• New Drama Room, Ash Green School

  • New Classroom, Moat House School

  • New Nursery, Leigh C of E School

Recent research provides strong empirical evidence that small changes to built environmental factors in schools can make a big difference to learning outcomes. [Source: A holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning. (2012) Peter Barrett, Yufan Zhang, Joanne Moffat, Khairy Kobbacy].

The National Audit Office incidates that in addition to the 256,000 additional school places required by 2014/15, a further 400,000 places could be needed between 2014/15 and 2018/19.

Given the country's existing School building stock, there are, therefore, many opportunities for us to help your School or Centre grow, expand or alter your buildings, either funded specifically, or through existing funding streams.

We listen to our Clients, communicating openly, challenging the brief commensurately, and offer creative solutions that, we hope, allay fears and build strong, successful contractual relationships.  We also understand that our Education Clients have an important fiduciary duty to cut their coat according to their cloth.  Our approach includes the reality of the contemporary Schools funding regime.

We know that our Education Clients have a policy priority to ensure that the construction and maintenance of schools and centres are cost-effective, with a requirement to squeeze as much value as possible from every tax penny spent.

Our approach assesses whole-life cost benefits, trims unnecessary capital costs, and takes advantage of operational efficiencies. We use our experience and knowledge to our Clients' advantage, and we do everything we can to remove waste from the design and construction process, whist maintaining creativity and architectural flair, where appropriate.

We also hope that our approach forges a link between the built environment solution and your educational outcomes. Well-designed schools and centres can inspire and set the scene for pupils’ and teachers’ success, leading ultimately to better educational outcomes.

Many of our Education Clients are also wishing to embrace lean thinking, and will now often link capital building costs to downstream facilities management costs.

With our Office having current experiences as School Governors at both Primary and Secondary Schools, we understand the challenge for staff and Govenors to ensure the logistics, timing and cost sensitivity of initiating and delivering building extensions, repairs and alterations.  There is an importance balance to be struck, and we enjoy resolving the challenges along the journey.

We understand that students change, the way you teach changes, and the legislative framework within which you operate changes.  Therefore, your buildings need to change, adapt and extend, to allow the best and most appropriate teaching environment for the students.

Our Office has a reputation for working with both Primary and Secondary Schools, and so if your School or Centre has a building need, please get in touch to see if we can help.


Vagdia and Holmes won the commission after a competitive tender process for an architect-lead team. From the outset, their dynamic approach to the contract was commendable and it quickly resulted in an agreed design. Not only did it address the basic need of providing additional pupil places, the design solution also resolved a number of logistical and safeguarding issues that has brought considerable benefit to the operational capability of this inner-city school. Initial contact with Vagdia & Holmes' director, Dhiran Vagdia, proved to be beneficial in navigating the Planning issues and once the necessary approvals were granted the scheme rapidly took shape. The detailed design and construction information was continually accurate due largely to the level of commitment that was shown by the project architect. The scheme was handed over on time and within budget and the quality of works completed on site reflected Vagdia & Holmes' detailed and robust design. Our thanks go to all involved – a sterling job!”

Martin Vickery, Head of Major Projects, Coventry City Council (2012)

We were pleased to have Vagdia and Holmes working with us on our building project. We needed a construction partner who could take an early brief, develop a full implementation strategy, and then deliver on site, all within our specific timeframe. They have a friendly approach, and their advice was always available. It’s been a pleasure to work them, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.

School Business Manager, Leigh C of E School (2014)