08 Aug Why are schools expanding?
This month we discuss why schools seem to be expanding. You may assume that more students are attending that particular school. This, of course, makes sense. The more students you have, the more classrooms you need. But did you know that there are some trends right now that are meaning that schools need bigger classroom spaces? From the fact that children are starting their full-time education earlier in preschool, to the fact that children are attending school for longer hours, the trends right now seem to indicate a real need for bigger and more spacious classroom environments.
Across the UK many school authorities have implemented and added an onsite feeder nursery school to their current facilities. This has proved beneficial in increasing a child’s early year foundation schools and social development as well as helping their parent’s busy schedules. Implementing a full day preschool program has provided children with several benefits:-
- They are healthier and happier, experiencing social, emotional and intellectual benefits
- It is cost effective as by investing in a quality education program earlier in life, there are fewer dropout rates and higher chances of success when the child reaches adulthood.
- Children are prepared for reception and more likely to experience success.
- Many teachers have noticed benefits from children who have been at a full day preschool as they have more time to teach a variety of topics.
In the last five years, the number of school children in England being taught in classes with 36 or more pupils has trebled in the last five years. This has led to schools needing more space, which has had led to more schools. BBC News carried out a survey which also highlighted that every region in the UK has seen cuts in school spending. This has led them to turn to alternative building options so that they can improve their spaces and to help children cope in the classroom.
There is an increasing trend in the consolidation of schools from multiple facilities into one larger facility. There are several examples of factors that may lead to consolidation:
- Help the weak by combining struggling schools in hopes to make one larger successful school
- Psychological benefits- when schools combine and create a stronger identity within the community, students gain confidence and extracurricular programs can flourish as there are more resources.
- Improve consistency within school authorities so that educational programs are the same
- Implementing nursery schools into infant and junior schools allowing costs to be reduced as well as streamlining gaps between key stage levels leading to schools looking to expand their facilities.
So how are schools coping with these trends? How are they expanding their school environments to deal with the changing nature of school environments? If a school does want to expand its facilities, chances are it will have no time on its hands and no funds necessary. Of course, this isn’t really a problem anymore, as modern modular buildings provide an excellent solution.
There are many reasons why going modular is the best way to expand your education facilities; modern modular buildings are cheaper, more flexible, more aesthetically striking and quicker to build than traditional buildings. With the rapid growth in the number of new children in our schools, modular construction has answered the need for affordable expansion.
You are probably imagining with horror a series of irregularly-placed rectangular grey units. You’re not alone – nearly everyone does when they think of modular school buildings. However, the industry has evolved dramatically and prefabricated buildings now look virtually indistinguishable from their brick-built counterparts. They don’t have to be, though, and you can order any exterior from stone to stainless steel. The beauty of modular is the flexibility.
The 50-70% reduction in time, coupled with the minimal site traffic (due to off-site manufacture), makes modular construction ideal for educational facilities because your students’ learning is less likely to be disrupted. There is also a 30-50% reduction in cost, which is only because of the more efficient construction methods. Quality and durability are not affected.