An independent review of the Building Schools for the Future programme has found that headteachers believe the programme will improve pupil attainment and staff morale.
But the report, the third put together by accountancy firm PwC, warned that expectations that new schools would be "at the heart of the community" were often inflated, and that more needed to be done to explain the benefits of the programme's ICT element.
The report found that head teachers in open schools were near unanimous in their praise for the benefits of new buildings. A majority (64%) of headteachers said that the programme had improved pupil aspirations, and "there is also some evidence of improvements in staff morale, recruitment and retention."
There was also growing support for the idea that the controversial local education partnership (Lep) would help schools' save money.
But the report warned that the number of headteachers who expected the new school to positively affect their community "to a great extent" was twice as high among those going through the programme as it was among those whose schools were open. "This suggests that [schools] may have higher expectations of the programme than what may be realistic in the long term."
And much more needed to be done to explain the benefits of the ICT managed service.
Schools where the service has had time to "embed" were largely positive on their ICT provision. But those that do not yet have managed services "have expressed a strong reluctance to move away from their current arrangements."
Schools minister Vernon Coaker said the report showed that BSF was "transforming education.
"It is early days but the emerging evidence is clear," he said. "BSF is delivering on the ground and is giving a massive boost to teachers, parents and pupils."