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The groundbreaking schools design initiative

Why School Works?

We believe that it is possible to use existing resources differently to create beautiful places designed to raise educational achievement and support lifelong learning in local communities. Our work is focused on the particular issues faced by secondary schools. We argue that it is not only what you spend, but how you spend, and that attention to design and detail need not cost more.

Changes in Education

With so much new technology available, and new cultures in the workplace, we need to enable teachers to educate our children in a way which equips them with the skills they will need in the outside world.

We ask why, in this changing world, the structure of the school day still operates in the manner of the 19th century. We ask how the school building itself represents a hidden form of curriculum, and how behaviour is affected by design.

Changes in Society

As we live in an increasingly diverse, individualised and less hierarchical society, and new ideas about lifelong learning are emerging, we need our school buildings to open out to their local communities.

We ask how the design of school buildings can stimulate lifelong learning locally, and aim to ensure that the needs of local people are considered when creating school designs.

Beautiful Schools

We all know that beautiful spaces can inspire and motivate us, while ugly environments can depress. We care about the way our homes and offices look and feel, but very little consideration has been given to our school buildings. We believe that space has an indirect and direct effect on the possibility of learning.

Issues with Current Procurement Methods

Designs for new school buildings are often created without reference to changes in education or wider society. In addition, funds for school buildings are often made available in a way which encourages schools to take the 'least cost' option for short-term gain. Although the PFI process encourages the consideration of the lifecost of buildings, it can inhibit the involvement of school communities in the design process.

We ask how funding regimes and procurement methods can be adapted to enable the creation of beautiful, functional schools.

How do we use School Works?

School Works brings together all these issues, and is testing ideas in practice. The Project is still a work in progress, so please click here to send us your comments and ideas
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