How School construction companies can help to upgrade special educational needs facilities

Designing and building schools to promote inclusive education is one of the most important ways architects and school construction companies can contribute to society. This approach helps lay the groundwork for a broad and well-balanced education for all young people by upgrading school facilities for learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The UK government recently announced plans to invest £280m to improve school facilities to assist children with SEND. This funding follows from the £365m allocated through the Special Provision Capital Fund to support local authorities in creating modern supportive, fit-for-purpose spaces for all students to learn in a conducive environment.

To achieve this, school construction companies need to pay attention to the needs of the School and its learners to develop solutions through architectural design. This design should allow all students regardless of capabilities to enjoy a similar learning experience. Here are some ways to achieve this;

Designing for students with Special Educational Needs

  1. Make the whole classroom accessible

Schools should be looking at ways to make classrooms and other facilities equally accessible to all students. While creating separate entrances or sitting spots for students with disabilities appear convenient, isolates them from their peers. Therefore, ensuring inclusive education means adopting design solutions that allow students with SEND to move around the classroom and have equal access to workstations.

  1. Make necessary learning materials accessible

Putting all materials at accessible heights and locations for all students could be impractical. Designers can focus on commonly utilised classroom materials such as; desks, bookshelves, markerboards- by installing them in the most accessible spaces. Another great option to improve accessibility is using flexible and agile furniture in the classrooms.

  1. Other design elements worth considering

The installation of lifts and elevators in multi-storey schools and ramps where applicable to help students with disabilities using assistive devices to move around conveniently. Other universal designs worth considering include; ensuring classrooms are well-lit and ventilated, extending learning opportunities into outdoor classrooms and utilising flexible spaces for multiple purposes.

About Jerram Falkus

We are an experienced family-run construction business with successfully completed projects in the educational sector like the Eko Pathways School, Education Construction.

We believe that architects and school construction companies can transform the educational experience with design elements and pratical solutions that can make all spaces more inclusive.

Get in touch with us for more information and to kickstart your education construction projects.