School buildings are important for lots of reasons, but mostly as a 'learning environment' where children acquire knowledge and skills. This week both Edinburgh and Glasgow City Councils are the subject of BBC stories about possible or planned school closures.
"Revamp proposals for city schools" concerns plans to close some Glasgow primaries and build a smaller number of schools better-suited to modern ways of learning.
"Schools in capital face closure" outlines Edinburgh's consideration of closures in the light of falling school rolls and shifting population.
Its not just about saving money for Councils; its about what kind of buildings and grounds are best for our children and their education.
Another BBC story "Painting classroom raises results" reports on research in England about the positive effects on children of low-cost school refreshment, but this assumes that the buildings in a suitable physical condition to be refurbished (and not falling into the street). The researchers do point out the detrimental effect on children, and incidentally sometimes on staff, of working in a poor environment.
But there's lots of things that have an effect on children's propensity to learn, including:
Good teachers, stimulating curriculum, neat bits of appropriate technology well-used..
And lots of things that motivate or demotivate staff, including:
school leadership, pupil behaviour, neat bits of appropriate technology well-used..