The Future of the School Building Programme in London

Thursday 8 October 2009

Mairi Johnson, Head of Design at Partnerships for Schools (PfS), gave the keynote speech at a conference looking at the future of the schools building programme in London.

PfS has just taken over a number of major education investment programmes, and now not only runs the BSF and Academies programmes, but also the Primary Capital Programme, Devolved Capital, Targeted Capital and Sure Start programmes. Mairi explained that this has allowed PfS to work on a much more coherent and strategic vision for investment in education and to set up a single conversation with each authority. 

Noble Francis, Economics Director at Construction Products Association, followed with a frank presentation on the future of education funding in the post-election climate, and explained that while capital spending is expected to drop on all building projects, education projects are not expected to be hardest hit. 

Further speakers included Monica Cross, Principal of St Matthew’s Academy, who gave an engaging presentation about school design from the perspective of its users and Robin Nicholson, who explained the impact of zero-carbon targets in practice. Amir Ramanzani, Associate of Avanti Architects, also highlighted the often lengthy system of procurement for schools and instigated an interesting debate about the future of school building procurement.

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