Willmott Dixon has been chosen for a £19 million contract to build one of the UK’s first University Training Schools.

Entrance at the University of Birmingham school

The University of Birmingham School is being built for the University of Birmingham on Weoley Park Road in Selly Oak and will accommodate 750 pupils aged between 11-16, with a further 400 places in the sixth form. The school is free to attend and year seven admissions will be 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.

Designed by Associated Architects, each school year will have their own teaching cluster grouped around a three-storey central atrium that will house the dining area and provide access to the physical activity and group gathering spaces.

Willmott Dixon will also refurbish an adjacent building to provide additional space for the sixth form. Construction of the new building will be completed in time for the start of the 2015 academic year in September.

Play space at rear

As a University Training School, the University of Birmingham School will provide initial teacher training, ongoing teacher education and research into improving educational practice.

Ian Barker, director of estates at the University of Birmingham, said: “We are delighted to be working with Willmott Dixon and Associated Architects on this exciting project to deliver high-quality facilities for a truly pioneering school. The facilities will complement and enhance the educational opportunities available for the young people of Birmingham.”

Matthew Raybould, operations director at Willmott Dixon, said: “The University of Birmingham School is a prestigious project and we are delighted to have been awarded the construction contract.

“Willmott Dixon has a strong track record for education across the West Midlands including building the Birmingham City University’s (BCU) award-winning Parkside Building. We are currently engaged in the construction of BCU’s £63 million Curzon Building, which is due to be completed in summer 2015.”