Birmingham Building Schools for the Future

Simon Foxell of The Architects Practice was appointed Client Design Advisor to Birmingham City Council together with Matthew Springett in 2007. They guided the design process through the competitive dialogue selection process to the selection of Catalyst Lend Lease as preferred bidder and to Financial Close in August 2009. They continued guiding subsequent phases of the programme and the design of BSF, Academy and Primary schools for Birmingham Council until the 2010 spending review following the change of government brought the BSF programme to an end.

Birmingham's Building Schools for the Future programme planned to rebuild, extend and upgrade all 86 secondary schools across the city. In parallel work would have been carried out to many of the city's 350 primary schools, its special needs schools and pupil support units. In the event 22 school projects were completed comprising 12 new build schools and 10 refurbishments and extensions.

Birmingham's programme, the largest in the country, was led by the needs of its pupils and substantial effort was put into developing an overarching design approach that gave priority to students' educational needs and would provide uniformly high standards of learning environments at all the city's schools. Standard elements and design methodologies, based on a toolkit developed jointly with Catalyst Lend Lease, were to be used on all projects but these would be interpreted and developed by a team of some the best architects and design teams available in order to deliver distinctive and high quality schools within rigorously controlled budgets for Birmingham.

A Catalyst for Birmingham: Architects Journal: 12.3.09
Sylvia McNamara on the architects' role in Birmingham's schools' transformation: BD Magazine July 09
Miss, can I go to the toilet pod, please? - The Guardian 23.1.13

The 22 schools that were delivered were designed in close consultation with the each of the schools and academies concerned.
These were:

Secondary schools

HMLblank insert smallStocklandGblank insert smallBroadway
Holte Mayfield and Lozellsblank insert smallStockland Green Schoolblank insert smallBroadway School
Archialblank insert smallAssociated Architectsblank insert smallCottrell & Vermeulen Architects

FourDwellingsblank insert smallGeorgeDixonblank insert smallInternational
Four Dwellings High Schoolblank insert smallGeorge Dixon Internationalblank insert smallInternational School
drmmblank insert smallGlen Howells Architectsblank insert smallFATArchitecture

Moseleyblank insert smallParkviewblank insert smallSaltley
Moseley Schoolblank insert smallPark View Schoolblank insert smallSaltley School
Penoyre & Prasadblank insert smallHaworth Tompkinsblank insert smallMarks Barfield Architects

Waverley School


AUEAblank insert smallBOA 9blank insert smallHeartlands
Aston U Engineering Academyblank insert smallBirmingham Ormiston Academyblank insert smallHeartlands Academy
FeildenCleggBradleyStudiosblank insert smallNicholas Hare Architectsblank insert smallArchial

NBAblank insert smallStAlbansAcademyblank insert smallSheldonHeat Int
North Birmingham Academyblank insert smallSt Albansblank insert smallKing Edward VI Sheldon Heath
Nicholas Hare Architectsblank insert smalldrmmblank insert smallAssociated Architects

Shenley Academy
Cullinan Studio

Primary Schools

Four Dwellings primaryblank insert smallGeorgeDixonPrimaryblank insert smallGreet
Four Dwellingsblank insert smallGeorge Dixonblank insert smallGreet
drmmblank insert smallGlenn Howells Architectsblank insert smallCasenove

Summerfieldblank insert smallRegentsPark
Summerfieldblank insert smallRegents Park
Casenoveblank insert smallMSA

Birmingham City Council Director of Transforming Education - Sylvia McNamara,
Simon Foxell (The Architects Practice) & Matthew Springett (MSA) on the roof the new HML building