The call has been made by the Victorian Society which has placed Stonebridge School in Brent - still in use but under threat of redevelopment - in its top 10 of buildings at risk for 2008.
Ann Morgan, community engagement officer of the group, which campaigns for the preservation of Victorian and Edwardian buildings, said the urge to demolish perfectly good old structures rather than refurbish them had to be fought. She also pointed out many prestigious private schools occupied old buildings.
“Many of our most prestigious public schools are housed in Victorian buildings, and to say that these buildings are past their sell-by date is not acceptable,” she said.
“Rather than looking for a quick fix, councils should look for longer term solutions.”
There are currently more than 3,000 pre-1919 schools in use in the UK, the majority of them primaries.
A Local Government Association spokesman said councils generally wanted to protect their older buildings but were often forced to make tough choices when faced with the cost of maintenance.
However, he added that provisions in the upcoming Heritage Protection Bill were expected to make it simpler and cheaper for authorities to renovate and repair listed buildings.
A Brent LBC spokeswoman said of Stonebridge School: “The building has a number of shortcomings in respect of modern day teaching and learning and the buildings do not provide sufficient and suitable accommodation for the growing school population in the area.”
She said it was anticipated work funded by the council’s primary capital project would begin within four years, resulting in a new school building and new residential housing.