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Published: 17 May 2019 in Industry News

Can Off-Site Construction Methods Help Combat School Place Pressure?

The pressure on new school places is not something that is particularly new to the education sector. As the population grows, as does the demand for school places and in turn the demand on schools to provide the physical space to accommodate. The issue is that the current, traditional techniques which are employed to build new schools or school extensions are relatively costly and lengthy in terms of the construction time.

They therefore cannot keep up with the increasing number of places and with a particular lack of funding schools are finding it more difficult than ever to offer a fair amount of spaces in their local authorities. In this blog, we will be look at a new report which brings the stark demand for new school places into the forefront and how off-site construction techniques could offer a realistic solution to these pressures.

New report highlights increasing demand for school places

The pressure that schools face has most recently been highlighted by a new report published by public sector organisation Scape Group. Their report, entitled: The School Places Challenge 2019, provides the latest assessment of the state of school place provisions across the country. Along with a vast array of findings within the 34-page document, there are a handful of overall statistics that are the most prominent indicators of the struggle that schools are now facing.

Most notably, the report states that in the next two to three years, there will be more than 385,000 more pupils in England alone. This will require approximately 12,835 new school classrooms and 640 new schools to ensure that our education system offers enough places for all pupils across the country. The report also highlights that there has been an overall decline of 4.6% in the funding for the education sector in the last five years. The pressure for places is an issue that all local authorities are aware of, but face an increasingly difficult task to accommodate new places when faced with continued austerity. The government itself has even gone so far as to issue new guidance to encourage housing developers to fund school places in their developments’ centre.

How can off-site construction help?

Despite the obvious downcast nature of the report, it does however offer realistic solutions as to how the UK can go about expanding schools to accommodate for the increasing pupil numbers. The first of their recommendations is to enlist the help of off-site construction methods to build new schools and school extensions. The report’s reasoning for this is based on the fact that off-site methods will ensure that these school buildings are built quicker than if schools were to use traditional techniques, making these expansion endeavours more efficient and cost-effective.

These benefits are something we know all too well here at Springfield. With over four decades of experience in the industry, we are no stranger to the fantastic advantages that our off-site techniques offer the education sector. All of our buildings are produced in our ISO-approved workshop, which provides our expert team of craftsmen with a controlled environment. We are therefore not affected by the weather, and can offer a truly bespoke service to every client – it also allows us to recycle a greater amount of the materials we use.

We are extremely proud of the work we have done with schools across the country, especially in the establishment of our close relationship with Manchester City Council. If you would like to find out more about the great applications off-site buildings can provide the education sector, visit our website or call our fantastic team on 01744 851958.

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