A national competition is giving schools another chance to be the winners of £80,000 in the shape of a wood clad classroom suitable for housing 30 pupils is up for grabs. Top education magazine and website TES in association with Clearspace Buildings are giving away the classroom.
Shadow Education Minister, Steve McCabe MP, says “It is a wonderful offer from Clearspace Buildings and TES who have again supplied this classroom giving schools a second chance to get their hands on the free classroom. This will make a huge difference to the lucky school. We are facing a huge shortage in school places for children right across the country and at the moment I don’t feel like we are seeing any real answer to this crisis which is only going to get worse the longer we ignore it. Initiatives like this offer schools a chance to alleviate some of these pressures.”
Last year the competition had 600 entries, with a number from the local area. This is the second time Clearspace and TES have partnered to donate a classroom. This year, Clearspace is offering the winning school the choice of the standalone permanent single classroom or an £80,000 contribution to a rooftop extension – both from the company’s Clearspace Education brand.
The option of the financial contribution to a rooftop extension this year opens the competition up to schools that do not have the ground space to construct a standalone building.
The competition, which is open to all UK primary, secondary and special schools, can be entered online at www.tesconnect.com/building.
Entrants must simply explain, in no more than 300 words, why they deserve to win the new learning space. They have until 16th February 2014 to submit their entries, either online or by email. Entries will be shortlisted by a panel of judges and the final winner will be decided in a public vote.
Scott Horner, Managing Director of Clearspace Buildings, said: “From speaking to the many schools we deal with, we’re acutely aware that many of them are desperate for additional learning space but do not have the funds to purchase it or the ground space in which to build it. Although a drop in the ocean, I’m delighted that our classroom giveaway will at least help one school which otherwise could not afford it gain the additional learning space they need by September 2014.”
Ann Mroz, Editor and Digital Publishing Director of TES, said: “Once again we are delighted to be running this competition in conjunction with Clearspace Buildings. It was clear from last year’s competition that many schools across the UK suffer from limited space and inadequate facilities. We look forward to seeing the innovative ideas that schools come up with in their entries.”
As well as construction of the classroom, Clearspace Buildings, a UK developer, designer, manufacturer and installer of permanent modular structures, will undertake all necessary planning and building permissions, groundwork and construction and internal finishing, including flooring, lighting and powerpoints.
The giveaway couldn’t have come at a better time for many schools. The population boom has already pushed many primary schools to ‘breaking point, while the introduction of free school meals for all 5–7 year olds in September 2014 and the raising of the school participation age to 18 from September 2015 are further adding to the pressure on schools to provide adequate learning space.
Figures from the Department for Education show the number of pupils in state schools is expected to rise to 7,904,000 by the end of the decade – 817,000 more than now. This will mean that instead of one or two classes in each year group, there are plans for some schools to have up to six form groups in each year, which will leave many schools struggling for additional space.
For more information about the competition visit www.clearspaceeducation.co.uk or www.tesconnect.com/building, or follow us on Twitter @Clearspace_Ed and @tesResources #roomtolearn.