was deemed fractionally more important than a school's academic results, with 52 per cent of parents believing it to be a key factor, rather than 51 per cent opting for results.

Slightly more than 40 per cent of parents said the overall reputation was their chief priority, while a third believed the behavioural policy in place at a school was crucial.

Less than one in 10 respondents saw curriculum as being a key feature, with only the quality and design of a school ranking lower.

The survey was commissioned by Gensler, one of the world's largest architecture firms, hoping to gauge the feeling of parents towards the significance of design when it came to their child's school.

Unsurprisingly, only 6 per cent of parents felt it was important, despite the Government spending approximately #163;55 billion on rebuilding and refurbishing every secondary school in the country.

The design of schools has been central to the vast Building Schools for the Future initiative, with the Government claiming it can be linked to improving results.

Gigi Luscombe, head at New Line Learning Academy, said the design of a school should be acknowledged. "In order to meet the academic and social needs of tomorrow's generation, we need to embrace change and take a more holistic approach to education and learning, and the design of the environment plays a huge part in that.

"It's more than replacing a blackboard with an interactive whiteboard, we need to start afresh, and break down the barriers that inhibit 21st-century learning."

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