The Effects of the School Environment on Young People’s Attitudes Towards Education and Learning: Summary Report

Peter Rudd, Frances Reed, Paula Smith

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This research found that students at one of the first Building Schools for the Future (BSF) schools to open in England said that they felt safer and enjoyed going to school more because of their new surroundings. Vandalism, graffiti, littering, and bullying were all thought to be much less of a problem in the new school which students described as ‘inspirational’, ‘colourful’, ‘motivational’, ‘stimulating’ and ‘comfortable’. The numbers of students who said they now planned to stay on in the sixth form or go to college rose from 64 per cent to 77 per cent after the new buildings opened.

The ‘before’ and ‘after’ survey of around 200 students at the brand-new Bristol Brunel Academy, which opened in September 2007, suggests a strong association between the move to new surroundings and students’ outlooks regarding their experience of school and their expectations for the future.

Among the most significant findings from the study, funded by Partnerships for Schools, the proportions of students:

who said that they felt safe at school most or all of the time increased from 57 to 87 per cent
who said that they felt proud of their school increased from 43 to 77 per cent
who said that they enjoyed going to school increased from 50 to 61 per cent
who perceived that vandalism was at least ‘a bit of a problem’ in their school decreased from 84 per cent of respondents to 33 per cent
who perceived that bullying was a big problem decreased from 39 per cent of students in the ‘before’ survey, to 16 per cent in the ‘after’ survey

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSlough
PublisherNational Foundation for Educational Research
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • School environment, school buildings, pupil attainment, pupil attitudes, BSF, school ethos, classrooms

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