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Better Processes Mean Better Outcomes for SEND Building Projects

Early engagement with specialist contractors is becoming more widely recognised as a critical factor in achieving better outcomes from a construction project. And when it comes to outcomes, nothing is more fundamental than a building that meets users’ needs. This is particularly true in the case of special needs education.

SEND is a wide-ranging term that encompasses a diverse group of learners with very specific needs. Meeting those needs calls for different solutions in terms of the design, layout and construction of each SEND school with its own unique learner community.

Around 15% of the population is classed as having a SEND requirement. With modern design standards, more efficient building methods, and no small amount of creativity, we can do a far better job of constructing learning environments that meet their needs.

Integrated Procurement, Design and Delivery

The secret of success is to align the procurement, design and delivery stages so that there are fewer disconnects. Process integration allows expertise from a range of specialist organisations to be fully deployed in the interests of project outcomes and meeting the needs of learners.

In 2019, the Government announced additional funding of £700m to help ensure that buildings and facilities are suitable for SEND learners. As this funding feeds through into live projects, collaboration and process alignment will go a long way to deciding how well it is spent.

The recently completed Aspire School in Sittingbourne is an example of how SEN design experts, architects, developers and contractors can work together to create better learning environments. The primary school was created to expand provision for children in Kent with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and severe speech and language difficulties (SSLD).

The result is a school ideally suited to learners’ needs, combining comfort, relaxation, motivation and inspiration within a distraction-free environment.

Innovaré has worked closely with several developers and designers on SEND education projects. These include Morgan Sindall who recently released a Building Better Futures report looking at SEND education. Our delivery expertise in offsite construction helps to solve practical issues and ensure that the completed project is perfectly tuned to the needs of learners and teaching staff.

Find out more about SEND Schools here