Cultural Learning Alliance

The arts fuel children’s curiosity and critical capacity. They are every child’s birthright. It is vital that children engage with the arts early in their lives.

Arts Council England
Achieving Great Art for Everyone, 2011


The James Review of Schools Capital

Published 21 April 2011

The very long awaited James Review of Schools Capital was finally published this month.

This document lays out problems with – and learning from – previous school capital projects, particularly the Building Schools for the Future scheme (BSF). It goes on to make recommendations to government about new ways forward. The Centre for School Design have provided a good digest here.

Headlines of the report recommendations include:
  1. The focus of any new scheme should be the creation of  ‘fit-for-purpose’ schools. Refurbishment and new build will be determined by local need for school places and by condition of existing school buildings.
  2. A single set of standardised designs should be created as a template for all new school buildings.
  3. School designs should not be bespoke for each individual project, and should not include the consultative approach (including teachers, students and communities) that previous projects such as BSF have used.
  4. Any new school capital scheme should focus entirely on building and maintenance and should not aim to ‘transform education’.
  5. Money for schools capital should be held centrally, but decisions on how it is spent should be taken by ‘Local Responsible Bodies’, led by local authorities. These bodies will produce a ‘light-touch’ local plan for new buildings and refurbishment.
The government has not yet indicated how much of the review and recommendations they will be adopting. It is clear that the CLA will need to champion the need for spaces for the arts and cultural learning in all schools, and we will keep you updated as things progress.


There are no comments yet, why not be the first?

Tell us what you think





Anti-spam: please enter the text in the image into the box.


The Michael Tippett School, the first BSF school in London © Tim Soar
Sign Up

Sign up to the Cultural Learning Alliance. It is quick, free and secure and we will never share your details with anyone else.

We need your support to add weight to our conversations with policy and decision makers.

I am signing up as an:

Stay up to date on all developments in the cultural learning world by signing up to the e-newsletter.

Anti-spam: please enter the text in the image into the box.