Could Portable Buildings Solve The School Building Crisis?

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A new report reveals that many of the UK’s school buildings are in a critical condition and require urgent repairs. The National Audit Office report found that 700,000 children are attending lessons in buildings that are in need of major repairs, Schools Week reports.

Furthermore, the report found that over a third of school buildings are ‘beyond their use-by date.’ This has led to the unacceptable situation where the Department of Education admits that the risk of a fatal building collapse has been ‘critical and very likely’ since 2021.

The Guardian reports that a team of specialists have been dispatched to carry out urgent checks on almost 600 school buildings that are deemed to be at risk of structural collapse due to crumbling concrete. Meanwhile, four schools across the country have had to resort to remote teaching or alternative sites because their buildings have been deemed unsafe.

This is an alarming state of affairs when you consider how young people’s educational futures and even lives are being put at risk. Years of underinvestment and cuts to school budgets means that even as student numbers grow, suitable classroom space is in short supply.

One of the best solutions to this problem is to make use of premium quality modular buildings. These are buildings that are partially constructed off-site to high standards of quality, with modern materials that are durable and energy efficient. This means that they are low maintenance and cost less to run than a regular bricks and mortar building.

Contemporary modular buildings are customisable to suit specific needs, and can be installed as multiple storeys or adjoining each other, depending on how much extra space is required. They are available in a range of fittings and finishes, and are a world away from the ugly portable cabins that you may remember from your own school days.

They are quick and minimally disruptive to install, energy efficient, and can cost a fraction of a traditional bricks and mortar build. Modular buildings are also highly flexible and can even be moved to different locations or refurbished for different purposes. As well as classrooms, they can serve as canteens, storage space, staff rooms, and offices.


When asked to comment on the findings of the National Audit Office report, a Department for Education spokesperson said:

“It is the responsibility of those who run our schools – academy trusts, local authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies – who speak to their schools’ day to day to manage the maintenance of their schools and to alert us if there is a concern with a building.”

However, with over one third of the school estate already past its use by date and no commitment to extra funding and investment by the government, many school leaders will be facing some difficult decisions.

Given the current delays in the supply chain and labour shortages in the traditional construction industry, modular buildings may play a crucial role in the future of the education sector.

If you are looking for nursery & classroom portable modular buildings, please get in touch today.

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