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With support from the Department for Education and Skills, rethinking construction has launched a guide for creatin...
With support from the Department for Education and Skills, rethinking construction has launched a guide for creating best value schools.

The guide, Building Best Value Schools, provides advice to LEAs to support clients in the education sector in adopting best practice principles.

This will ensure that investment provides modern, well-designed working environments for pupils and teachers. The importance of early engagement with staff and pupils at the design stage and throughout the entire construction process is stressed.

By drawing on the experience gained from school-build demonstration projects the guide provides practical advice for schools and LEAs. Examples of best practice in school funding include the involvement of staff and pupils in the design stage, the integration of construction into the school curriculum, and the selection of contractors on quality criteria alone.

Key points for LEAs to consider are:

How to get everyone involved in designing a best value school

How school building projects provide a curriculum opportunity

How best to work with all members of the project team, involving teachers, consultants, constructors, council officers and elected members

Speaking at this week's launch of the Building Best Value Schools Guide, Adrian Terry of rethinking construction stressed the importance of the role of LEAs: 'LEAs have a vital role to play in ensuring that the process of rebuilding Britain's schools is successful.

'The close links with schools, local communities, government and the construction industry means that they have an in-depth knowledge of cost of ownership issues, and are well-placed to ensure that construction takes full account of schools' immediate and longer term requirements.

'Designers and constructors are keen to develop strategic partnerships with LEAs, and these should be encouraged in a bid to minimise the negative impact and disturbance that construction work can have.

'In addition, the m assive investment within the schools' programme is providing the opportunity to raise awareness amongst pupils of the range of careers in construction.'

The guide also addresses frequently asked questions; essential best value reading; and the reasoning behind the new approach to capital investment in schools.

'Building Best Value Schools' is a rethinking construction publication, which is sponsored by The Construction Industry Training, and supported by DfES, and CABE.


Rethinking Construction is the banner under which the construction industry, its clients and the government are working together to improve UK construction performance.

Rethinking construction partners aim to showcase innovations in both products and performance through demonstration projects and highlight best practice available within the industry.

They also seek to encourage the industry and its clients to adopt the principles of rethinking construction to their mutual benefit.

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