I don’t know about you, but my memories of school involve good old chalk and blackboard teaching, cold school halls and inedible school meals.
Maybe I’m just showing my age, but it seems that these days things couldn’t be more different.
First Jamie Oliver persuades us that schoolchildren should be filling their bodies and minds with proper nutritional food (and that includes vegetables). Then, before we know it, the construction industry is being tasked with completely rebuilding or revamping the country’s schools. The cold school hall is being replaced with sustainably heated, child-friendly learning spaces.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for improving our education system and, as a builder, I know more than most that having quality surroundings will help achieve this. But I am a bit scared by the extent of ICT that is being pumped into our new schools. If I was still at school I’m not sure I’d want my parents to be able to check up on me and find out what I had for lunch and whether I had done my maths homework.
From the industry’s point of view, it’s a real challenge to integrate such a complex network of systems into a project. But maybe that’s where the local education partnerships will really come into their own – by putting into practice lessons learned on one school on the next one. That really would be an innovation.