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A fresh lick of paint for prize-winning primary

Lawley Primary School reveals £10,00 makeover after winning the 2017 Dulux Smarter Spaces competition

Posted by Alex Diggins | June 06, 2018 | Events

Inspired by the school's Year Five pupils, the transformation has revitalised the school’s entrance hall and main corridor. After brain-storming ideas from the students, the redecoration reflects the ethos of Lawley Primary School's staff and pupils.

Grounded on the belief that a vibrant space can inspire teachers and students alike – a view backed up by 85% of teachers according to a Dulux study – the Dulux Smarter Spaces competition was launched in April. Competing schools had to submit a 300-word entry explaining why they should win the £10,000 transformation and how they would make use of the funding. After receiving entries from across the country, Lawley Primary was chosen as one of two winners by a panel of judges, including Matthew Burton and education expert, Professor Stephen Heppell.

Dulux Smarter Spaces Ambassador Matthew Burton, of Educating Yorkshire fame, unveiled the new space at a ribbon cutting ceremony on 6th March. He said: “Dulux research undertaken as part of this initiative has shown that a staggering two thirds of schools in the UK lack the funding to make basic refurbishments, so it’s a real honour to be able to give something back to two deserving schools. In my many years as a teacher I have witnessed first-hand the effects a cared-for classroom or school environment can have on pupils’ wellbeing and grades, and I’ve also seen how neglected spaces can be uninspiring and a challenge to teach in. I’m fully supportive of learner-led design. I believe children are much more likely to be engaged if they have a bright and colourful space that they’ve had some element of creative control over, so it’s wonderful to see Lawley Primary School children’s designs brought to life.”

In my many years as a teacher I have witnessed first-hand the effects a cared-for classroom or school environment can have on pupils’ wellbeing and grades

Ian Gisbourne, Dulux’s National Sector Manager for Education, concurred: “For three years, the Dulux Smarter Spaces initiative has been championing a movement to improve education environments, and we’ve seen how learner-led design and the effective use of colour can improve learning outcomes. Research conducted through the SSAT network** has shown that following the Smarter Spaces renovation undertaken at Upton-by-Chester High School, student attendance increased from 90% to 92% and year 7 groups using the space are making greater progress against their targets than other groups that don’t have access to the room.”

The Dulux Smarter Spaces team works in partnership with schools to find the best solution for their particular needs, from making sure they are matched with a quality decorating contractor to ensuring every aspect of the project is smoothly managed. Offering expert colour and design expertise, the service helps schools get the most out of their environment within their budget and allows teachers and head teachers to focus on running the school.

Mrs Carol McQuiggin, Head Teacher at Lawley Primary School, was very enthusiastic about the competition. “We are all absolutely over the moon to be winners of the Dulux Smarter Spaces competition. It’s fantastic for the children to see their ideas materialise, and the makeover has provided a lovely start to 2018 for us!”

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