Forget flipping your classroom or even your flipping your school. It’s time to completely change what schools look like in a very literal sense. England’s Education Secretary has passed a law that would ban the use of curves in the design of new school buildings.
Secretary Gove says that new school designs are not allowed to use the following: dog legs, curves, indents, notches, roof terraces, glazed walls, and translucent plastic roofs.
This move to keep schools as simple as possible comes as administrators say there’s been too much spending in England on school architecture. To me, this brings to mind the innovative school design in Sweden that has the edtech world still buzzing.
In any case, the move comes just before the government begins renovating 261 secondary and primary schools in need of repair. Each renovation will apparently be as affordable as possible with a focus on simple and functional spaces. The goal is to have a template that can be used for all schools rather than crafting a new design strategy for each structure.
According to Secretary Gove, the new designs will be low-cost, modular, and smaller (about 15% smaller than current buildings). Gove says this will save about £6 million per school in the future.
So the money saved is a big help to the economy. But what of the effect this move will have on the teaching environments? What of the students and teachers who will be faced with having to make the most of less space?
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if this type of plan takes hold in many more countries as governments look to downsize costs associated with education even more. The logical next step, therefore, is to do away with physical classrooms and start preparing for the ‘classroom of the future’ which is essentially all online. Only time will tell.
Image of Gatineau Québec