With Labour having a clear lead in the polls ahead of a general election this year, its pledge to charge VAT on private school fees should it win the election has left several independent schools worried about a drop in pupil numbers. However, many private schools may be able to save more than they realise by utilising their assets more effectively.

Molly Skinner, associate at leading property consultancy Fisher German, has worked with a number of different schools to help them make the best use of their property and bring in much-needed income, and shares her guidance on what private schools can do to soften the potential blow.

“Whatever your view on Sir Keir Starmer and a possible Labour government, the party’s announcement to charge 20 per cent VAT on private school fees and clamp down on any possible avoidance by parents leaves schools with a stark choice. Schools could choose to absorb the cost, heavily impacting their cash flow, pass the costs onto parents, inevitably reducing pupil numbers, or reduce the number of bursary and scholarship places, which reduces opportunities for less well-off children,” she says.

“None of these options are ideal, and most private schools will have to make some very difficult decisions should Labour be elected and follow through on their pledge. But in my experience in working with the education sector at Fisher German, schools don’t always utilise their property assets to generate the most income and save money, and some are paying far too much for certain outgoings. For example, we have regularly seen schools overpay on business rates to the local authority without challenging the rate. If the use of a building has changed or any extensions, demolitions or alterations have been made, the rates may actually have reduced.

“Having successfully and repeatedly challenged Valuation Office’s Business Rates demands for over 30 years, Fisher German have a proven track record in the education sector. This is underpinned by the fact that, in the last five years alone, we have saved our clients over £30m in total from asset reviews across all sectors. In terms of best utilising assets, many schools do not realise just how valuable their property can be. As part of an asset review we undertook for Moulton College in Northamptonshire, we identified four buildings on the edge of the campus no longer suitable for educational purposes which we have since let. This has in turn generated additional income to be invested back into the College. Other ways schools may be overspending is by using old-fashioned methods of powering their buildings. We have recommended certain schools install discreet solar panels to save on electricity bills, and to generate an extra source of income with carbon credits. Indeed, installation of other infrastructure such as telecom masts in a quieter area of the school’s property is another way of bolstering income.”

“Many decision-makers may not know where to start when it comes to identifying these opportunities on top of running a busy school, but this is where having external experts come in can help. Fisher German is made up of professionals with all sorts of relevant expertise to help the education sector, including in property acquisition, business rates, rent reviews, planning, asset valuation, sustainable energy, and more. We are already helping many education clients save money and find new streams of income, and with Labour’s announcement in mind, it is more important than ever that private schools make the best use of what they have,” she concludes.

A dedicated team from SOCOTEC UK’s Fire Engineering division played a vital role in providing fire consultancy services for the construction of a specialised SEN School. This institution caters to approximately 150 children aged four to nineteen with complex social and communication needs, ensuring a high-quality education through specialist facilities and adaptive teaching techniques.

The SOCOTEC team was actively involved in constructing a two-storey L-shaped school block, housing classrooms, a nursery, a kitchen, dining facilities, and staff amenities. Additionally, contributions extended to the construction of a single-storey sports block, featuring a fitness studio, court hall, changing rooms, and storage areas.

Throughout the project, SOCOTEC provided a range of fire consultancy services, developing fire safety strategies during the design stages and offering ad-hoc advice during construction. A tailored fire safety strategy was devised considering the unique needs of the occupants, with innovative design approaches to address potential challenges.

To accommodate the specific requirements of SEN occupants, traditional warning alarm sounders were replaced with voice-based alarms, providing clear instructions for effective evacuation. Pre-evacuation alerts for staff members, multi-tone sounders for flexible alarm tones, and the design of common corridors as protected escape routes were implemented to enhance safety during evacuations. The width of escape routes was increased to account for the occupants’ needs and potential evacuation challenges.

Key features of the fire safety strategy for this SEN School include:

  • Early warning system for staff members to respond promptly during emergencies
  • Multi-tone alarm system offering flexibility in alarm tones, minimising disturbance to occupants
  • Protected escape routes throughout the school to enhance safety during evacuations
  • Wider escape routes to compensate for potential increased evacuation times associated with the occupants’ needs.

With a commitment to safety and well-being, SOCOTEC Fire Engineering played a crucial role in constructing this specialised SEN School, ensuring a safe and secure learning environment for all occupants.

Bracknell Forest wants to get ‘certainty’ over opening date of vital special school

A council wants to take the construction of a new special free school into its own hands to gain more “certainty” that it opens on time.

Ministers approved a 100-place, all-through school in Bracknell Forest last year, but although a site has been approved, building work is unconfirmed.

The council wants to “take responsibility for construction itself to enable certainty around the timescale,” council documents state.

Investigations have revealed the sluggish opening-rate of such schools, despite a capacity crisis. In 2022, just one of 37 new free schools announced in 2020 had opened in its permanent home.

Normally, the government oversees new school projects.

Stuart McKellar, the council’s executive director of resources, said

“this is a complex process which understandably takes time,” but the council is “fortunate to have the in-house expertise”.

He added: “We are therefore making a case for it to be self-delivered, which will enable us to have certainty on the timing of its opening.”

The council is finalising a self-delivery case to submit to the Department for Education.

Tom Legge, director of Premier Advisory Group, which supports free school applications, said the move is “not common” but also “not unique”.

Some large multi-academy trusts (MATs) have self-delivered free schools.

In 2019, Essex County Council was approved to deliver two special free schools. Its infrastructure and delivery team had a “strong track record of construction of new school buildings, delivering on time and within budget,” council documents state.

“It’s understandable that, with the myriad challenges facing DfE capital teams, local authorities that feel they have the capacity, capability and supply chains feel well placed to deliver these projects,” Legge added.

But he said the “increase in complexity” can lead to “a new set of challenges”.

Source: Schools Week

photo credit – Neil Hanna

Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, has opened a science building designed to help researchers address some of the world’s most pressing health concerns.

Rheumatoid arthritis, lung cancer and women’s health issues are just some of the medical conditions being tackled by more than 500 scientists at the £110m facility at Edinburgh BioQuarter.

The new building – known as the Institute for Regenerative Repair (IRR) South – will be home to flagship centres carrying out research in inflammation, reproductive health and regenerative medicine, as well as a dedicated pandemic science hub.

Experts at the Institute believe that close proximity to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh hospital will allow for better shared learning between molecular and cell scientists and clinical researchers.

At the opening event, the Chancellor met with students and staff, including Centre for Reproductive Health scientists who gave an overview of their inspiring work on fertility preservation after cancer, and efforts to tackle heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain caused by endometriosis.

Teams from the Centre for Inflammation Research outlined their research on shared biological processes behind conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic lung disease.

The Chancellor and guests at the event also heard from Centre for Regenerative Medicine scientists who showcased their key work on stem cells and how the body repairs cell damage from ageing and injury.

The Princess Royal toured the IRR’s extensive open plan laboratories, including the innovative Chemistry Hub, designed to speed-up ‘chemistry to medicine’ research that translates laboratory findings to drug treatments more quickly.

photo credit – Stantec

The event highlighted the Institute’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of scientists and its important work with the local community, including a long-standing partnership with Castlebrae Community High School.

Castlebrae students took the opportunity to show a one-off wooden table that was designed and crafted by pupils, and takes pride of place in the new building’s boardroom.

The Chancellor closed the event by unveiling a dedicated plaque to commemorate the building’s opening.

Funding for IRR South – which was designed by global integrated design firm Stantec and built over six years by Balfour Beatty – came from the Medical Research Council, UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) and substantial philanthropy from foundations, companies and private donors.

Professor Stuart Forbes, Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Regeneration and Repair said,

“IRR South is designed to allow modern science to flourish by fostering collaboration across different disciplines, and providing space for cutting edge research technologies. This new facility will encourage joined-up working and help scientists develop treatments to benefit health more rapidly.”

Professor Sir Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh said:

“Many people – colleagues past and present across the University plus external supporters including generous philanthropists – have made the Institute for Regeneration and Repair possible.  I very much look forward to seeing the advances in medicine and impact that the students and staff in the Institute will make.”

More than 1,400 students a year are expected to attend courses at the future Barrow Island campus building, a large part of Barrow’s successful £25m Town Deal bid.

Main contractor Caddick Construction began work building the 104,400 sq ft educational facility last week. Construction of the DAY Architectural-designed building is estimated to take the remainder of the year.

Upon completion, University of Cumbria’s Barrow Island campus will offer degrees in advanced manufacturing, business management, and computer science. Future students can expect to find labs, workspaces, and catering facilities, in addition to teaching spaces in the new building. For the staff, there will be offices.

The project also includes car parking and cycle storage.

Regarding landing the university campus contract, Caddick Construction managing director Paul Dodsworth said:

“Over the years we have delivered a number of specialist education facilities and we’re pleased to be applying our expertise to the University of Cumbria’s new Barrow-in-Furness campus, while also extending our portfolio of work within the region.”

Dodsworth continued: “Forming part of our team’s preparations to start work on-site, we have been engaging with our local supply chain partners who will support our delivery of work in the coming weeks.”

The campus is part of a wider project: the Barrow Learning Quarter. Credit: via University of Cumbria

University of Cumbria’s chief operating officer, Mark Swindlehurst, described the appointment of Caddick and the start on site as a “milestone” for the project, which will be the first university campus in Barrow-in-Furness.

“Offering innovative, inclusive facilities and provision, this campus will help transform lives and communities for generations to come,” Swindlehurst said.

“The increased reach and accessibility of higher education in, for and from Barrow means that this campus will have a long-lasting impact, offering new opportunities and inspiration to so many who choose to live, visit, work and study in the area and beyond.”

 

BAE provided the university the six acres required for the campus building. The plot sits next to the defence contractor’s Submarine Academy of Skills and Knowledge. Both educational facilities are within the future Barrow Learning Quarter. Completing the quarter’s knowledge trio is a skills hub for Furness College.

The delivery of the Barrow Learning Quarter was a prime part of the area’s Town Deal award from government, with £13.4m committed to the project. Westmorland and Furness Council will deliver an additional £11m in grant funding for the University of Cumbria campus specifically.

image © Erieta Attali

Grenoble-based firm r2k architecte presents Oiseau Lyre, a school with Nordic inspiration in Noisy-le-Grand, France. Anchored on a plot with eight meters of elevation, the school faces North toward the Marne and explores a new pedagogical model of Finnish design, offering a diversity of shared spaces. The compact building of 50mx100m is set on four levels, maintaining a low height profile about neighboring pavilions. Like a Palladian villa, functions are embedded in the core of the building, in an area filled with natural light and the social vibrancy of the school. With Oiseau Lyre, r2k architecte brings the city’s environmental and educational ambitions to realization by shaping a positive energy building made of wood. Based on recent cognitive research, it provides a framework for active pedagogies. In its spatial proposals, the school’s design incorporates the latest know-how of Nordic schools, and those of the Quebec Lab school, models which r2k architects Véronique Klimine (France) and Olavi Koponen (Finland) visited.

A vibrant and multipurpose building complex

 

The program at Oiseau Lyre by r2k architecte includes 24 classrooms for kindergarten and elementary students, as well as eight rooms intended as recreation spaces. Common spaces, including a multipurpose room with direct external access, a motor room, an art gallery, a library, a restaurant, and a sports hall are shared with civic associations when school is out. On a steep slope facing the Marne River, three levels of the four-level school are connected to the natural terrain, facilitating the safety of children. Located in the middle of a vernacular district, the project also respects the proportions of surrounding houses. On the playground, the design focuses on fun, proprioception, and participation of everyone in games of exploration, balance, running, and climbing. A walk-in cloister, enclosed by an ‘aerial suspension bridge’, continues its descent via a slide on the bumpy ground of the courtyard. In response to the City’s preference for a relatively dry area, the architects were able to locate the more natural part at the bottom of the plot, overlooking the Marne.

 

Biophilic, renewable, and low-carbon wooden design

 

The project welcomes natural light into the heart of school spaces, despite its diminutive size of just 50mx100m. It is sculpted with light thanks to sheds, skylights, interior glazing, and more that highlight wood materials in the heart of the building through the atrium and the steps. Light and materiality are essential parts of well-being and, from the interior spaces, the view of the private gardens greatly contributes to a peaceful atmosphere. Acoustics defined by wooden ceilings, as well as indirect lighting, complete the soothing environment. The school’s ‘living wood’ consists of visible constructive elements and refined coatings, with pleated cladding cut to measure.

A renewable resource and carbon sink, wood provides both aesthetic and functional solutions while promoting the integration of a new urban element into the vernacular environment. Each zone in Oiseau Lyre has its structural typology, with truss lattices forming sheds, tree columns/ plank round wood, ribbed CLT floors, LVL accessible roof floor coffers, wood frame walls, CLT splits, and wooden beam posts as a primary skeleton. Crossing through the elementary courtyard to the gym, trusses of 22m are arranged in a shed to form a courtyard that introduces a soft light and supports the solar panels. A ribbed LVL floor supporting the courtyard crosses 22m on 4 supports above the gym, and are the largest caissons of this type ever made. The playgrounds’s rooftops were points of constructive innovation.

Moving on to low carbon considerations, multiple factors must be addressed to achieve the result of a building producing more energy than it consumes. The first involves limiting thermal losses. The second requires capturing renewable energies in passive and active ways, which is achieved by integrating photovoltaic panels located on the south side of the sheds. Electrical, kitchen, and double-flow ventilation equipment were chosen for their sobriety, making natural ventilation of the classrooms possible. Protective equipment against direct external sunlight is also installed, while internal floor heating is achieved thanks to a dozen geothermal probes.

How r2k architecte introduces nordic pedagogies

Interpretations of the merits of learning modes and different pedagogies possible in schools have dramatically evolved through cognitive studies. These changes revolve around two key concepts: (1) A child’s understanding is not a direct result of the teaching, but is rather an active by-product of the child’s research on a personal path. (2) The most impactful school learning takes place not in isolation, but in open environments within the school, society, and the world. In addressing these issues, that means school buildings require the following: Different spaces in size, atmosphere, privacy, and facilities; Safety openings for individual or team work; ability to adapt learning locations.

For Oiseau Lyre, the architects were able to incorporate some of those principles: Participatory educational spaces for two or three classes to expand the circulation in appropriate pockets; Enabling children to acquire autonomy outside of strict classroom settings through interactions with other students for work or social exchanges; Facilitate the use of bleachers and the atrium to enable groups to participate in emulation and inventiveness through spatial situations conducive to appropriation, staging, active pedagogy, etc. These devices were observed in Finnish schools that the architects visited with Olavi Koponen before the competition.

 

The Schools Prize, organized by the team of P’tits Archis around mediation workshops on the themes of architecture and urbanism, rewarded L’OISEAU LYRE. During the third edition, four classes of elementary schools in Ile-de-France dicussed their favorite wood projects during awareness workshops mixing discovery of candidate projects, making mock-ups, and voting for their favorite project in the ‘Learn – Have Fun’ category. Delivered in September 2022 to welcome its first students, the school will ramp up operations in 2023/ 2024 with the arrival of new inhabitants of the neighboring eco-district.

 

Source: Design Boom

SGB-25975 BFHA pupils with Harron Homes Site Manager Kevin Adlington and Carrier Landscapers Site Manager Joe Carnell

The official planting ceremony saw three BFHA pupils assist both Carrier Landscapers and Harron Home’s Bilsthorpe Chase Site Team in planting three native oaks on the development’s village green. Perhaps the most familiar of British species, the oaks, once grown, will complement Bilsthorpe Chase’s peaceful rural feel while adding touches of greenery to the picturesque development.

The pupils of Bilsthorpe Flying High Academy were ready with spades and hi-vis to help plant the trees. Despite the poor weather conditions on the day, they proved themselves intrepid and handy gardeners, patiently waiting out the winter rain before venturing outdoors during a spot of sunshine to get the job done. The Bilsthorpe Chase site team, led by Site Manager Kevin Adlington, was on hand to guide the pupils and help them plant the trees. Assisting them were Carrier Landscapers’ David Hazeldine, Ben Grabham, and Joe Carnell, who provided their own expertise to ensure the pupils planted the trees safely and securely.

Once all the trees have been planted, they will contribute a great deal towards reducing the levels of air pollution and making the local environment more biodiverse.

Developments like Bilsthorpe Chase take these well-known benefits of rural living and combine them with the convenience and comforts of a more modern lifestyle. Built to the highest specification and designed to be both stylish and comfortable, the variety of two, three, four and five bedroom homes are perfect for couples, families, and individuals alike. With Sherwood Pines only a few miles away, and myriad scenic walks and cycling routes surrounding the development, Bilsthorpe Chase provides its residents with the best of both worlds.

Claire Gibbins, Sales Manager for Harron Homes North Midlands, said:

“At Harron Homes we know that even small touches of greenery can transform the look and feel of a development. But woodland areas and forests are also vital in improving the biodiversity of the areas we build in. This planting marks the first step in what is set to be a really great change for the development.

“It was great to see the next generation get involved with nature in this way. The kids were a real help on the day, and we hope they will be proud to see the oaks grow and blossom in the coming years.”

Samantha Leek, Headteacher at BFHA, said:

“It was wonderful to give the pupils an opportunity to get some hands-on experience planting trees. Through our curriculum we aim to provide our pupils with a wealth of knowledge on the science and history of the planet and its environment. Being able to couple their learning with practical experience such as this provides a brilliant opportunity for enhancing their education, and it’s a key part of what we aim to do at BFHA. Of course, more importantly, it was a lot of fun too!”

The University of Cumbria is delighted to announce that family business Caddick Construction has been appointed as the lead contractor to create the first university campus in Barrow-in-Furness.

The Caddick Construction team commenced work on-site this week, driving forward the programme for the University of Cumbria campus to be constructed throughout 2024.

The campus will deliver degree programmes aligned initially to areas such as Computer Science (including cyber security), Business Management and Advanced Manufacturing. Once completed, it will help attract and retain talented graduates with higher-level skills that are vital for the area now, and for generations to come.

University of Cumbria Chief Operating Officer, Mark Swindlehurst (left) said:

“This milestone takes us another step closer to developing the first university campus in Barrow-in-Furness. We’re delighted to be working with Caddick Construction and existing partners on a project serving our community in an area of such regional, national and international importance.

“Offering innovative, inclusive facilities and provision, this campus will help transform lives and communities for generations to come. The increased reach and accessibility of higher education in, for and from Barrow means that this campus will have a long-lasting impact, offering new opportunities and inspiration to so many who choose to live, visit, work and study in the area and beyond.”

Paul Dodsworth (left), Managing Director of Caddick Construction Group, comments:

“Over the years we have delivered a number of specialist education facilities and we’re pleased to be applying our expertise to the University of Cumbria’s new Barrow-in-Furness campus, while also extending our portfolio of work within the region. Forming part of our team’s preparations to start work on-site, we have been engaging with our local supply chain partners who will support our delivery of work in the coming weeks.”

Once complete, this state-of-the-art facility will provide new teaching spaces, laboratory space, workshops, offices, catering facilities and new landscaping to the immediate area, along with new cycling and car parking facilities.

The Barrow Island campus scheme is being funded by the UK Government, BAE Systems and the University of Cumbria.

The campus, located on a 2.6-hectare site provided by BAE Systems Ltd next to its Submarine Academy of Skills and Knowledge, is part of the Barrow Learning Quarter (BLQ) that is being created to transform educational opportunities in the area. The BLQ also includes a new Skills Hub at Furness College’s Sixth Form campus.

Looking towards Barrow and with its sloping roof line, the campus building design is inspired by the town’s submarine heritage. The dockside campus building will contain adaptable, specialist and interactive teaching areas across its two floors, along with social and library spaces.

The Barrow Learning Quarter is a significant scheme within the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal designed to help the town and surrounding area thrive.

In December, Westmorland and Furness Council entered into a Grant Funding Agreement with the University of Cumbria to support the construction of the building in line with Government requirements.

Growing its academic provision and research, the University of Cumbria has created a new Institute of Engineering, Computing and Advanced Manufacturing that will be based at the Barrow campus.

Institute leaders are working closely with Furness College to enable courses starting in September 2024 to be delivered from facilities at its Channelside campus until the new university campus is ready, with minimal disruption to staff and students.

Watch: Fly-through of the Barrow-in-Furness campus

 

New primary school in Wolverhampton ready to take on pupils for 2024

Wednesfield Technology Primary is currently being built and will take reception children from September 2024.

Reception class places are now being welcomed for a new technology primary school currently nearing the end of construction in Wolverhampton. Due to open in September 2024, Wednesfield Technology Primary is being built on the site of the 112-year-old former Edward the Elder School on Lichfield Road, which was demolished in June last year.

At present the school is taking nursery reception classes for next year. As the year groups move up, a new reception class will be taken on every year until the school is full in 2030. It will have 60 places in reception and 52 places in the nursery. At capacity, the facility will provide teaching spaces for 26 nursery children, 60 reception, 120 key stage 1 and 240 key stage 2.

In a report to the city council, Tom Hallett, acting on behalf of Birmingham-based developers Tilbury Douglas Construction Ltd, which is carrying out the building work on the school, said: “The site has been in educational use for over 100 years, although the previous school had been left empty and in a derelict state since 2007. The new school is a member of the Shireland Academy Trust, which already operates several schools in the West Midlands. It has been designed to inspire new ways of teaching, offering a specialised technology-based curriculum.

“This development will deliver a range of benefits and has already created new jobs during the current construction phase. The future occupation of the school will also bring about up to 45 full and part-time positions.

“The retention of the former lodge building in the grounds will maintain an important link to the history of the site and will be used by the school as a family hub. Additional landscape planting to enhance the site will also provide diversity and ecology value.

“And of course this sees the redevelopment of a long-standing vacant brownfield site within a sustainable location ideally placed to serve the growing needs of the community. The parking layout has been reconfigured to allow for a one-way circulation of cars around the parking area, along with the provision of a dedicated drop off and collection point,” he added.

“This will enable cars queuing to drop-off and pick-up in a very orderly manner within the site – and at peak times. The number of parking spaces has also been increased and CCTV will be installed. Financial contributions in the form of a pedestrian crossing and the reinstatement of the ‘keep clear’ markings outside the school will also be added.”

The former lodge that served as part of the old Edward the Elder school has been retained on site and will now act as a student hub for the technology college.

The new building will incorporate a two-storey block with a single level for the hall and kitchen. The design is Passivhaus – meaning it will achieve a very high level of energy efficiency.

Although not listed, the landmark former Edward the Elder primary – previously one of the city’s oldest school buildings – dated back to 1910. The original date stone has been carefully preserved and stored on the site and will be repositioned adjacent to the new entrance prior to the school’s opening.

 

Source: Birmingham Live

 

Ahead of its time: some of the school’s very first students of Leicestershire’s first net zero school were joined by Bloor Homes’ regional Managing Director for the East Midlands, Mike Kelly (second from right), and Peter Merry Chief Executive of OWLS Academy Trust (left) to seal a time capsule for students at Hollycroft Primary School to open in 2048.

 

Hollycroft Primary School has made history as the first Net Zero school to open in Leicestershire. To mark its opening, new homes developer Bloor Homes partnered with construction firm Willmot Dixon to provide a time capsule, which will be sealed until 2048.

Mike Kelly, Managing Director at Bloor Homes’ East Midlands region, said: “As the first net zero school in the county, Hollycroft Primary School is way ahead of its time and will be providing a modern and vibrant learning environment for current and future students for generations to come. That’s why we thought a time capsule filled with things the very first students wanted to share with future students was a wonderful idea.

“We are building a whole new community at Hollycroft Grange with new homes, the new school, community facilities and shops, and this felt like a really good way of sharing the history of how it all came about with future generations.”

The students were tasked with creating and selecting items to add to the time capsule, with the final contents including letters from the current pupils, confectionary and a bottle of Prime, shopping and fuel receipts to show the cost of things, and a letter from the school’s first headteacher Natalie Hackett to the future head.

Willmot Dixon contributed a set of the architect’s plans of the school and Bloor Homes added a copy of the planning application for the whole of the development to show how the new community was planned and brought to life.

Peter Merry, Chief Executive Officer of OWLS (Oadby, Wigston and Leicestershire Schools) Academy Trust, said: “Our thanks goes to Bloor Homes for arranging this great memento as well as providing a plaque for the school, our current and future students, and to Wilmott Dixon who provided the time capsule. We are very proud to be running the first net zero school in the county.”

There will eventually be 210 students at the brand-new school, which has been made carbon neutral through the use of heat source air pumps and PV solar panels. This is not only better for the environment but negates energy running costs for the school and local authority too.

The school has been built in line with Leicestershire County Council’s green policy and to its specifications, including seven classrooms and a specialist teaching room for practical subjects such as cookery, plus a school hall, library, garden and wildlife area.

The time capsule will remain sealed for the next 25 years when students attending the school in 2048 will be invited to open it and see what’s inside.

To find out more about the new community at Hollycroft Grange including the new school, visit bloorhomes.com

Caption – Ahead of its time: some of the school’s very first students of Leicestershire’s first net zero school were joined by Bloor Homes’ regional Managing Director for the East Midlands, Mike Kelly (second from right), and Peter Merry Chief Executive of OWLS Academy Trust (left) to seal a time capsule for students at Hollycroft Primary School to open in 2048.