A £45bn government scheme to modernise England’s secondary schools has fallen further behind target, MPs have heard.

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Edilizia scolastica allo spasimo

All’inizio del 900 si costruivano "palazzi scolastici". La scuola era il centro del villaggio come lo era la chiesa od il tempio nelle zone dominate dal cristianesimo. Nelle società mercantili contemporanee, materialiste ed individualistiche, dominate dai consumi di beni futili e dallo spettacolo di sé, la scuola non conta pressapoco più nulla. Le declamazioni tonitruanti sull’importanza dell’educazione scolastica non servono a mascherare la realtà. Questo è il tragico destino di un’istituzione sconfitta da altre tecniche di potere e di governo della popolazione, nonché da nuove modalità di trasmissione del sapere. I "palazzi scolastici" quando sono stati conservati sono diventati "istituzioni scolastiche". L’istituto scolastico non è un "palazzo scolastico", "un tempio del sapere". Sul frontone delle scuole statali francesi costruite nel tardo Ottocento si scolpiva l’emblema "Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité" che ha governato le politiche scolastiche del primo Novecento. Oggi più nessuno fa caso a queste scritte ridotte a mera decorazione, come nessuno non vede più sopra le porte d’entrata e d’uscita le iscrizioni "Filles" da un lato e "Garçons" dall’altro. Il tempo le ha consunte, ma anche le mode, i comportamenti sociali. Tutti entrano ed escono dallo stesso portone. L’edilizia scolastica è in crisi. Non ci sono più soldi per riparare le vecchie scuole o costruirne delle nuove.

Con i 45 miliardi di lire sterline stanziati per rinnovare le scuole secondarie inglesi (all’incirca 60 miliardi di €) si è finora costruita una sola scuola. Milioni buttati al vento senza nessun effetto.

Anche in Italia l’edilizia scolastica dovrebbe essere una priorità governativa. Non solo perché numerose indagini compravano che moltissime scuole non rispettano nemmeno le norme di sicurezza varate dallo stato ma anche perché, come si dimostra nella ricerca condotta da Massimiliano Bratti, Daniele Checchi ed Antonio Filippin, lo stato delle scuole è una variabile che incide sugli apprendimenti, almeno su quelli misurati dall’indagine internazionale PISA.

Riportiamo qui di seguito l’articolo pubblicato daBBC News il 5 febbraio 2008 nel quale si descrive il fallimento del programma inglese di rinnovamento dell’edilizia scolastica nel settore dell’insegnamento secondario. Quest’insuccesso non è imputabile ad un difetto tecnico o ad errori di gestione. E’ sintomatico della crisi rampante che sgretola i sistemi scolastici nelle società contemporanee.

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School modernisation slips again

Originally work on 100 schools under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme was due to be completed by now, but only one is open.

Recently the government said a dozen would have been done by 2007-08, then another 50 next year.

Now schools minister Jim Knight has said in a Commons written answer that only 35 will be ready next year.

In response to a query from a Labour MP, Mr Knight said that the programme was progressing well.

The first BSF school, Bristol Brunel Academy, had been opened by the prime minister last September.

"Local authorities plans show that we expect 12 new schools to be open by December 2008, 35 more in 2008-09, 115 more in 2009-10, 165 more in 2010-11, and then around 200 a year and rising thereafter," said Mr Knight.

However, the last time the government was asked about this, in October, Mr Knight had given the figure of 50 more for 2008-09.

’Billions spent’

The shadow schools secretary, Michael Gove, said the initial target had been to rebuild or refurbish every school - there are about 3,500 - by 2015.

"The government’s school building programme is in danger of descending into chaos," he said.

Ministers did not seem able to handle a project of this magnitude. Billions of pounds were being spent but parents and children were not seeing the results, he went on.

"It is of little surprise that, as with other failures, they have tried to bury this bad news, in this case by trying to hide it in an obscure written answer to a patsy question from a Labour MP on the government payroll."

The Partnerships for Schools organisation which runs the BSF programme has proposed savings of up to £250m and a streamlining of the procurement process.

There will be fewer sample schemes and more emphasis on producing the highest-quality designs for new schools.

Key recommendations include cutting the overall procurement time from 82 weeks to 75, and selecting two lead bidders after 29 weeks rather than 44.

The proposals are expected to be considered by ministers later this month.

’Devil in detail’

Chief executive Tim Byles said: "It is widely accepted that delivery of the BSF programme has picked up pace considerably over the past year.

"A package of measures designed to ensure that local authorities are ready to hit the ground running as soon as they enter the programme has already made a real difference to the timetable for delivery."

The director of the British Council for School Environments, Ty Goddard, said: "These preliminary findings are, we hope, a genuine attempt to answer major disquiet over the present BSF procurement process around such issues as duplication, achieving value for money and the translation of educational vision into reality."

But he added: "Today’s announcement doesn’t represent the root and branch changes we called for.

"The devil is, as always, in the detail, and the focus must be on real change for all those involved in the procurement process in the future."

The scheme was first announced by Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor in his Budget in 2004.

He said: "Our capital investment allocations will ensure for every constituency in the country that by 2015 every secondary school can be refurbished or rebuilt with world class technology in every school and the best state-of-the-art learning support in every classroom."

This was later downgraded to major remodelling of "at least three" schools starting in every local authority by 2016.

Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/...

Published: 2008/02/05 17:30:03 GMT

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