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Ashcombe School, a Sunesis build in Weston Super Mare

Pre-designed schools to ease shortage of places

Sunesis vows to tackle the mounting school places shortage with innovative building design model

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 26, 2016 | Facilities & buildings

In the wake of the official forecast from the Department for Education outlining the need for an extra 750,000 school places in England by 2020, an innovative public sector organisation is working to tackle the problem via the use of pre-designed new schools. 

Sunesis is a joint venture between public sector owned built environment specialist Scape Group and contractor Willmott Dixon. Operating nationally, it develops pre-designed new schools with fixed costs and specific delivery dates – this means clients can rest assured that they know precisely what fee they will be paying and that projects will not overrun. 

Sunesis designs are standardised to deliver value for money, but they can be adapted and personalised to suit particular requirements of the school and local community. 

The Department for Education projects that from 2016 to 2025 the state school system will see pupil numbers rise from 7.4m to 8.1m - amounting to a 10% increase.

Tim Carey, product director for Sunesis, said that its track record since inception already shows that the organisation is providing support to create new schools and extra classrooms. 

“Pupil numbers continue to grow, and demand won’t slow down due to Brexit, so schools need to be 100% confident that if they are due to accommodate a greater number of pupils this need is met in the timescales required,” he said. 

“The recent report from the Department for Education projects that the next big increase in pupil numbers will be in secondary schools, which currently cater for 2.76m pupils but will need to be able to accommodate up to 3.04m in 2020 and then 3.33m in 2025. This means within the next decade secondary schools will have to create an extra 570,000 places countrywide.

“We can, and are, making a tangible impact on these projections with Sunesis. We’re using technology that is innovative and forward thinking, but at the same time providing inspirational teaching and learning environments for current and future generations, which are guaranteed to be delivered on time and on budget.”    

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