Ninety-seven per cent of local authorities believe that the £55bn Building Schools for the Future programme is helping to improve education locally, according to a survey by Ipsos Mori

The findings, which come amid mounting pressure to protect spending on school rebuilding, were unveiled at the BSEC education conference in London last week. The poll, commissioned by Partnerships for Schools (PfS), was based on responses from 74 local authorities and 36 private sector providers.

Tim Byles, chief executive of PfS, told the conference: “A new building is not a silver bullet in itself, but it has to be an ingredient. We know that investment in schools is high on the political agenda.”

The survey, which also showed that 92% of private sector partners believed BSF would improve education, comes amid growing support for Building’s Charter 284 campaign, which calls on the next government to complete the renewal of the schools estate.

A new building is not a silver bullet in itself, but it has to be an ingredient

Tim Byles, PfS

Byles added that PfS’ second procurement review would report in the summer, and said it would make “significant progress” towards a 52-week procurement process. The review is considering the centralisation of the prequalification questionnaire process, design sampling and IT procurement.

The conference, which was organised by Building’s parent company UBM, also focused on primary school refurbishment. Cabe launched a design guide aimed at helping headteachers and councils make the most of capital investment and improve areas such as sustainability, particularly against a backdrop of constrained resources.