Low-cost schools

I have been exploring low-cost school design both in the UK and abroad through a number of projects, strategies, scales and platforms. School design does not need to be expensive, in fact good school design will be economical, efficient and targeted. It can also offer innovative opportunities for learning and building and for engaging and sustaining young people and teachers. The question is not whether to invest in school design, but how we can optimise use of the funding available to ensure the best opportunities for all young people.

School refurbishment

At CABE I researched and developed design strategies for schools refurbishment based on the review of hundreds of school refurbishment schemes. This research contributed to the organisation's platform on refurbishment, and on-line web guidance for schools. You can see the guidance here.

Charter Schools in the United States

I am particularly interested in the charter schools in the US, and how the UK can learn from what has become a popular model for education. I am developing this work with John Waldron from Places and Spaces as part of a piece of work called ‘Low-Cost Schools’. Some aspects of charter school development are quite economical, and I believe are very relevant in our current age of austerity. You can see the initial version of the powerpoint on placesandspaces.org.uk

As part of my research into charter schools, I arranged a screening and debate of Waiting for 'Superman' through the BCSE for a group of people interested in the education debate. You can read about it here.

School building in the developing world

I have been working with Humanitarianschools.org on a project called the Learning Exchange. We have been comparing systems and practices of school design in the developing world and developed world. For example, Rwanda has been able to deliver new school buildings faster and cheaper than the UK despite their equally ambitious approach to education. We are looking at lessons learnt and best practices across school building programmes in the world of limited resources and funding, and are organising a symposium at the Overseas Development Institute in early 2011 to facilitate this exchange of experience.

Uncommon Charter School, Brooklyn, NY
A member of the Places and Spaces Consortium:

© 2010 Jennifer Singer
Education Design Ltd
Registered company 07481198

Website design by Jon Exley Digital