The BSF initiative (Building School for the Future) is providing high levels of investment, but changes must be able to stand the test of time. Philip Watson looks at the questions schools need to consider

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Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is a major school rebuilding programme. It is the biggest single government investment in improving school buildings in the last 50 years and its aim is to rebuild or remodel every secondary school across the UK, totalling 3,500 schools

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Chessington Community College in the first Building Schools for the Future one-school pathfinder (OSP) to open in the UK. But what does the transformation actually mean for the school and the local community?

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Schools are increasingly turning to Public Finance Initiatives to finance large building projects. Mark Blois looks at how it works

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Local government authorities were heavily criticised for failing to adequately manage provision for children with complex special needs in February 2007. So how did things change in 18 months?

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Is your voice being heard at school? Elizabeth Hartnell-Young explains how a project undertaken by a team at Nottingham University revealed that teachers and students have a lot to say about the learning process, and that they should be heard

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A number of resources are available when funding school grounds improvements, explains Gill O’Donnell

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Angela Youngman explores the problem of achieving maximum security in schools whilst maintaining a pleasant environment read more

Anne Humble describes the benefits to be gained for nursery schools from participating in the Eco-Schools scheme read more

A £7bn programme will transform 8,000 primary and special schools over the next 15 years. Crispin Andrews looks at some of the innovative projects being planned in the pathfinder schools read more

Phil Williams, chair of governors of Kelmscott Secondary School, gives a personal view of his school’s involvement in the first wave of the Building Schools for the Future scheme read more

Steve Smith makes the case to governors for outsourcing the ICT element of Building Schools for the Future projects

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How should you review your health and safety procedures at the start of an academic year? Gill O’Donnell explains

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As part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative initiative it is recommended that schools work with a managed service provider to procure, manage, maintain and refresh their ICT infrastructure and equipment. Steve Smith explores ICT outsourcing and highlights the potential cost savings

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Patrick Ferguson, headteacher of De la Salle Humanities College, Liverpool, looks at the important role effective security plays in school improvement read more

Recognising and minimising risk in the school environment is a vital part of a headteacher’s management role, says former head Roger Smith read more

Jenni Whitehead remembers some moments of humour from working in schools read more

Philip Jones presents a case study and discusses the difficulties faced by schools when providing intimate care to pupils who have disabilities

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As schools open their doors to new categories of visitor, they must take an audit of risk and danger on the premises, writes Sarah Freeston. read more

Do you always know what messages your parents are taking away with them? Carole Farrar examines some of the messages that you may be giving out

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Recognising and minimising risk in the school environment is a vital part of a headteacher’s management role, says former head Roger Smith. read more

Sima Goldsmith considers the environmental and financial implications of the sustainable schools agenda read more

Gill O’Donnell argues that schools need to take a proactive approach to fire alarms if they are not to fall foul of the new disability discrimination legislation

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Involvement in European energy awareness projects can bring a multitude of benefits to the pupils and staff of schools, as well as to the planet, says headteacher David Dixon

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Taking on an old building is a commitment that can pay dividends, says Angela Youngman. read more

When an early years setting is damaged by fire, the effects are far wider reaching than the material damage to the building. Consider the trauma to staff and children, loss of work and resources, and effect on the local community. read more

Neil Short reports on the result of a small survey into sports provision in schools. read more

Risk assessment and needs analysis are key areas of school security. Gill O’Donnell and Brin Best guide you though the systems that need to be in place to ensure that your school is prepared for all eventualities

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Dave Cotton, Force Crime Reduction Officer at West Midlands Police Force, looks at security risks and gives safety advice for schools, staff and pupils. read more

Arson attacks on schools are serious and frequent. Nick Bason of the Arson Prevention Bureau sets out the key aspects of awareness and prevention. read more

A fire safety petition is calling for the installation of sprinkler systems in all new and refurbished schools. read more

If you have equipment which is fixed or too large to be put away, what can you do to prevent the threat of damage overnight? Police Sergeant Cotton of West Midlands Police has some advice for you to follow. read more

The BSF scheme relies on successful public-private partnerships. Sharon Jones and Rachel Williams look at how the local authority goes about putting these in place. read more

The security risks faced by schools are many and varied. This breadth of scope is mirrored by the numerous legal issues relating to security. Mark Blois from Browne Jacobson LLP offers an overview of some of the most important issues, followed by some advice on good practice. read more

Surplus places and rotting and inadequate building stock was a common experience for schools in the late 20th century. Here, Brian Rossiter, head of the Valley School in Worksop, Notts, describes the arduous PFI route he took to rebuild his school and other dilapidated schools in his district

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Schools do not need to make massive improvements to school buildings to bring about improvements in learning – simple, inexpensive changes can make all the difference, according to Design Council research. read more

In our September issue headteacher Brian Rossiter described the first part of the PFI route to rebuild his and other schools in the Bassetlaw district – creating the vision for the project and meeting with the bidders. Here he shares his experience of the next steps towards making the vision a reality

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Detailed guidance on fire safety in school building design has been published, in draft form, by the DfES. read more

Gifted and talented strand coordinator Sue Sayer describes her work as leader for G&T and creativity for her excellence cluster and explains how a Classroom of the Future has influenced the teaching and learning of pupils in the Camborne, Pool and Redruth Success Zone read more