Teachers at new-build city academies have criticised designers for paying too little attention to the practicalities of educational provision in a report this week.
Staff said too much emphasis had been placed on making bold architectural statements “at the expense of some of the more practical requirements of modern teaching and learning spaces”.
In particular they criticised classroom layouts, lack of storage for teaching equipment and insufficient office space for staff preparation. They also said that it had been a mistake to site sports changing rooms on the first floor of buildings because it meant that wet and muddy children walked through the buildings.
Parents and children were more positive in their response: 96% of parents found the building attractive, and eight out of 10 pupils found the resources and buildings better than in their old schools.
The Pricewaterhouse Coopers report was published by the Department for Education and Skills on Wednesday.
PWC visited 11 academies, three of which were in new buildings. The government plans to build 200 academies by 2010 at an average cost of £25m each.