Yesterday was jam-packed with all things Education Estates, between the conference during the day and awards ceremony in the evening. We are absolutely delighted to have won the ‘Innovation in Delivering Value’ award for Withington Girls' School, and recognising that a bespoke solution which considers the needs of pupils, staff and visitors can deliver not only much needed new facilities but also revitalise a whole school estate, improving day-to-day operations and bringing people together in a new ‘heart’ space – something they didn’t know they needed but now can't live without.
There was much talk at the Education Estates conference of the housing crisis and its impact, particularly on the lack of available sites for school development. This was followed by some interesting precedents from Mairi Johnson, showing the possibilities for mixed use schemes that use housing provision to fund the delivery of educational buildings and other community facilities. I saw strong parallels with our work regarding the importance of carefully considered masterplans which focus on wider communities.