Evaluation by consultant Pricewaterhouse Coopers finds 80% of headteachers think Building Schools for the Future programme is transforming learning

The £55bn Building Schools for the Future programme is raising pupil aspirations and improving behaviour, according to an independent study published today by Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

The study, the third annual evaluation of BSF carried out by PwC, found that 80% of headteachers believe that the programme is transforming learning in schools. 80% also believed that BSF has the potential to improve the quality of teaching and learning, while 89% believed the programme would enable their school to be at the heart of their community.

However, while the report recognised the progress made by the programme, it says that schools would benefit from receiving more resources from local authorities to reduce costs and cut workloads for school staff. The report also recommends that future evaluations of BSF should include a comparative analysis of the costs and impacts of refurbished buildings with those of complete new-build schools.

Schools minister Vernon Coaker said: “It is early days but the emerging evidence is clear – BSF is delivering on the ground and is giving a massive boost to teachers, parents and pupils. We accept the vast majority of PwC's recommendations – many of which are already in the process of being put into action. This is an unprecedented project, never attempted before by any government in this country, so it’s vital that we continue to learn from experience and keep pace with the issues that emerge.

These are big projects to manage and so [delivery body] Partnerships for Schools has put in place extensive advice and guidance for schools to get the best out of each project – but it’s also absolute vital that schools get the support they need from local authorities.”

Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, said: “BSF is a much scrutinised and reviewed government programme, which is rightly so, and the third annual evaluation provides us with more lessons learned and areas to refine and develop in our work with local authorities and schools as BSF gathers further momentum.”