Education and Skills Committee

10 May 2006


Sustainable Schools

The Education and Skills Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry into Sustainable Schools.

The inquiry will investigate the progress of the Building Schools for the Future programme, as well as the Academies building programme and the capital programme for FE colleges. Particular issues the Committee is interested in examining are: whether Building Schools for the Future (BSF) will deliver schools that meet the needs of learners and their communities now and in the future; whether BSF will ensure that schools are sustainable €” environmentally, economically and socially; and whether BSF will deliver value and achieve its aim of educational transformation.

The terms of reference for the inquiry are as follows:

To examine the progress of the Government's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, as well as the Academies building programme and the capital programme for FE colleges, and investigate whether they will deliver sustainable schools and colleges that meet the needs of learners and communities now and in the future.

Sustainability

  • Will BSF ensure that schools are sustainable - environmentally, economically and socially?

  • Will schools built under BSF satisfy the government's definition of sustainable development as being that 'which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'?

  • How effective are the tools currently used in BSF to secure sustainable school design, including the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)?

Future learning needs

  • How effective is BSF at defining and responding to learners' current and future needs? What role can and do school users play in this process?

  • How effectively is BSF working with schools to develop educational and organisational change that complements the new buildings?

  • How actively does BSF foster transformation in school learning and design?

  • How successfully does BSF integrate with other policy and funding areas (such as Every Child Matters and Extended Schools) to deliver joined up solutions to educational and community needs?

  • How are the strategic needs of Local Authorities balanced with the needs of schools communities and learners within BSF?

Delivery and Funding

  • How well is the BSF delivery and procurement model working to deliver sustainable schools and best value, including through Partnerships for Schools and Local Education Partnerships?

  • How successfully are Private Sector Providers working within the BSF framework to deliver sustainable schools and best value?

  • Are BSF funding levels sufficient to deliver sustainable transformation?

  • Are all stakeholders involved in the planning and delivery process?

Submissions should arrive no later than noon on Thursday 15th June. After an initial evidence session on the 24th of May, further oral evidence sessions are expected to be held in summer. A guide for written submissions to the Committee may be found on the parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to [email protected] with an additional paper copy to:

Education and Skills Select Committee
House of Commons
7 Millbank
London SW1P 3JA

All Committee publications and press releases are available on our website:
http://www.parliament.uk/edskills/

Information about the Education and Skills Committee

The Education and Skills Committee is one of the House's Select Committees related to government departments: its terms of reference are to examine "the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Education and Skills and its associated public bodies". The Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry, within the overall terms of reference. It invites written evidence from interested parties and holds public evidence sessions, usually in committee rooms at the House of Commons, although it does have the power to meet away from Westminster. At the end of each inquiry, the Committee will normally agree a Report based on the evidence received. Such Reports are published and made available on the Internet. Copies are sent free to those who give oral evidence. Reports usually contain recommendations to the Government and other bodies. The Government by convention responds to reports within about two months of publication. These responses are also published.