3 July 2014
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is urging the government to spend more on creating better school buildings.
It says that many UK schools are past their life cycle and riddled with asbestos, and that an extra 20 per cent needed to spent on new schools.
In a report, Building Better Britain: A vision for the next Government, the institute set out a raft of recommendations, including a reassessment of building on the Green Belt, 10 per cent more spending on creating "active travel" routes for walking and cycling, and revamping a "NIMBY-fearing" (not-in-my-back-yard) planning system.
RIBA says: "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 per cent of schools are operating beyond their life cycle, and more than 75 per cent contain asbestos."
It said that current government standardised designs were 15 per cent smaller than under the Building Schools for the Future programme. RIBA warned that overcrowding in narrow corridors exacerbated bullying and harassment and limited students' abilities to socialise.