Department for Education
With her significant experience in the school’s sector, Sarah was a Design Adviser to the Education Funding Agency and worked on large batch schemes for the department from 2013 until 2019. She undertook the role of an expert client for the Priorities Schools Building Programme.
This included assessing the needs of the schools, ensuring this was clearly articulated to bidders, and making sure the designs met the specifications and the brief. The Design Adviser worked closely with the schools, the Project Director and Technical advisers during the design and delivery process, and undertook this work from project inception onwards, specifically advising on all design matters. She was also involved in the assessment of framework contractors.
Barking, Dagenham and Newham schools.
There were three large projects in the batch, two all-through schools and one secondary school. The EFA team produced design options, briefs, schedules of areas and adjacency diagrams in readiness for the issue of the Invitation To Tender to Framework Contractors. The size of the schools varied from 1,500 pupils up to 2,800 which includes large primary and secondary school buildings and Special Educational Needs facilities. Two of the schemes were entirely new build whilst the third was part new build and part refurbishment.
The sites all had challenges: One site was in the green belt, another had to retain PFI estate, and the third had a number of covenants across the site and was very limited in area. All schemes are now complete.
Croydon, Lewisham and Greenwich schools.
There were five primary schools and one secondary school in this batch, and all sites had constraints. The EFA team produced design options, briefs, schedules of areas and adjacency diagrams in preparation for the issue of the Invitation To Tender to Framework Contractors. Most of the schools were increasing in size and are predominantly new build. All schemes are now complete.
Kent and Surrey schools.
This scheme comprised five secondary schools across Kent and Surrey, all on very difficult sites. This included academies and Grammar schools all requiring large new buildings that would be phased over a number of years.