Factsheet 1: Building Schools for the Future (BSF) in Blackburn with Darwen
What is Building Schools for the Future?
At its simplest Building Schools for the Future is a national programme to improve secondary school buildings across England. Billions of pounds of investment will be made across the country over a 15 year period, with the aim to provide all children and young people with educational facilities fit for the 21st Century.
Building Schools for the Future is however much more than just a building programme. Through BSF local authorities and schools have a once in a lifetime opportunity to design learning environments that support educational reforms to transform teaching and greatly increase both learning and community opportunities, not just for children and young people but for the benefit of their families and the wider community as well.
What does this mean for Blackburn with Darwen?
Blackburn with Darwen joined the BSF programme in January 2007 and Government funding of around £150 million will be available to develop well designed and fully equipped facilities that are adaptable, fit for purpose and which will provide environments to enhance learning and teaching.
Key priorities in the Borough
The Council’s vision for the future has been developed in close partnership with children’s services, head teachers, governors and other organisations such as the police and health services.
The vision: Key priorities
· Giving all children access to core subjects, as well as the chance to specialise in a particular subject such as engineering, arts or sport
· Providing extended services such as out of school activities, sports facilities, adult learning centres and health services in schools
· Developing personalised learning through improved IT facilities, better classrooms and new vocational subjects to meet children’s individual needs
· Schools sharing facilities, resources, staff, information and knowledge to offer better learning opportunities for pupils
· Improving facilities in mainstream schools to make them more accessible to children with special educational needs
· Schools working together to make sure children from all faiths and social backgrounds can learn and socialise together
· Creating a network of learning and leisure facilities in state of the art, environmentally friendly buildings that will inspire all who use them
· For all schools to exceed national targets by 2016.
Managing the change
The council are aware that such a major programme of change requires effective management. The authority is working closely with key partners and stakeholders to ensure that disruption to pupils, staff and the community is kept to an absolute minimum, during the programme.
In addition the success of our schools of the future will rely on having the right staff in place, with the right skills. The authority is working with the Educational Improvement Partnership, a partnership of all secondary schools in the Borough, to put in place training and development plans that will ensure the right staff are in place at the right time.
How can I find out more and get involved?
Throughout the programme the BSF team will be organising a whole host of activities to ensure all stakeholders have opportunities to get involved and have their say. Information on up and coming activities can be found in the news and events section of this website, in the Shuttle, the Council’s newspaper or by contacting the BSF team directly.
Regular progress updates will be available through the Shuttle, alternatively you can visit our regularly updated website for the latest news, fact sheets and frequently asked questions.