Government looks to cut the cost of building schools

October 1st, 2012 Category: Educational Establishments

Every part of the public sector has been forced to adapt amid widespread cuts in public spending.

While some will argue it helps public services operate more efficiently at a time when money is scarce, others will say it is making delivering high-quality services much more difficult.

Education is one area where spending is being curbed and creating new school buildings has been flagged up by the government as somewhere that money can be saved.

The end of the previous government's Building Schools for the Future programme proved controversial, but the current administration has insisted it will keep working to improve existing premises and create new structures.

But as part of its money-saving exercise, it looks as if school buildings will be slightly smaller than they used to be.

Indeed, proposals set to be unveiled soon suggest hundreds of replacement schools will be about 15 per cent smaller than those that are currently in place.

No longer will rooms such as classrooms, canteens, assembly halls and corridors be any bigger than officials believe they need to be.

Of course, the issue of public spending cuts in education is highly controversial and will divide opinion in any room full of people.

So how it impacts on bodies such as school cleaning specialists, suppliers and other partners and stakeholders remains to be seen.

After all, critics of the idea of building smaller schools are worried that schools will become overcrowded as a result, which in turn might impact on pupil discipline.

The government will continue to push the case that it is making better use of public money following years of waste and profligacy.

Education professionals will certainly be hoping that policymakers are proved correct, as they won't want to see procedural and structural changes affect the quality of the service they provide. It looks as if this could be a particularly sensitive issue across the UK for some time to come, with the effects of smaller buildings on pupils not becoming apparent for several years.