Voting time has come in our pound;80K room giveaway

4th January 2013 at 00:00
You decide which school wins - poll opens on 17 January

One lucky school will find out next month that it has won our competition for a new pound;80,000 building.

TES has teamed up with Clearspace Buildings to give away a fully constructed timber classroom, which the company will also install. The winner, which will be chosen by TES's 2.2 million online members, will get to pick the design and layout.

The competition attracted 620 entries, with each school required to submit 300 words on why it should win. The six finalists have also made a short film to put their case. The shortlisted entries are being put to the vote on the TES website. Online members will have three weeks from 17 January to decide the winner, who will be announced on 8 February.

TES editor Gerard Kelly said: "We've been covering education in Britain for more than 100 years and organised many competitions for teachers, but we've never been involved in giving away a school building before."

Among those vying for the prize is the 400-pupil Bearwood Primary School in Smethwick, West Midlands.

Every room in the old Victorian building is currently used as a classroom, forcing pupils to make the long walk to the local library. Bearwood is a multicultural community with more than 30 languages spoken and the school is desperate to create a family learning space that will inspire children and adults with books.

Headteacher Debbie Haywood said: "To win this building would be a dream come true, not just for the school but for the wider community."

Joyce Hallam, head of Hawkshead Esthwaite Primary School in Cumbria, would like to replace a pre-school building, bought after a local fundraising effort, that has begun to rot away just seven years after being built.

She said: "This classroom could solve all our problems and make a great contribution to the community."

The other finalists are: Chamberlayne College for the Arts in Hampshire, Samuel Whitbread Academy in Bedfordshire, Thomas Becket Catholic School in Northamptonshire and Varndean School in East Sussex.

As well as building the pound;80,000 classroom, Clearspace will organise planning and building permissions and carry out interior work on flooring, lighting and power points. The building will be put up at the winning school during the Easter break.

View the schools' videos, read their entries and register your vote at tesconnect.combuilding.


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