Education Estates 2016

Whether your school or college is planning to add new buildings, refurbishing existing buildings or carrying out ongoing maintenance work, Education Estates will help you source the information, solutions, and ideas that you need.

Education Estates takes place on 18-19 October at Manchester Central. The two-day conference programme will provide you with advice, inspiration and guidance, while the exhibition will help you to source the organisations, products, and services that can help you achieve your objectives.

Education Estates is the only event of its kind in the UK, covering the primary, secondary, further, and higher education sectors.

Visitors will be able to source organisations in the exhibition that can help them achieve their development, refurbishment, or buildings maintenance objectives. For those visitors directly employed in schools, colleges, universities and local authorities, the two day conference programme is free to attend.
There will be a range of industry speakers sharing advice and expert opinions. What’s more, attendees will To receive CPD points/hours, as all content is CPD accredited.

Those responsible for designing, building, maintaining and funding our schools, academies, colleges and universities face huge challenges. But wherever they are in the project lifecycle, they’ll find the solutions at Education Estates 2016.

The conference features over 90 speakers, with specialist content streams for schools and colleges & universities. Lively and authoritative, it’s the professional gathering for everyone concerned with education’s built environment. New for 2016 will be a dedicated conference stream for maintenance & FM professionals supported by the Education Funding Agency.

Industry speakers include Mike Green, director of capital at the Education Funding Agency (EFA), who will speak on building the future. Lindsay Harris, deputy director of strategy and intelligence from EFA Capital will speak on meeting the challenge of creating school places. Rachel Stephenson from the Education Funding Agency will give an update on the Priority School Building Programme.

What’s more, professor Colin Bailey, deputy president & deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Manchester will speak on universities as anchor institutions.

Special needs schools
Hilary Moon, headteacher at Brentwood School will speak on special needs schools and why the Children’s Act means we should think beyond BB104. Her session will argue that, in designing special schools, BB104 is a useful reference point for area guidelines for pupils with special needs, but we should think beyond EFA accommodation schedules and costs. She believes we are missing the opportunity to look at the spirit of the Children and Families’ Act 2014 and involve both Community Health and Social Services in designing new SEND schools to provide pupils and parents with facilities where the three services can come together to give practical advice and help.

There is a real opportunity, Moon will argue, to consider the Learning Resource Centre as not just a pupil resource but also as a parental resource where information on grants, pupil aids and facilities would be available with expert advice. Parents with children with special needs deserve better than having to shuttle between the three services providing education, health and social services and where better than at a special school?

As architects in the education sector specialising in SEND schools, we have tried to promote the use of the school beyond immediate learning periods and facilities – so that third party and community involvement becomes the norm, benefiting both school and neighbours. As an example, Brentwood SEN School has included a trike track where SLD PMLD and ASC pupils will be able to use a range of bicycles for exercise and races – with the aim to invite other SEN schools for meetings. Soft play, hydrotherapy, music and drama studios may be also be hired for invited use.

Marcus Fagent, education sector lead at Arcadis will present a session on designing schools in a less resourced, digital age. During this Parliament, it is estimated that revenue funding for schools will reduce by 10 per cent in real terms. This, together with the major problem of recruiting teachers, which has been particularly bad in areas where housing costs are high, is forcing schools to look at different models for teaching and learning. These solutions to funding and recruitment problems are in turn starting to place different demands on teaching spaces, requiring more flexibility and different types of spaces.

Schools have followed a model over the last 5-10 years which means increases in attainment to putting more adults into the classroom, reducing the pupil:teacher ratio and providing individual support where it is needed. This model is now being challenged.

Arcadis has sponsored a major study by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) into how schools are applying different curriculum models and new ways of teaching and learning which will be published in September 2016. The study will test the impact of reduced funding but also other impacts such as the use of digital devices and increasing collaboration between schools.

Research buildings
Oliver Milton, partner at Hawkins Brown will speak on creating collaborative, effective and efficient research environments. Oliver believes the design of research buildings is a balance between four demands: collaborative environments; flexibility; cost effectiveness; and technical performance. Each of these competes against each other – flexibility almost always come at a cost, collaborative spaces are less easily designed as highly technical spaces that meet a specific purpose, and so on. Navigating these tensions is the key to success in delivering successful projects. These issues need to be addressed at the very outset to ensure that occupiers are not disappointed by final outcomes and that time is not wasted during the design process on abortive work or in trying to make a budget work to an un-affordable brief.

Oliver will use his extensive experience of designing research buildings to talk about how estates managers and building occupiers can generate better briefs for their buildings that are informed by an understanding of these competing demands. He will elaborate on what causes these tensions and on why, by being more specific about their priorities, users and estates managers can make the process quicker and easier, and the outcomes more responsive to the needs of a particular project.

He will talk about a number of tools that can be used to help first-time clients understand the issues and provide input in a positive and effective way.

World class universities
Chris Fenner, director of property services at the University of West London will speak on transforming an estate into a learning landscape for the future. The formation of the Future Campus Masterplan for the University of West London was driven by the University’s brief to exceed the high expectations of the ‘millennial student’. The educational priority was to create world-class university buildings that were open and approachable to the community, to attract students through student-led learning environments, to provide better quality social space and to foster a strong sense of community for staff and students alike. The initial problem seemed impossible at first glance. The 30,000m2 existing estate was constructed over the last 80 years and in varying states of disrepair, with priorities for investment at the very centre of the occupied campus.

The key element of the project involved demolishing a central building and replacing it with a new vibrant ‘Heartspace’, comprising of a library, flexible performance centre and new student facilities. The day-lit atrium at the heart of the campus offers a permeable accessible space that is populated and ‘owned’ by students whilst knitting the rest of the estate together. All the buildings on campus have now been refurbished internally and externally to create a high-quality environment befitting a modern centre for learning.

The annual Education Estates Awards Dinner is a fantastic networking opportunity for exhibitors, speakers, visitors and delegates. This year, it will be held in Manchester’s prestigious Hilton Hotel. The after dinner speaker is current England rugby player James Haskell.

Further information