IBSC-UK Regional Conference
Building Blocks for Boys – Optimising the Learning Environment

Wednesday, 2 March 2016
The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School
Elstree, Hertfordshire, England

Conference Speakers

Professor Peter Barrett

Professor Peter Barrett qualified originally as a chartered building surveyor and then gained an MSc in Construction Management and a PhD in the management of professional practices.

He has been at Salford for 24 years during which time the built environment group became the strongest in the UK and he fulfilled roles from Head of School to Pro-vice Chancellor for Research. Peter has pursued an interest in the value of construction within society for many years, which led to a focus on Senses, Brain and Spaces, itself leading to the HEAD project to study the impact of school spaces on pupils’ learning rates, within a neuroscience schema.


The focus of this session will be on the impact of the characteristics of the physical spaces provided in schools on the educational outcomes achieved by pupils.

Professor Peter Barrett has recently completed a ground-breaking study of this knotty issue that revealed for the first time the scale of the impact, together with the complex web of factors that combine to create the significant effects discovered. The session will address the issues by setting out the findings and then allowing time for discussion and exploration of the implications, followed by practical exercises in applying the evidence to particular situations. By the end, delegates should be able to go away confident that they can analyse their own school’s building provision and identify at least some areas for immediate improvement. This session will link to a tour of the host school where real life examples will be seen of how the Clever Classrooms thinking has been applied.

Ms Lisa Freedman

Lisa Freedman is a journalist and education consultant. After an undergraduate degree in architectural history at London University, she became a print journalist, going on to become Features Editor of the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. More recently, she completed an MA on Building Schools for the Future at the UCL Institute of Education, where she is currently researching a doctoral thesis on the rebuilding of St Paul’s School in the 19th century. She continues to write regularly for the Financial Times and The Good Schools Guide, as well as running the educational consultancy, At The School Gates.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Building Schools for the Future” – A survey of which independent schools are building what – and why.

This talk will look at a number of leading schools’ approaches to building programmes over the past decade.