The Effects of the School Environment on Young People's Attitudes Towards Education and Learning: Summary Report

Peter Rudd, Paula Smith, Frances Reed

01 May 2009

Students at one of the first Building Schools for the Future schools to open in England say they feel safer and enjoy going to school more now because of their new surroundings, according to an NFER study into the effects of the school environment on young people’s attitudes to education and learning.

Vandalism, graffiti, littering, and bullying were all thought to be much less of a problem in the new school which students described as ‘inspirational’, ‘colourful’, ‘motivational’, ‘stimulating’ and ‘comfortable’. The numbers of students who said they now planned to stay on in the sixth form or go to college rose from 64 per cent to 77 per cent after the new buildings opened.

The ‘before’ and ‘after’ survey of around 200 students at the brand-new Bristol Brunel Academy, which opened in September 2007, suggests a strong association between the move to new surroundings and students’ outlooks regarding their experience of school and their expectations for the future.

In both surveys, PE came out on top as the favourite subject - but with a 14 per cent increase stimulated by the improved sports facilities. ICT also saw a major increase in popularity, along with mathematics and geography.

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