CPD events to support & inspire

Next steps for school buildings in England

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Event Details

Starts on:15/09/2020 08:30 AM
Ends on:15/09/2020 12:55 PM
Location:Online conference


This conference will bring together key stakeholders with policymakers to examine the priorities for England’s school buildings.

It comes with the announcement by the Prime Minister of ten-year school rebuilding programme worth £1bn which will:
• target schools in greatest need of repair

• include investment in schools in the North of England and the Midlands
• focus on rebuilds being greener and using modern construction methods.

The agenda will bring out latest thinking on developments and key issues including:
• rollout and delivery - including land acquisition, free schools, and ensuring that schools are built in the areas of greatest need
• the rebuilding programme - how the new funding should be spent, with further information about the scheme and the projects expected in the autumn Spending Review
• improving the design and construction process for new schools - including the design of learning spaces, and ensuring that refurbished schools are sustainable and meet long term needs
• return to school for the new term - with Government recently publishing measures that will need to be put in place by schools - discussion on:
     ◦ the way schools are adapting - the new pressures caused by the pandemic and what it means for the future
     ◦ safety and hygiene for pupils and staff - implementation of class and year group-sized bubbles, and encouraging older pupils to social distance where possible
     ◦ creating space - how schools are managing the pressure of social distancing, through for example using shared local facilities
     ◦ adapting processes - looking at steps such as reduced use of shared items, and staggered lunchtimes and breaks
     ◦ varied approaches in different settings - looking at factors such as urban and rural locations, the age of school buildings, access to technology, outdoor space and school site sizes
     ◦ cost - the implications of adapting buildings in the short and longer term
     ◦ pupil experience - mitigating the impact of adaptation measures on the learning environment, and on attainment
     ◦ learning from change - opportunities for schools to improve the design of buildings and spaces are used - and how the potential role of technology will change.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:
• school repairs and upgrades - announcement by the Government of a further £560m in funding the 2020-2021 academic year
• the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme - including plans to retrofit schools with low-carbon heating technology
• the Priority School Building Programme - now in its second phase (PSBP2) - with a commitment for 277 schools to be refurbished by 2022 through capital grants
• Modern Methods of Construction - successful applications to work on the DfE’s £3bn programme to support use of MMC, with an aim of delivering 30 offsite schools a year for the next four years
• the free school programme - government continuing to support the delivery of the initiative.

The discussion in detail:
• The impact of COVID-19 - on school buildings and adapting to social distancing:
     ◦ modernising existing buildings - adapting older parts of the estate to changes resulting from the pandemic
     ◦ assessing the opportunities - the potential impact of necessary changes on improving how schools use learning space and edtech
• School building programmes - the PSBP and the new ten-year school building programme, which is expected to allocate a larger amount per project than under the PSBP:
     ◦ impact - the first phase of the PSBP and the lessons that can be learned and applied to PSBP2, which is expected to be completed in 2022
     ◦ targeting investment - towards areas of greatest need for new and improved buildings, with government indicating an increased focus on the North of England and the Midlands
     ◦ value for money - how it can be ensured, particularly when new funding is allocated
     ◦ engaging with contractors - addressing issues with attracting interest from the construction and other sectors in supporting the programme
     ◦ sustainability - concerns around the lack of renewable energy sources used in the rebuilding of facilities, with Government promising greener buildings
• Design and safety of learning spaces and school buildings:
     ◦ new architectural approaches - how they can be used to support improved learning experiences within the classroom
     ◦ technology - enabling the delivery of buildings with up-to-date technology equipment
     ◦ older school buildings - ensuring new health and safety standards and regulations are met, particularly following concerns around the use of cladding on buildings
     ◦ accessibility - priorities for ensuring suitability of schools for all pupils, including those with SEND
• Modern Methods of Construction (MMC):
     ◦ the ambition - the Department’s £3bn programme to support the use of MMC, with an aim of delivering 30 offsite schools a year for the next four years
     ◦ potential impact - prospects for the programme setting new standards for the building and development of schools
     ◦ transferability - how new methods of construction can be applied to other projects
• Free schools - as the Government continues to support the development of the programme in delivering new schools:
     ◦ rollout - next steps in the delivery of new free schools
     ◦ positive impact - what will be needed from free schools within the school system
• Building new schools - including practicalities:
     ◦ acquisition and use of land - and the progress of LocatEd in supporting this process
     ◦ serving local needs - how to ensure new schools provide facilities to support their communities and that they are meeting environmental standards.

The agenda:
• Policy priorities for school buildings
• Rolling out new school buildings:
     ◦ Best practice in acquisition and use of land for schools
     ◦ How does the environment affect learning?
     ◦ Next steps for increasing the number of free schools across England
• Delivering school buildings that serve long term need in local communities - siting decisions, use of new funding, and meeting environmental standards
• Use of MMC in school buildings and meeting modern demands - upgrading current facilities, regulations and standards, and accessibility and safety
• The future design of learning spaces in the context of COVID-19 and adapting to social distancing in schools - modernising old builds, improving classroom design and creating opportunities to utilise edtech.

Policy officials attending:
These forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons Library, and officials from the Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online:
• full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
• information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
• conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
• speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
• opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
• a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
• delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
• networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact.

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference.


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