The Independent is reporting that an East Sussex academy has been awarded £6m to reverse a radical open-plan learning structure branded as a failure…
Based on the Scandinavian models of studying, this was open-plan learning. This was the future, and all for just £38m – most of it from central government via the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) investment programme and a further £4m from East Sussex County Council.
That, though, was in 2010, at the opening of the new buildings, funding for which had been approved in 2007.
On 27 April, the parents and 1,200 pupils of what is now Bexhill High Academy were being told of more “very exciting” news: the Department for Education has awarded £6m for a rebuild of the new build…
As one parent branded the £44m total outlay “farcical”, Ms Brown [headteacher] insisted the latest £6m would reverse a decline which saw the school placed in special measures in April 2013 and its sponsor, Prospects Academies Trust, fold in May 2014…
One father of a 13-year-old pupil at the academy said: “My son found it hard to concentrate in the 90-person pod, with people always talking. It was silliness, trying to make the school look more up to date. “It’s upsetting all that money was invested and more money now has to be spent to put it right. It is a little bit farcical.”
I’m not sure this was such a radical idea as way, way back in the 70s I went to a middle school in Oxford which tried a similar open plan approach with all three forms in each year housed in one open plan space. Fwiw I hated it and left after a year
But more broadly, how do we feel angry at this one: scoff at the whole idea, feel angry at the waste or just accept that sometimes someone needs to try doing things differently but it won’t always work?
Thoughts and reactions?
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