BSF School Report: B+ for attendance but C- for attainment

Tilaye Yeshanew , Ben Durbin

05 October 2010

The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme was launched in 2004 by then prime minster Tony Blair, with the aim of rebuilding or refurbishing every secondary school in England over a 15 to 20 year period. Its cancellation was announced by Michael Gove in 2010. Research by NFER found that in the first new school building to open, pupil attitudes to school and the school environment improved substantially. However, to date no research has been published on attendance and attainment outcomes for young people. This article reports research based on Partnerships for Schools’ published list of completed BSF projects as of 21 July 2010 and the latest available version of the National Pupil Database. It suggests that whilst at this stage attainment at BSF schools is not yet improving at the rate possibly expected at the start of the programme, there are potentially some early signs of improved attendance.

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