Session 11: Effective Design of Learning Environments

Time: 14:45 - 15:45

Date: 26-March-2020


Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change – Education research from down under: Dr Wes Imms, University of Melbourne

The first quarterly bulletin from the OECD in 2019 contained two articles relating to the world’s largest education environment research programme, ILETC, coordinated from the University of Melbourne for Australia and New Zealand.

With over 30 industry partners and universities, 6 PhD students and thousands of schools taking part over the 4 years, Prof Wes Imms will share their findings, at the end of the 4 years, including a 10-15% attainment uplift in English, maths and science.

Find out how “deep learning spaces” improves attainment – The Holy Grail of education design.

Good Clients get Good Schools: Gareth Long & Sharon Wright from the-learning-crowd

Getting a new building, or refurbishing or remodelling existing facilities, is an exciting opportunity for any school.  To get the best from the investment it is important to prepare carefully, fully considering how new facilities will support curriculum delivery and enhance the whole school estate. Good clients get good buildings and their input to developing the vision and brief will be critical. While architects are fantastic at creating spaces, they need to understand the activities and outcomes they are designing for.

By developing a detailed Education Design Brief schools can set out their vision and how they want the new spaces to support student learning and allow staff to work effectively.  It is an opportunity to explore management and organisation, technology requirements, communications and student and staff experience. The brief allows schools to future proof so that spaces can be adapted in cases of curriculum or pedagogical change, and they can identify examples of good practice they may have seen from other schools and buildings.  A comprehensive, well thought through brief saves considerable time for architects and contractors during design sessions and allows the team to prioritise and make the most of your budget.

During this session Sharon and Gareth will share examples from their experience of writing effective Education Design Briefs which have resulted in high quality school buildings that meet client needs.

Learning points from presentation:

  • Strategies for schools to prepare themselves to get the best from the design process by being a good client
  • Strategies for architects to help schools articulate their vision and detailed requirements
  • Good practice learning from project examples


  • Dr Wes Imms Associate Professor of Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, a Director of the University of Melbourne's Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN), and Director of LEaRN@MGSE
  • Gareth Long Director - the-learning-crowd
  • Dr Sharon Wright Senior Associate - the-learning-crowd

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