December 6, 2021

College invests to inspire pupils

A technology college in Birmingham has invested £350,000 to create a flagship building in the heart of its campus to both create additional spaces and inspire pupils to achieve educational excellence.

Selly Park Technology College has been working in partnership with Bournville Architects to construct a 340m², two-storey building comprising three classrooms, two intervention rooms and new dining facility.

The new complex has been designed to complement the existing building stock while remaining flexible to shifts in long-term needs such as fluctuations in pupil numbers. This flagship is also raising accommodation standards by setting the benchmark for future developments and enhancing perceptions of the college.

An excellent learning environment has been created with high natural daylight and ventilation levels as well as plenty of pupil privacy.

“Secondary schools need to invest in educational facilities which meet the ever-changing curriculum and developments in technology so they attract pupils as well as convince parents their child is making the right choice,” says Michelle Magrs, Head Teacher at Selly Park Technology College.

“The new facility needed to provide a high quality, attractive, non-institutional building, which offered value for money. What was achieved surpassed our – both governors and the teaching team’s – expectations.

Selly Park classroom

“Bournville Architects took our vision to create a sustainable building which met a range of environmental requirements and designed a facility where people want to learn,” says Michelle.

Although the initial brief was to create a flagship building, there was also a need to safeguard the school for future generations as Ian Tipton, director at Bournville Architects, explains: “Our challenge was to design a building within the aesthetics of the existing architecture but which also stood out as the flagship building.

“By re-distributing and re-configuring space which was no longer fit for purpose, Selly Park now has a facility which supports its vision of providing equality of opportunity to all its students in an innovative, flexible and high quality educational environment.

“Selly Park proves that schools can achieve remarkable buildings on small budgets which will help them stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace,” says Ian.

The school – which admits pupils aged from 11 to 16 – is situated on a 1.56 hectares site which originally opened in 1911. Future plans for the school include the removal of two existing temporary classrooms as well as extending its limited green space.