Policies and outcomes for UK sustainable schools

Moncaster, Alice and Simmons, Peter (2015) Policies and outcomes for UK sustainable schools. Building Research and Information, 43 (4). pp. 452-464. ISSN 1466-4321

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The 1997-2010 UK Government’s priorities for education and improved social equality led to the development of two major school building programmes, the Academies programme and Building Schools for the Future (BSF). Political concerns for social, economic and environmental sustainability were increasing during the same period, leading to stated new aspirations from 2004 for the schools to be ‘models of sustainable development’. This paper examines the key political discourses for ‘sustainable schools’ during this era. It shows that, while some aspects of the initial focus on social equity were retained, there was a rapid shift in emphasis towards environmental sustainability, and specifically carbon reduction. The impacts of these shifting discourses are then considered on four school building projects, examining the technical decisions made and their intended and unintended consequences. Within the diversity and complexity of individual building projects, the paper also exposes both the changing priorities within the construction sector during this period, and the impacts of some specific policy tools. The paper demonstrates the considerable interpretive flexibility in the implementation of the policies and variability in their outcomes, concluding that construction policy should be understood as a continuous process, which shapes and reshapes what happens.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: carbon emissions,outcomes,policy formation,policy implementation,public policy,schools,socio-technical systems,stakeholder participation,sustainable development,sdg 10 - reduced inequalities ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/reduced_inequalities
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Science, Society and Sustainability
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Resources, Sustainability and Governance (former - to 2018)
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2015 16:30
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 00:29
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/51909
DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2015.1005518


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