An event to mark the start of construction to upgrade teaching and communal facilities at King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls in Birmingham took place on the 3rd February 2021.

The £2.6m project will provide enhanced gym equipment and changing rooms, an entirely new kitchen and dining area, new teaching spaces and the refurbishment of two classrooms. The changes support the expansion of pupil numbers at the school, making this area of the school fit for purpose and improving the teaching and learning experience.

Seddon plans to split the construction into three different phases to complete various elements of the development.

Phase one will see the partial demolition of the existing gymnasium block and the construction of new facilities including a state-of-the-art weight and exercise room. New glazed curtain walling will also be installed in the existing gym across both storeys.

The first phase will also include the creation of a brand-new 415 sq. ft. dining room and kitchen with new mechanical and electrical works installed.

Phase two will see the remodelling of the old kitchen and dining area into Design Technology teaching facilities, as well as work to enhance and repair the existing floors and the roof.

During phase three, two old technology classrooms will be completely refurbished to provide the best resources possible for the teachers and pupils.

The socially distanced sod-cutting event was attended by Richard Gray, projects manager at Seddon; Chris Stanton, site manager at Seddon and the schools headmistress, Amy Whittall.

For the duration of the development, Seddon is working with local subcontractors, in a boost for the local economy. Work is expected to finish by November 2021.

John Shannon, divisional director at Seddon, said: “Education is something that should be prized by everyone and each person deserves to have the best education that can be provided. We hope that the improvements we make are used to help propel pupils to their full potential for many years to come as we add to this school’s rich history.”

Amy Whittall, Headmistress at King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls, said:

“Following our successful Selective Schools Expansion Fund bid, we are delighted to be working with Seddon to achieve the planned developments at the school site.  The project will improve the facilities for all students on site; with the additional facilities, we are able to increase the number of children joining the school in Year 7 with a specific focus on increasing the number of children eligible for Pupil Premium funding who attend the school.  This is a key goal for the school along with the King Edward VI Academy Trust in Birmingham and the new facilities are an integral part in helping us to achieve this.”