The National Education Union say that their new analysis highlights the inadequacy of the government’s school building programme

The National Education Union have claimed that the Conservative’s programme for school buildings is so inadequate that at the current rate of progress it will take a further 361 years to renew the school estate.

The government is also planning on cutting spending on school buildings by a further £600m in 2020, on top of the £500m cut from this year’s budget.

The Guardian on Sunday revealed that 3,731 schools are in need of immediate repair and a further 9,872 schools need work in the next one to two years.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary, National Education Union, said: “Government austerity has deprived thousands of children of the opportunity to learn in decent, modern, fit for purpose buildings, instead condemning them to be educated in crumbling and in many cases unsafe premises. We cannot allow this situation to continue – immediate investment is required to bring all schools up to a decent standard.”


Source: Education Executive

Deanestor, one of the UK’s leading contract furniture and fit-out specialists, has announced a record order intake, with £12.5m of orders secured in the last six months. This is a significant increase on the same period in 2018.

Contracts have been awarded for delivery through to 2020 and across a diverse range of sectors – private rental schemes, student accommodation, healthcare and education. A large proportion of the projects are for repeat clients – both developers and contractors – following Deanestor’s successful performance on previous schemes.



The trend towards larger furniture and fit-out contracts of over £1m continues for Deanestor, requiring a high degree of technical design input and project management from its teams. The latest contracts to be awarded are also spread across the UK – in England, Scotland and Wales.

Commenting on the record order intake, William Tonkinson, Managing Director of Deanestor, said, “We are delighted with the performance of the business in the first half of this year. We have been very successful in diversifying into new markets which has provided a healthy forward order book and a solid foundation for the business in an uncertain economic environment.”

“We are the longest established furniture and fit-out provider to the NHS with a track record that spans more than 70 years. It is fantastic to see this work continue but also the success of our move into other areas such as high-quality kitchens for major private residential developments.”

£6.8m of the orders are for the manufacture and fitting of fixed furniture for new build-to-rent schemes and student residences. These include a contract to fit out 656 bedrooms and provide over 200 kitchens for student accommodation provider urbanest in London, and a third student project for the development arm of Mace in Oxford.

In the healthcare sector, Deanestor will be providing furniture for the £350m Grange University Hospital in Gwent for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – another project for main contractor Laing O’Rourke.

Deanestor’s largest project in the education sector is a £3m contract awarded by Robertson Construction for the new £55m Inverurie Community Campus. The Mansfield-based manufacturer will furnish and fit out 360 rooms across the campus in just 26 weeks. This will include the manufacture of 1,950 metres of shelving, 670 metres of laminate and laboratory worktops, 400 base and wall storage units, over 80 teaching walls, and more than 500 items of metalwork.

Deanestor provides high quality contract furniture solutions to construction clients and contractors for healthcare, education, student accommodation, build-to-rent and laboratory projects – both new build and refurbishment. It offers bespoke design services to meet specific project requirements and is responsible for installation to provide a seamless approach for its customers and a single point of contact.


For further information, visit, call 01623 420041 or email .

Outdoor classrooms and active farmlands surround the extension to this ecological high school in Connecticut, which Gray Organschi built with cross-laminated timber to demonstrate sustainable design practices.

Common Ground High School is a charter school in New Haven with a curriculum focused on the environment. It was founded in 1997 and is one of the first schools in the US to offer a high school programme dedicated to sustainability and organic farming.

Its campus sits near West Rock Ridge State Park, on a verdant site near Yale University. The school tapped local architecture firm Gray Organschi to create an addition to house various activities, such as a new gymnasium, laboratories, communal areas and classrooms.

“The project brief challenged the design team to weave the new building and its exterior spaces into the fabric of farm buildings, agricultural fields, upland forests, and wetland habitat that lie at the city’s edge and serve as the school’s working landscape and outdoor classroom,” said a statement from Gray Organschi.

The 14,760-square-foot (1,371-square-metre) building is elevated above the ground and features wood-clad walls that form an irregularly shaped rooftop. The extension doubles the school’s footprint.

The project is one of the first buildings in the country to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) –  an engineered wood consisting of laminated timber sections – for its main structure, according to the architects.

Consisting of layers of timber sections, the material has grown in popularity in recent years outside of the US, with many commending its lighter carbon footprint in comparison to concrete and steel.

Gray Organschi Architects chose the structure for the school as opportunity to showcase ways that sustainable features in the design that would be visible to students. “A primary objective was a pedagogical one,” the firm said.

These walls, which were made of Black Spruce, support heavy wooden rafters that were similarly fabricated to achieve long spans with less raw material. “The new building at Common Ground exploits the structural capacities and ecological benefits of wood fibre,” the firm said.

Natural light is let into the school thanks to its sloped roofline and clerestory windows. Other more sustainable features include rainwater treatment, passive ventilation, and on-site energy production via geothermal wells.

The addition is located downhill from the original school building, and accessed via a wooden bridge that leads to the upper level. Meeting rooms, classrooms and labs are organised around a central atrium. A monumental staircase leads down to ground level.

On this floor, a gymnasium and locker rooms provide social spaces for the students and the after-hours programming offered by the school. A garage door allows this multi-purpose space to open to the exterior in good weather.

with the building’s mechanical equipment and other fixtures. This contrasts the exterior treatment, where darker wooden boards made of Port Orford Cedar wrap the building.

Based in New Haven, Gray Organschi Architects is led by Lisa Gray and Alan Organschi.

Source: Dezeen