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We present the key talking points from last month's Education Estates conference. 
© GettyImages
© GettyImages

04 November 2019 |  Herpreet Kaur Grewal

A working group to help the training needs of those who maintain state-funded school estates was launched at the Education Estates conference in Manchester last month. 

Matt Isherwood, director of estates at the Brooke Weston Trust, officially announced the Education Estates Working Group, which aims to develop and improve the training options available to those working in maintenance and building caretaking roles at schools across the country.

Isherwood told delegates that the group was set up “in response to the increasing awareness of the risks and responsibilities associated with the school estate” and provides “a single voice for schools’ estates issues”.

The group’s purpose is “not to provide the training, but facilitate training and find out what the sector needs for training” and then to “articulate that with the training providers so their courses are attuned to fit the education sector”.

Membership comprises organisations with a professional support role in school estates. The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) is a core member of the group, which also includes:

  •  Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy – chair  
  •  Catholic Education Service  
  •  Church of England Education Office  
  •  Educational Building and Development Officers Group  
  •  Institute of Schools Business Leadership  
  •  Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors  
  •  The Trust Network)
  •  Association of School and College Leaders

‘Future-proofing’ university estates

In another presentation at the conference, Arcadis, the design, engineering and management consultancy, released new research showing which universities are doing the most to ‘future-proof’ their estates for sustainability. 

The methodology involved looking at the institutions’ policies for water, energy/carbon, waste, sustainable buildings and biodiversity. 

The University of London came out on top, with the University of Oxford and University of Leeds featuring in the top five  [see box, right].

Eke Schins-Derksen, sector leader of education and healthcare, Netherlands, at Arcadis, who presented the survey results, told Facilitate: “We looked at how well they linked their policies to megatrends [such as climate change, urbanisation and mobility] and how visible their policies and intentions are. 

“You can see that young people are really asking for action on sustainability so it is going to be influencing their choices for universities. So visibility and showing what [universities] were doing and long term action on mega trends will really make a difference in the end [to future-proofing estates],” he added. 

What are megatrends?

Megatrends are characterised by being far-reaching, global patterns related to behaviour, mobility and environment. Examples of megatrends are: health, population growth, urbanisation and technology.

Emma Potter