Education | Wates


Leading the way in construction for the education sector

Wates in Education

As a leading provider for education, we pride ourselves on our collaborative approach and track record of building schools, Further and Higher Education projects across the country for public and private customers – all professionally constructed safely, considerately, to programme, quality and cost.

At Wates we believe that education plays a key part in society’s prosperity and social cohesion. Drawing on the views and experience of education sector experts, we developed our Class of 2050 White Paper to understand the future of education delivery, the increasing importance and roles technology, business and community will fulfil, and how the construction industry needs to react in parallel.

“Wates give a very ‘fresh’ approach to working with contractors.”

Katie Coulson, Associate, Gardiner & Theobald


We have been constructing schools since 1961 and continue to design and deliver exemplar primary, secondary, SEN and post-16 facilities across the UK. Over the last 10 years, we have successfully delivered circa £900m of Government-funded school projects, responding to changing budgets and tighter programmes, to provide new or improved learning environments for over 100,000 pupils.

Click here for our Schools by Wates brochure.

Click here for our Adapt by Wates brochure.

In 2011, our innovative delivery of Campsmount Technology College in Doncaster was cited as ‘exemplary’ in the Sebastian James Review of Education Capital. Using our Adapt™ component-based design solution we achieved a 21% reduction in programme and 23% cost savings compared to Government-funded school projects of the time, setting the current standard for education specification across the UK.

We are a key partner for the Education & Skills Funding Agency (delivering schools through Central Government Frameworks for the last 10 years) and were recently reappointed to the North and South High Value Bands on the ESFA 2017 Construction Framework to deliver schools over the next four years.

Our Central Education Team leads our ESFA relationship and framework performance to ensure a consistent national service, driving excellence with continuous improvement to establish Wates as the ESFA’s long-term preferred partner.

We recently designed and delivered the largest single new build school project procured through the ESFA’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP)  Eastbrook Comprehensive an all-through school for 2,869 pupils. This formed part of a batch of three schools including primary, secondary and SEN (specialist Autistic Spectrum Disorder unit). For a flyover view of all three schools, click on the screen below.

We also deliver schools through a number of  Regional and Local Authority Frameworks including the  Scape Major Works UK Framework providing alternative routes to market to suit our customers funding and programme needs.

Under the Milton Keynes Framework, we recently completed new build, refurbishment and extension of seven primary and secondary schools, adding over 3,500 new pupil places to improve and enhance education provision for the Council. For a flyover view of schools delivered, click on the screen below.

Independent Schools

We understand that Independent Schools often have differing needs and requirements to provide excellence within their part of the education sector.

Our tailored approach, working collaboratively with our customers to understand their vision and aspirations, blends traditional and modern design/technology to deliver desirable, state-of-the-art learning environments that help promote interest and applicant demand.

Our private school projects include award-winning Highgate Junior School (RIBA London Award 2017) and Newcastle School for Girls  (Lord Mayor’s Special Award 2018), our second collaboration with The Girls’ Day School Trust following the successful delivery of South Hampstead High School.

Further and Higher Education

Working with world-leading UK-based institutions, we offer construction services for projects ranging from an entire Grimshaw Architects designed campus for the University of Southampton (partly occupied by Lloyds of London Insurance), IBI Taylor Young’s stand-alone college and community co-located facilities, to Sheppard Robson’s sympathetic design and redevelopment of Listed buildings to suit 21st Century education needs.

We understand that innovation, efficiency and high standards are vital components to Further and Higher Education. We create exemplar and technically complex teaching, research and cutting-edge environments to attract and retain students in a competitive post-secondary environment.

Innovation and Design

Responding directly to changes to funding and still maintaining all ESFA guidelines and output specifications, we developed Adapt™, a component-based design solution that harnesses the construction and delivery benefits of standardisation and off-site manufacture to build schools safely, quickly, maximising lean budgets and ensuring funds are used wisely.

Since its inception in 2011, we have invested over £2m in research and development and have successfully delivered over £0.5bn of new education facilities providing in excess of 30,000 new school places.

For further information, contact:

Education Design Director, Steve Smith

Steve Beechey

Managing Director Government Affairs

Gary Campbell-Dykes

Education Director

Steve Smith

Design Director

Gavin Miller

ESFA Frameworks Manager

Contact Us

Contact the Education Team