Clackmannanshire Council was keen that quality design be instrumental in the PPP process for building its three new secondary schools, so it appointed Hoskins Architects, along with two other architectural practices in October 2003, to put forward ideas.
With the help of educational consultant, David Harvey, Hoskins Architects looked at various generic education models and their shortcomings, and from this developed their own model based on “learning hubs”; effectively schools within schools. Students need only leave their “learning hub” to visit facilities which the hub did not provide, like laboratories or the gym. Teachers, for all but specialised subjects, go to the students in their hub. “Science & Technology”, “Health” and “Performing & Visual Arts” would also be learning hubs but as community facilities open to both students and the public. A “street” or “square” would link learning hubs, community facilities and the school’s “front door” around a flexible social and educational space.