London is the highest performing area for education in England - with rising numbers going to university, even among disadvantaged families and in this context Eurostat acknowledged that "inner London east" including Haringey, Islington, Hackney, Newham, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets had the second highest concentration of graduates in Europe.
The role of the Newham Sixth Form College or NewVIc (VI as in 6 for Sixth Form) as it is known locally cannot be underestimated in this success. It sends more disadvantaged students to university than any other sixth-form provider in England. NewVIc is also ranked by the Sutton Trust as being in the top 5% of high performing sixth forms in England, in progressing students from disadvantaged backgrounds to university including Oxbridge and the Russell Group institutions. What makes this performance all the more impressive is that the college’s students aren’t cherry picked high achievers.
The roots of its success lie far deeper than the region’s recent regeneration following the London Olympics in 2012 and go back to its foundation as a sixth form college in 1992. However, its’ reputation, ever increasing numbers of students and a continually expanding range of courses have all placed pressure on the one resource London is short of – space.
Key issues faced by NewVIc
- Ongoing campus redevelopment is a long-term project and immediate solutions to improve facilities were needed
- Providing significant increase in classroom teaching facilities
- Cater for increasing numbers of students
- Greater diversity of courses including 40 A-levels and over 20 vocational courses
- Limited budgetary resources and pressure for financial accountability
David Snazel who is responsible for the NewVIc site takes up the story, “Our immediate need was extra classrooms following a sharp upturn in the number of students we were taking in coupled to a broader curriculum of courses. Modular portable buildings were the obvious way forward for us primarily because of the speed of installation and we began talking to a number of the usual candidates. We included Springfield in our list of possible suppliers on a recommendation and after we’d drawn up a shortlist to tender for our business, it was clear they offered far better value. However, it became clear when we visited the factory that price was not the main differentiator for Springfield against the competition. We liked the people we met and what we saw. It was clear there was no compromise on quality and they absolutely took on board the fact that it had to be a turnkey project where they prepared the site and foundations, delivered utilities such as water and electricity and data communications cabling to completing a complex and finished building ready for teaching from day one.”
What Springfield did
The final project saw Springfield build, deliver and commission a 450-square metre steel framed modular two storey building consisting of a total of twelve classrooms with two separate toilet blocks that met all accessibility requirements such as providing access ramps. Two classrooms were supplied with hard floors for IT, the remainder being carpeted. Cedar cladding was chosen to give the building presence throughout its planned lifetime of at least ten years, although with appropriate planning permission David Snazel believes the facility could see many more years of use.
Interestingly in the educational sector the build was accomplished in just six weeks during term time. This was testament to Springfield’s ability to effectively manage the site in terms of risk assessments, plans and safety procedures. Also, the extra space has allowed NewVIc’s business department to move its office and enjoy natural light and window views. Read more about how Springfield's modular buildings can benefit the education industry here.
Summary and key benefits
Springfield delivered the £750 000 project for NewVIc on time and within budget enabling the college to gain significantly more classroom space than competitive tenders allowed. The two-storey modular building provided twelve classrooms and toilet facilities finished in plastisol coated steel with cedar cladding giving a durable aesthetic finish.
Major project completed during term time with no disruption to the educational syllabus.
Classrooms built to exceed building regulations and deliver an energy efficient learning environment fully compliant with current safety regulations.
“We remain highly impressed with the overall project from its inception through to completion and that’s testament to Springfield’s professionalism and expertise,” David Snazel, NewVIc.
For more information on Springfield and our modular buildings contact us on 01744 851958 or fill in a contact form.