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Claiming events of school (re)design: materialising the promise of Building Schools for the Future

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This paper focuses upon a major, 'flagship' programme of investment in school building (re)development instigated by the UK New Labour Government between 2004 and 2010: Building Schools for the Future (BSF). Drawing upon empirical material from research in two schools which were undergoing refurbishment in this policy context, we explore how BSF was manifest, in practice, as an event characterised by the promise of transformation. We focus upon two particular school buildings, highlighting how this promise came to be attached, not unproblematically, to the redesign of diverse material school spaces, be they small and 'functional' (e.g. corridors) or high-profile and 'inspirational' (e.g. flagship atria).

Keywords: Building Schools for the Future; design; materiality; policy; promise; school

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for Children and Youth, The University of Northampton, Northampton, UK 2: Earth Sciences and Geography, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK 3: Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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