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Portakabin Hire sees record demand from schools for high quality interim teaching accommodation


Portakabin Hire, the UK’s leading interim modular building specialist, has delivered a record number of school buildings and classrooms to accommodate around 22,000 school children in the last academic year.

Demand was so high that in the two months prior to the start of the new autumn term, Portakabin Hire installed over 1,000 modular units at schools from Penzance to Penrith, accommodating nearly 9,000 children. This is an increase in pupil accommodation of more than 40 per cent compared to the same period last year.

According to the Local Government Association, despite the creation of an additional 90,000 primary school places, an extra 130,000 places will still be needed by 2017/18, and a further 80,716 new secondary places will be required to meet the growing demand by 2019/20.

Commenting on the issue, Robert Snook, Director and General Manager of Portakabin Hire, said, “The rising birth rates and demographic changes are still putting acute pressure on primary school places nationwide but particularly in London and the South East. The provision of modular teaching accommodation for short-term use is a highly effective solution that more LEAs and schools are turning to. This allows them to react very quickly to place planning issues, which can be very difficult to predict. And we can help ensure there is no compromise on the quality of the classrooms by providing education environments of the very highest standards.”

In the London Borough of Lewisham, Portakabin Hire provided a complete, self-contained primary school in just eight weeks from receipt of order to handover. The decant accommodation was required to allow Lewisham Council to refurbish and extend Adamsrill Primary School to meet the demand for new places. 

Margaret Brightman, Strategic Places Manager at Lewisham Council, said, “We needed the decant school very quickly to be able to provide additional school places in time for the start of the new academic year. Portakabin already had a stock of primary school buildings ready configured and for us to use. Hiring the buildings gave us the flexibility to meet the school’s rapidly changing requirements.”                                                                                                                         

“The classrooms are lovely and teaching staff are very happy with them. We were surprised how spacious they are compared to older school buildings in London. The Portakabin team worked exceptionally hard to bring the project within our targeted budget and to our deadline. They are a very responsive company to work with and I would have no hesitation recommending the approach and the facilities to other schools and LEAs.”

The 1,300m2 building will be in use for the next year and accommodates 270 key stage one pupils and 25 children in the nursery. Facilities include nine classrooms, a nursery, main hall, school offices, outdoor play area, reception and kitchen.

Portakabin teaching accommodation for hire can be configured and fitted out to the exact requirements of each individual school and site – as learning clusters, standalone teaching blocks and generously-sized, light, modern classrooms. The approach is completely flexible – classrooms can be linked to the existing school, the floor area can be increased or reduced in line with local needs and the demand for places, and the buildings can remain in use for as long as needed.

By completing most of the building work before getting to site, Portakabin is able to radically reduce programme times, improve the safety of school sites and ensure much less disruption to teaching. Interim facilities can also be timed for installation during school holidays or over weekends. 

Portakabin Hire offers a complete package of services to ensure every project is completely hassle free.  This includes project management, planning approvals, ground works, fitting out, furnishing and installation of services, climate control, access ramps, security and alarm systems.

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