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BSF: minimum design standard launched

A minimum standard for use in the design of Building Schools for the Future buildings was launched this morning.

The Minimum Design Standard for BSF - jointly developed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, delivery body Partnerships for Schools and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment - means only designs meeting its criteria will proceed through procurement.

Proposed designs for BSF sample schools will continue to be assessed by CABE’s schools design panel, and only designs graded by the panel as ‘very good’ or ‘pass’ will be able to proceed into construction. Those graded ‘unsatisfactory’ or ‘poor’ at their final review will be stopped.

Schools minister Jim Knight said the Minimum Design Standard was a clear signal that objective review of sample designs was critical to improve the quality of schools.

He said: “BSF is an unprecedented programme to sweep away the legacy of long-term underinvestment, replace school buildings coming to the end of their shelf-life with high class facilities, and transform secondary school standards.

“There had been no national school building programme for decades before BSF – but we learned fast from the early phases that involving experts like CABE early and intensively made sure local authorities got the support they needed in getting designs right.

“The minimum Design Standard takes this further and is absolutely fundamental to BSF’s long-term success.”

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