Westminster Education Forum

Next steps for the schools estate in England - refurbishment, new schools, funding and design innovation

Morning, Monday, 11th March 2019

Central London


This conference will focus on priorities for the schools estate in England. It comes ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review, expected next year and will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the future of capital funding for schools.

Those attending will examine ongoing refurbishment and repair of pre-existing school buildings - including concerns surrounding access to funding for schools in need of repair but outside the Priority Schools Building Programme.

They will also consider opportunities for schools and multi-academy trusts to develop cost-effective approaches to school repairs when working with contractors and how to ensure capital funding is being targeted in the areas of greatest need.

The seminar also assesses the progress of the Priority School Building Programme, with phase 2 due to be completed by the revised date of December 2022. Delegates will consider the challenges that remain in ensuring that the programme is completed on time following concerns over the programme’s financial forecasts and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority citing a continued lack of interest from contractors and requests for additional funding which have resulted in delays and cost increases.

Further sessions look at the building of new schools, including challenges for land acquisition and finding suitable sites, alongside the progress of the Free Schools Programme.

Delegates will discuss priorities for LocatED, and progress in its land acquisition programme to support the Government’s aim of building 500 new free schools by 2020 and creating 600,000 new school places by 2021. Priorities for ensuring that newly built schools meet community needs and are built in areas of greatest need will also be considered.

The agenda also looks at issues of design as school leaders seek to maximise the potential of existing school estates and secure high-quality design of new school buildings - including effective use of resources and space, and ensuring that school design supports pupil wellbeing.

Keynote Speaker

Rory Kennedy

Director of Capital, Department for Education

Keynote Speakers

Rory Kennedy

Director of Capital, Department for Education

Sue Corbett

Senior Development Manager, LocatED

Helen Taylor

Director of Practice, Scott Brownrigg


Huw Merriman MP

(subject to Parliamentary requirements)

Steve McCabe MP

Member, House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee


Nigel Deacon

Sales Director, Streetspace Group

Andy King

Technical Chairman, Modular and Portable Building Association and Managing Director, Wernick Group

Senior speaker confirmed from New Schools Network

Edward Thomas

Estates Director, Academy Transformation Trust

Claire Jackson

Education Director, Galliford Try

Ian Hartwright

Senior Policy Advisor, NAHT

Gladys Marr

Technical Manager, Space Zero