National classroom giveaway worth £80,000 is launched

TES/Clearspace Buildings competition is open to all UK schools

Every school in the UK now has the chance to win a classroom worth £80,000 thanks to a national competition. The classroom, which is timber clad and seats 30 pupils, is the prize offered by Clearspace Buildings in the competition being run in conjunction with TES, the leading education website and magazine.

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 contribution rooftop extension this year opens the competition up to schools that do not have the ground space to place a construct a standalone building.

The competition, which is open to all UK primary, secondary and special schools, is being launched online on Friday 8th November 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.

Last year, Clearspace and TES were overwhelmed by the number of entries to the competition – more than 600 – which was eventually won by Chamberlayne College for the Arts in Southampton. The level of interest, combined with the shortage of teaching space in many schools, has prompted the second giveaway.

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.