Highlights include talks by RIBA president Sunand Prasad, Tim Byles and John Sorrell, and the chance to see MAKE principle Ken Shuttleworth lead CABE's school design panel

Dates have been announced for the next Building Schools Exhibition and Conference (BSEC).

The event which focuses on the construction, maintenance and design of schools in the UK, will once again take place at Manchester Central from the 11 to 12 February 2009.

Over 3,000 visitors attending BSEC 2008.

Next year’s exhibition features companies from across the supply chain and is supported by public sector organisations such as the Department for Children, Schools and Families, Partnerships for Schools, BECTA, BCSE, NCSL, CABE and RIBA.

Steve Webb, group director of BSEC, said: “The government is set to invest around £100bn from now until 2020 in the rebuilding and renewal of all schools in the UK.

“This surely represents one of the best opportunities for suppliers to the construction industry, particularly in the current climate.

BSEC will focus on the construction, maintenance and design of schools in the UK

“BSEC is the only event to bring together everyone at the forefront of school rebuilding initiatives.”

The BSEC conference programme addresses the major issues surrounding the roll out of the UK’s school newbuild and refurbishment programmes. As one of the most extensive conferences in the sector it is highly popular attracting over 1,000 delegates in 2008.

Local authorities, contractors, architects, headteachers, school governors and ICT professionals will all networking under one roof.

Highlights of the event

Speakers include Sunand Prasad, president of RIBA, Tim Byles, chief executive for Partnership for Schools, and Sir John Sorrell, founder of The Sorrell Foundation.

Prasad will give his views on how to improve life quality in school through good design.

It addresses the major issues surrounding the roll out of the UK’s school newbuild and refurbishment programmes

Byles, who heads the body delivering the BSF programme, will discuss the acceleration of the national programme and outline the key points that local authorities new to BSF need to learn.

Sorrell will demonstrate to the conference attendees how student participation has resulted in specific features and innovations that can increase personalised learning.

Another highlight will be a panel of associations representing headteachers, school governors and local authorities, offering valuable opinions on the effects of BSF to date. The panel will include Damian Allen, representative, Association of Directors of Children's Services; Judith Bennett, chair, National Governors Association and Clarissa Williams, national president, National Association of Head teachers.

Additionally, Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, will take part in the conference to demonstrate and discuss the council's all-inclusive approach to the BSF process.

There will also be the opportunity to see Ken Shuttleworth, principle of MAKE, lead CABE's school design panel as they review sample schools within the competitive stage of BSF and assess the design, quality as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each scheme.

Hannah Leyland, deputy brand manager at Wolseley, gold sponsors of BSEC09, said: "The exhibition gives us the opportunity to engage with all different stakeholders, we can provide advice and information to those people to help them improve the delivery, innovation, sustainability and performance of their school."