Fondazione Agnelli’s Report on School Building and Learning Spaces offers policy recommendations for the urgent work that must be carried out in Italian school buildings in the next few years.
School buildings in Italy are 52 years old on average, and widely inadequate for the requirements of the near future. From three different points of view: safety, sustainability, but also as spaces conducive to good and innovative didactics. Action must be taken urgently. Because the alternative is watching the gap between our students’ level of education and those in other advanced economies become even deeper, adding to a terrible waste of environmental resources and, in some cases, safety risks for all the people who study and work at school.
However, a reasonable and convenient approach must embrace a vision and an operative strategy that integrate all different facets of the problem. Not forgetting that, with the decrease in number of students expected in the next few years, the government should focus on renovating, redeveloping or replacing existing buildings, making the construction of new schools in new locations an exception.
These are the main conclusions of Fondazione Agnelli’s Report on School Building and Learning Spaces (Rapporto sull’Edilizia Scolastica della Fondazione Agnelli, published in Italian by Editori Laterza). The Report stems from new analyses of the data provided by the Ministry of Education’s School Building Registry (Anagrafe dell’Edilizia Scolastica), and offers policy recommendations for the work that must be carried out in Italian school buildings in the next few years. One chapter in the Report reviews some of the most meaningful experiences in innovative school construction on the international scene.
The Report was presented on 27 November 2019 in Turin, by John Elkann, Chairman of Fondazione Agnelli; Alessandro Laterza, CEO of Editori Laterza; Giovanni Biondi, President of Indire; Francesco Profumo, President of Compagnia di San Paolo and former Minister of Education; and Anna Ascani, Deputy Minister of Education, University and Research, responsible for school building.
“Amongst public investments in infrastructures – commented Andrea Gavosto, Director of the Agnelli Foundation – those for school buildings must play a central role, as an opportunity for the growth of younger generations. However, we must plan and act in three directions at the same time: safety, sustainability, and innovation for didactics. The latter is just as important as the first two: the spaces inside schools – the way they are designed and built – are indeed a key factor for learning, and for both students’ and teachers’ wellbeing.”