In a class of its own

This month’s Education Estates conference and exhibition is all about creating the ideal learning environment

After a successful launch event last year, the two-day Education Estates conference and exhibition returns to Manchester Central this month, offering professionals from the education sector the chance to come together, share best practice, share knowledge and learn from each other. The creation of inspiring and empowering learning environments is essential if pupils and students in schools and universities are to realise their full learning potential. Facilities need to be purpose-built for learning – and not just for today’s needs, for those in the future too. Schools and universities need to realise the full potential of their existing estates, maximising space and functionality in order to focus on creating the ideal environment for learning. Whether they’re working with existing premises or starting from scratch, schools and universities need to make the most of their buildings in order to bring out the best in teachers, lecturers, pupils and students alike.

Put together by the industry, for the industry, Education Estates has two streams, one covering schools and the other covering colleges and universities. There has been a great deal of interest in the event, with representatives from a wide range of organisations registering to attend. Manchester City Council, Bolton Council, Paignton Community and Sports Academy, Department for Education, Thornton Community Primary School, States Education Department, Stoke on Trent College, Inspiration Trust, Girls’ Day School Trust, Winstanley College, University of Oxford, University of Liverpool, Anglia Ruskin University, Bath Spa University, Manchester City Council, Leeds Metropolitan University are amongst the many organisations already registered for the event.

Supported by the likes of Times Higher Education, BRE, B&ES, the Construction Industry Council, Class of Your Own, The Transformation Trust and The Carbon and Energy Fund, the two-day programme for the conference and exhibition focuses on building and managing education facilities. The conference is free for individuals directly employed in schools, colleges and local authorities, while entry to the exhibition is free to all. All delegates and visitors travelling from London to Manchester are also being offered a 20 per cent discount on Virgin Advance Fares.

In all, there will be more than 70 key speakers at this year’s Education Estates conference. These include:

* Stephen Beechey, managing director education sector and investment solutions, Wates Group
* Jayne Bird, partner, Nicholas Hare Architects
* Ann Bodkin, head of design, Education Funding Agency
* Simon McEneny, assistant director for physical assets, regeneration, Liverpool City Council
* Andrew Rannard, deputy headteacher, Notre Dame Catholic College
* Sir Anthony Seldon, master, Wellington College
* Rachel Stephenson, programme director, Education Funding Agency

On the first night of the event, there will also be a dinner and awards ceremony, recognising excellence and achievement in the education sector.

Running alongside the conference, the exhibition will showcase products and services that are leading the way by providing innovative solutions for schools, colleges and universities. Confirmed exhibitors include: ADP, AECOM, Atkins, Autex Acoustics, Britplas, Caloo, EC Harris, EllisWilliams Architects, Healthy Buildings International, Ponds for Schools, Marsh, Monodraught, Nuaire, The SCIN Gallery, Sika, Stantec, The StudyBed Company, Tarkett, Trend Control Systems and many more. There will also be a technical classroom where visitors can get to the heart of some of the issues that estates and facilities teams are facing with day-to-day management and maintenance.

James Lee is event director of Education Estates. “The strapline for Education Estates is ‘creating learning environments’,” he says, “and this is the focus we would like delegates, exhibitors and speakers to have at this key event in the calendar.”

Education Estates takes place at Manchester Central Convention Centre on Tue 11 and Wed 12 Nov. For more information and to register, visit www.educationestates.comor call 01892 518877

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