By 2019, the number of places needed in secondary schools in some areas of the UK is projected to have risen by 29%
As the increased pupil numbers seen in primary schools reach our secondary schools, we will begin to see a significant shortfall at secondary level from 2016 year on year. Some Councils are projecting that by 2019 the number of places needed in secondary schools will have risen by almost one third.
Quite understandably, most Authorities plan to increase capacity by expanding existing secondary schools where possible. Funding is often made available for what is considered to be the essential facilities such as classrooms, IT equipment and toilets but such expansion will often place massive pressure on dining and social space.
With the severe financial constraints that are now being exerted on the education sector, it is clearly essential that we focus on the elements that are going to deliver the best outcomes for each student. We believe, however, that the provision of dining and social space by covering outdoor areas such as courtyards and terraces is an option that should be considered.
Many schools across the country have found this to be a very cost-effective method of delivering space that is suitable for use in all weathers, particularly when combined with radiant heaters and even side screens if in an exposed location. It is essential, of course, that you enlist the services of an organisation with the necessary expertise to guide you through the technical aspects of such a project.
The Mountbatten School in Romsey recently installed a large tensile fabric canopy; here’s what Chris Goodrich, Director of Facilities, had to say…
“We recently invited proposals for the creation of a covered area near our servery kiosk and chose Streetspace because their simple, attractive and cost-effective design provided the maximum amount of usable space. The 3D visuals were invaluable in gaining stakeholder support and the finished canopies are absolutely stunning. The Project Management and Installation Teams were excellent and I would have no hesitation in recommending Streetspace or using them again.”