Paul Morrell, the president of the British Council of Offices, is looking to set up a similar industry forum to facilitate the government’s £5bn school building programme

Morrell, a former senior partner at QS Davis Langdon, is recruiting companies and trade bodies to a debating forum. This would then have the job of promoting the quality of design and delivery in the Building Schools 4 the Future programme.

The BCO is seen as a good template for the new body because it combines public and private sector interests. The schools for the future programme will similarly involve public and private money in its local education partnerships. Organisations that have expressed interest in the idea include the BRE Trust, CABE and the RIBA.

One insider said that the forum had come about because of concern at a lack of guidance from the government to clients and the industry.

The source said: “There’s a bit of concern that as we reach the second tranche of projects there’s still no guidance. The aim is to create a core of good information along the lines of the BCO and help the public sector to be a better client.”

There’s a bit of concern that as we reach the second tranche of projects for BSF there’s still no guidance

Source close to the proposed forum

The Department for Education and Skills has already assembled exemplar designs for the schools from big-name architects, but QSs in some quarters doubt that these can be built with the resources available.

The new body may be financed by contributions from industry members, who would benefit from the best practice guides, conferences and advice it would provide. It is as yet unnamed, but is unlikely to be called the British Council for Schools.