When it comes to delivering an education to our kids, it’s natural to assume that teachers play the most significant role in schools nationwide. However, the education infrastructure that exists in schools can also have a massive bearing on your child’s personal and academic development, from the classrooms that they sit in to the laboratories that they use.
In short, schools that have benefitted from investment and developed a comprehensive infrastructure are proven to deliver the best learning outcomes, while also leveraging economies of scale to achieve considerable cost savings.
In this article, we’ll explore the importance of infrastructure further, while looking at how this translates into superior facilities and a better learning experience for children.
- Investment in Infrastructure can Boost Learning by 16%
According to one study that reviewed the holistic impact of classroom spaces on a child’s economic development, the various environmental and design elements of a school’s infrastructure combine to deliver improvements of up to 16% in students’ academic process.
In simple terms, the design of education infrastructure can affect learning through three interrelated factors; namely naturalness, stimulation and individualisation. These relate to the air quality, colour combination and flexibility of specific learning spaces, and investing in a scientific and strategic design will aid the concentration and performance of students.
Of course, the issue is that most schools in the UK are publicly funded, meaning that their decisions tend to be made based on finance rather than the optimal design of individual classrooms.
This represents something of a false economy, however, as developing the infrastructure of classrooms and investing more in this can directly benefits students.
2. The Provision of Hot Meals Aids Attendance and Academic Performance
Since 2014, every child in reception, year one and year two classes across England and Wales have been in receipt of a free hot lunch whilst at school. This is regardless of their household income, while this government-backed policy has improved the nutritional intake of children and triggered a sharp improvement in academic performance and exam results.
Historically, free hot meals were only available to people based on their level of household income, which in turn created an unfair social stigma for families who applied. This could have a subsequent impact on a child’s social development and attendance, which in turn damaged their academic performance over time.
This necessary investment into school’s kitchens and equipment can also improve efficiency from the school’s perspective. Providing meals on a larger scale leads to economies of scale and potential savings for the school.
The academic performance of the poorest kids in schools has also improved markedly, so while this demographic has not benefitted materially from the initiative they have revelled in a more inclusive environment.
3. The Benefits of Sports on Academic Performance
It’s well-known that organised and well-structured youth sports provide various benefits for children, which is why so many schools look to invest in infrastructure and outdoor facilities for their students.
While many believe that students who regularly practice sport are likely to see their academic grades drop, the facts are those who engage in physical activity perform better in the classroom and learn a number of critical life skills.
Sports require memorisation, learning and repetition, for example, and the skills can be directly applied to classwork and academic study. Athletes also tend to be focused and determined, which are crucial qualities when looking to learn complex topics and areas of study.
Make no mistake; the positive experiences created by sport can play an active role in a young student’s life, which is why investing in the relevant infrastructure can make schools far more engaging.