Stephen Twigg, the shadow education secretary, called on George Osborne, the chancellor, to address this “urgent crisis” in his budget. He predicts that pupils will have to be taught in temporary buildings because schools will soon run out of space. In an article in The Guardian, Twigg claimed that, over the next few years, the government has promised to fund only an extra 100 schools. These are likely to be free schools – one of the coalition’s education reforms.
Official figures show the number of primary age children in the capital is set to soar from 595,000 to 701,000 over the next three to four years, raising the spectre of children having to be taught in school halls, hired buildings and temporary mobile classrooms. Education Secretary Michael Gove hit back by blaming Labour for the crisis, saying that warnings were ignored by the last government until it was too late to avert the problem. Several education authorities are already looking at emergency school accommodation.
Consider if the typical example of a temporary classroom is still an acceptable alternative to a purpose build, or custom designed classroom, ICT suite, canteen, sports pavilion or outdoor education centre? If the cost of hiring a temporary log classroom over five years was equivalent to owning outright a classroom that was designed to meet the key needs of your school, we have to ask if this could be considered a better use of the limited funds being given to schools to cope with the ever expanding needs for extra teaching space.
Log cabins are not only a great solution economically, but also environmentally. When considering the Carbon Footprint of your building, wood is both environmentally friendly, energy efficient and performs better than ‘traditional’ build structures. Wood is a natural material that is both beautiful and tactile and is therefore the first choice for all seasons. It’s insulation qualities ensure that heating and air conditioning costs are kept to a minimum, which makes it the ideal material for many types of school buildings. For example, some Log cabins have been independently certified and have exceeded the minimum U-values which can be proven to save schools between 30 – 40% on heating, lighting and cooling.
In the present era where saving energy and being as space and cost effective as possible is of paramount importance log cabins can provide the ideal solution to a problem of ever growing concern.