Working in Education

There has been a revolution in the design of school and college buildings. An unprecedented level of Government investment through the Academies, BSF, and Primary Capital Programme, has allowed specifiers the license to create inspiring environments for learning.

Flexible design to allow for short term changes of layout and use, as well as more long term alterations, has been identified as one of the key criteria for creating excellent secondary schools as set out by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).

The Schools Design Panel states that in the design of the school the following should be addressed:

  • Is the design flexible allowing for a variety of uses and activities in different spaces?
  • Is there sufficient generosity in design to make future change relatively easy, for example adapting for changing classroom sizes?
  • Can teaching areas or other spaces be divided or combined to allow for different activities?
  • Will internal and external spaces work well for community/out of hours teaching space?
  • Can external spaces be utilised to enlarge teaching?

Movable walls and partitions can be used in a variety of ways to satisfy these requirements. For example:

  • Movable walls sub-divide classrooms to cater for fluctuating class sizes.
  • Highly acoustic moving partitions divide multi-purpose halls into drama, assembly or dining halls.
  • Lecture theatres are divided into appropriate spaces for optimum learning.
  • Folding glazed external walls link teaching and outdoor space with year round comfort.