Improving the UK’s education facilities

Education Estates is a new event that focuses on the complex and challenging issues facing those designing, building, maintaining and managing Britain’s schools, colleges and universities. With a two-day conference and exhibition, the event will bring together architects, contractors, consultants, LEAs and estates and facilities managers, as well as governors and practitioners from the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. The best part? It’s completely free of charge to attend!

Education Estates takes place on the 26 – 27 November at Manchester Central with two full days of complimentary conference content from 40+ speakers and an exhibition featuring products and services from around 100 manufacturers and suppliers. Conference content will be delivered on the exhibition floor to encourage exhibitors and delegates to focus their discussions on the key issues in the sector.

The strapline for Education Estates is ‘Improving the UK’s education facilities’; a focus that event organisers Step Exhibitions hope will be adopted by visitors and exhibitors alike during the event. Education Estates event director James Lee says:

“For the last eleven years Step have organised Healthcare Estates which is widely considered THE event for the built environment in the healthcare sector and annually sees over 2,500 key personnel attend. A number of our healthcare clients operate within the education sector and have said that there was a big gap in the UK events calendar for an estates and facilities based event in education.

“Straight away we identified that we needed key aspects of Education Estates to set it aside from these “samey” one day conferences that exist in this market. That’s why the conference is free to attend for all attendees with over 40 leading experts sharing their views and expertise. The whole education sector is covered at the event from primary schools through to universities and both the conference and exhibition will take place in one hall. We encourage the education sector to support the inaugural event and help make it a success with us”.

The event benefits this year from the support of key organisations such as National Governors Association, Secured by Design, bre, Carbon and Energy Fund, Construction Industry Council, Education Construction Network, FASNA (Freedom and Autonomy for Schools – National Association) and the Energy Consortium. These key supporters are contributing to the conference programme and taking part in the exhibition while, most importantly, bringing their members to the event delivering a broad range of expertise in the process.

The Education Estates Conference is a unique forum for professionals from across the education spectrum. The content is arranged in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary streams, providing complete coverage of education facilities issues and practice: you’re free to choose sessions from any stream over the two days.

The programme features case studies, exemplar projects and lectures, with speakers drawn from all parts of the education sector, including estates and facilities directors, governors and practitioners. We’re also delighted to welcome colleagues from the NHS and local government, with invaluable experiences and insights that, all involved in education facilities can learn from.

Some of the key topics being discussed and debated in the conference include Funding, BIM, Safeguarding, Sustainability, Energy, Design & Build, PSBP, Classroom Design, Pupil Safety, Maintenance and more.

Keynote speakers and sessions

  • Tom Clark CBE, Chairman, FASNA & Joan Binder, Vice-Chair, FASNA – ‘The future is not what it used to be – a paradigm shift?’
  • David Philp, Head of BIM, UK BIM Task Group, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – ‘Implementation of BIM in the education sector’
  • Andrew Link, Commercial Manager, Construction Industry Council – ‘Why having a ‘quality’ aspiration matters’
  • John Nangle, Crown Commercial Lead for Energy, Cabinet Office & Clive Nattrass, CEO, Carbon and Energy Fund – ‘Vision for energy improvement across the public sector’
  • Rachel Stephenson, Deputy Director, PSBP, Education Funding Agency & Mairi Johnson, Head of Design, Education Funding Agency – ‘Delivery of the Priority School Building Programme’
  • David Yearly, Head of Play Safety, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents – ‘Security & Safety’
  • Alan McInnes, General Manager, ACPO Secured by Design – ‘Security & Safety’
  • Mike Green, Director of Capital, Education Funding Agency – ‘Education Funding Agency update’
  • Stephen Morales, Executive Director, The National Association of School Business Management – ‘The changing role of the School Business Manager’

Places are limited so register now for your complimentary conference and exhibition pass: visit

Tackling key issues in conference

The Government has pledged around £4 billion to create new school places and renovate and repair existing school buildings but, in times of austerity, delivering value for money is critical. What’s more, as well as fulfilling current needs, facilities must be able to adapt as teaching and learning methods evolve and the increased demand for primary school places over the next few years.

Britain’s educational facilities are under pressure as never before. Figures suggest that half of England’s school areas will have more primary pupils than places within the next two years, according to the Local Government Association (LGA). Some local areas will face a 20% shortfall in places by 2015, according to analysis of official data from 2012 (source

Speaking on this issue at Education Estates is Professor John Howson from the Department for Education at University of Oxford who will speak about ‘The School Population: the challenges of change’.

Professor Howson has spent a lifetime in education as a teacher, lecturer, government adviser, businessman, commentator, and, since May, a Lib Dem County Councillor in Oxfordshire. He holds a visiting professorship at Oxford Brookes University and a visiting Senior Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford’s Department of Education. He runs a company called and has monitored trends in education for the past 20 years including both teacher supply and pupil numbers. He has given evidence to a number of Select Committee inquiries and, in addition to his work in education, he is also a vice President of the Magistrates’ Association.

Also speaking at Education Estates is Rachel Stephenson who is the Programme Director for the government’s £2.4 billion Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). The PSBP is a centrally managed programme set up to address the condition needs of the schools most in need of urgent repair. Through the programme, 261 schools will be rebuilt or have their condition needs met.

Rachel has worked in the education sector for 13 years. She is an experienced multi-disciplinary programme and project manager who has managed teams of professionals delivering the Free Schools, Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and academies programmes and group school Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects.

Delegates will also hear from Mike Green who is the Director of Capital for the Education Funding Agency. Mike will be delivering a keynote address on day 2 with the title ‘Education Funding Agency Update’. Mike joined the Education Funding Agency, an executive agency of the Department for Education, as the Director of Capital in April 2012. The Capital Directorate, one of four directorates within the EFA, is responsible for managing the delivery of capital programmes including the Priority School Building Programme and the Property Data Survey Programme.

Implementation of BIM in the Education Sector
One of the keynote speakers at the conference is David Philp who is Head of BIM for the UK BIM Task Group. David is delivering a keynote address at the conference on the subject of the ‘Implementation of BIM in the education sector’. The Building Information Modelling (BIM) Task Group are supporting and helping deliver the objectives of the Government Construction Strategy and the requirement to strengthen the public sector’s capability in BIM implementation with the aim that all central government departments will be adopting, as a minimum, collaborative Level 2 BIM by 2016.

Essentially the UK Government has embarked on a four year programme for sector modernisation with the key objective of reducing capital cost and the carbon burden from the construction and operation of the built environment by 20%. Central to these ambitions is the adoption of information rich Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies, process and collaborative behaviours that will unlock new more efficient ways of working at all stages of the project life-cycle.

In addition to David’s keynote address there is a session titled ‘Delivering Value Through BIM’ on the 27 November which will be delivered by Dale Sinclair (RIBA and Director of Dyer Associates), Rob Charlton (Chief Executive of Space Group) and Alison Watson (Founding Director of Class Of Your Own). Dale Sinclair is also the editor of the new RIBA Plan of Work which has been published this year and he will be giving incorporating this into his presentation at the conference.

The exhibition will provide a unique opportunity for visitors to meet suppliers, view products, make contacts and find solutions for current and future challenges. The conference will be delivered from theatres across the exhibition floor so there are plenty of opportunities to meet exhibitors and view products between sessions.

The exhibition will showcase the latest products and services on offer to the education sector from a broad range of manufacturers and service providers. Current exhibitors include British Gypsum, Kemper, Trend Control Systems, Total Hygiene, Vital Energi, Stantec, WestCountry Interiors, GI Energy, Sebo, Workflow Dynamics Limited / The Parking Shop Limited, P4 Limited, Buchan Concrete, NGS, ADP, ENER-G, Britplas, Direct Access, Gratnells and many more.

One of the key features on the exhibition floor is the ‘Project Gallery’ which features a select group of architects, consultants and contractors who will showcase recent education projects to attendees and demonstrate their expertise. This area is open to all to view and the organisations that are currently confirmed include ADP, Construction Industry Council, Education Construction Network, Morgan Sindall, Stantec and others.

Here is what exhibitors have to say about the event

“The GI Energy team will be showcasing our diverse offering of sustainability solutions building on our proven track record in the ground source heat pump and energy service company space. Our track record in delivering solutions to the education sector is second to none. We find that the clear focus of Education Estates gives us far better value for money and fits our strategic aims more closely than the usual generic and expensive shows.”

Chris Davidson, Development Director, GI Energy

“We’re delighted to support the Education Estates exhibition as a founder exhibitor. Having assisted clients in the education sector with their car parking needs for nearly two decades, finding suitable events that consistently bring together all facets of estates and facilities management has not been possible – until now. Balancing the parking needs of all stakeholders with the demands for campus development and site safety is a challenge common to all estates professionals within the education sector. We’re very much looking forward to working closely with the organisers to help deliver an event with real value to both visitors and exhibitors”.

David Peach, Managing Director, Workflow Dynamics Limited / The Parking Shop Limited

Places are limited so register now for your complimentary conference and exhibition pass: visit