People come first

PUBLISHED: 15:32 09 November 2007 | UPDATED: 23:08 28 May 2010

YOUR readers will have been alarmed to read the suggestion that the Fenland Building Schools for the Future project is all about the buildings and not the quality of education (Comment, November 2). However, nothing could be further from the truth. Camb

YOUR readers will have been alarmed to read the suggestion that the Fenland Building Schools for the Future project is 'all about the buildings and not the quality of education' (Comment, November 2).

However, nothing could be further from the truth. Cambridgeshire County Council's first submission to Government last year, in which we made our case for Fenland secondary schools to be included in the national project at the earliest possible opportunity, began with these words: "Building Schools for the Future is not just about buildings; we see BSF as providing a major boost to a much deeper transformation in our schools."

Our submission went on to describe the characteristics of the modernised and rebuilt schools, which we see as helping school staff and students in their drive for improved standards and making sure each school lies at the heart of its community, through strong community involvement and enhanced sporting, cultural and leisure opportunities.

We all recognise that new buildings alone will not achieve these objectives; but they will provide a stimulus for change and an environment in which students, teachers and others working in school can thrive and achieve higher standards than we have seen previously.

We want local communities to benefit, too, through better facilities for sport and leisure.

We have been delighted with the response of Fenland schools to the challenge of BSF. We are also listening to what members of the wider community tell us they would like to see in the new schools to support local communities.

Investment of almost £100million in Fenland's secondary schools will give a boost to the local economy and will help all involved in education to give Fenland's children and young people the education they deserve.

Will there be wonderful new buildings? Yes, there will. But we forget at our peril that it's what goes in inside the buildings that will make the difference.

CLLR JILL TUCK

Cabinet member for children and young people's services

Cambridgeshire County Council

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