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Britain’s first state secondary to be based at a University

The University of Birmingham School is the first school built by a university in the UK!

The team of education specialists created the University of Birmingham School in Selly Oak to accommodate 750 pupils aged between 11-16, with a further 400 places in the sixth form.

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The school is free to attend and year seven admissions are open to children from different areas across Birmingham, with 50 per cent of the intake coming from Selly Oak and the remainder admitted from three ‘node’ areas across the city – Hall Green, the Jewellery Quarter and Small Heath.

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University of Birmingham:

The programme was challenging, however Willmott Dixon embraced this and procurement challenges and delivered the project in line with the expectations.

Clever design 

Designed by Associated Architects, each school year has their own teaching cluster grouped around a three-storey central atrium that houses the dining area and provides access to the physical activity and group gathering spaces. We also refurbished an adjacent building to provide additional space for the sixth form.

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Teacher training

As a University Training School, the University of Birmingham School provides teacher training in a real environment, along with with research into improving educational practice.

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The project received enthusiastic support from the Department for Education, and Birmingham was one of several universities interested in the idea of running their own training school. Others followed in Birmingham’s wake such as a school commissioned by Cambridge university, which we also built.

Professor Sir David Eastwood, vice-chancellor of Birmingham University:

It is the first of its kind – a purpose-built school on a university site. It will focus on a high-quality curriculum with academic strength.

The University of Birmingham School is the latest attempt to ensure pupils from disadvantaged homes get the best chance of obtaining a place at one of the country’s leading universities.


See Wilmott Dixon at The Academies Show to find out more.


Image credit: WILLMOTT DIXON

Video credit: University of Birmingham School

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