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. . . and for government's £106m school spending plan

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The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment is to oversee modernisation proposals for 80 schools, the subject of a £106 million government programme this week to ensure they are evaluated on 'best value', rather than 'lowest initial capital' criteria.

CABE commissioner Richard Feilden said schools were regarded as important civic buildings but that their potential for improving the environment and community was not fully developed.

'One finds that design quality does not show in the selected criteria in some projects, ' Feilden said.

Private architects are expected to submit the majority of plans for the schools nominated under the programme, announced this week by school standards minister Estelle Morris.

The funding, being made available to 61 local education authorities, will support the construction of new schools, the upgrade of redundant and temporary buildings and the addition of modern buildings and facilities.

Feilden said CABE was preparing a report on the correlation between design and education quality.

'A good school design does not automatically mean a good school, but it undoubtedly supports pupils and teachers in creating one, ' he said.

Speaking at the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers Conference in Jersey, Morris said that the government's four-year £8.5 billion programme for school buildings was helping create a better environment in which to teach and learn for thousands of teachers and pupils.

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