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Education and the public estate roundtable debate


5th July 2017

Stephen George + Partners recently organised and hosted a high-level industry leadership debate in Leicester to tackle some of the big questions currently facing education and the UK public estate.

Alongside senior figures from Stephen George + Partners, participants from Scape Procure, Gleeds, Morgan Sindall, Pick Everard, Ridge & Partners, BEC Consulting and The Heaven Company gathered at the Leicester Marriott Hotel to discuss how the private and public sectors can work together to achieve the numbers of new schools the country may require whilst also delivering on cost, speed, quality and sustainability targets.

Setting the scene for the discussion, Stephen George + Partners Director Mark Smith, said: “The Scape Group believes over 2122 new schools may be required by 2020 in England – with some 507 new schools required in London alone. Post its snap election, the Government now needs to deliver a sustainable and cost-effective solution capable of delivering these 2000-plus projects in four or five years’ time – it’s not just a question of how they are designed and built but also the speed with which they are funded. It also requires a significant rethink on how we use space effectively to accommodate everything our children require to gain the skills and knowledge needed to progress through life successfully.”

The invite-only roundtable debate also considered how the industry can engage the next generation in the future of our built environment and whether businesses should work alongside educators if they want to improve skill levels and find a solution to the developing skills gap in the industry.

Participants heard from Veronica Heaven of The Heaven Company with whom Stephen George + Partners is currently partnering on a revolutionary ten-week education-programme involving groups of Key Stage 3 & 4 – Year 7 to 10 students. Working hand in hand with the principles of The Heaven Company’s Brief Cases programme, Stephen George + Partners is delivering a thought-driven and innovative programme asking students about their understanding of the built environment today, what it means to them and what the future holds.

Following the debate, Mark Smith commented: “It was extremely refreshing to have like-minded professionals around the table with a single vision of helping and improving the offering from private business towards the public sector. This includes so many promising initiatives and proves that with passion, commitment and determination, we can all contribute towards the betterment of education and business.”

We advise you to stay tuned – for over the next few weeks we will be exclusively sharing some of the insight and knowledge-led discussion from the debate, alongside our continuing programme of thought leadership in this area.