I have just completed my assessment as a trainer for the BSF programme, ‘building schools for the future’, and its primary equivalent the Primary Capital Programme (PCP). Run by NCSL, you may think it would be full of vacuous edu-speak, but no! I have to say this was one of the best CPD experiences I have had in recent times. Even at this late point in the term it felt exciting to be in education, surrounded by 11 other HTs / consultants / educators-at-large that were visionary in their aspirations for the future of English education. Not least, Martin Blows was on great form with some really in depth expertise around the complex implementation of the BSF programme, whilst Glyn Rawlins was a faultless role model in his emotionally intelligent delivery of challenge to what could have been a tricky bunch of hard nosed educators.
I suppose the most interesting question around BSF (once you have discovered that by the time it reaches your school it will amount to £3.50) is: “Do I need a rebuild to B-S-F?”. I worked with Esme Capp and Ray Trotter at Wooranna Park School in Melbourne Australia, where they were doing some great work on a more modest budget (Ray painting classrooms in his summer hols…). What they achieved, around negotiated learning was great.
But even Wooranna had some money. What if you have next to none? Is BSF still Beyond Some Fingers’ grasp? I don’t think so. We have introduced negotiated learning at zero cost, as we have with our innovative MA in New Technologies for 60% of our teaching staff. These two steps alone will build our future school and have cost us not a bean. I am excited about the BSF possibilities for everyone, whether the cupboard is bursting or empty, what counts surely is our mental resource rather than our financial backing?