Education represents the second largest element of public service spending in the UK behind Health – equivalent to around 4.3 per cent of national income. However, despite this level of commitment, the UK continues to face significant challenges when it comes to ensuring there are sufficient school places to meet growing demand.
According to ‘The School Places Challenge 2019’ published by Scape Group, despite efforts to increase school building over recent years, local authorities continue to face an uphill battle – with the number of children needing a school place in England expected to rise by 385,031 by 2021/22, and Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales expecting to require an additional 33,179 pupils between them by 2020/21.
In a post Covid-19 financial landscape the need to deliver high quality buildings with improved levels of efficiency will never be greater – and represents an opportunity to turn this challenge into a positive catalyst for change.
The Construction Leadership Council has identified that innovation and smart construction has the potential to transform the productivity of the construction sector, address its capacity issues and improve the quality and performance of the buildings we produce.
We have already seen positive progress by the Innovation in Buildings workstream to drive the adoption of smart construction within a Residential context and are now pleased to extend this thinking across another sector.
Working with the Department for Education and a number of key industry, academic and government representatives we have commenced the development of a collaborative plan of action to deliver a real increase in smart construction across Educational building delivery.
The findings of our initial launch workshop are published below, and we look forward to sharing our ongoing progress with you throughout 2020 and beyond.