Marland School

Torrington, Devon

Project Details


Devon County Council

Project Manager

NPS Group


NPS Group


Morgan Sindall



Contract Period

98 weeks

Procurement Type

Build with CDP

Form of Contract

NEC ECC Option A





Project Summary

Marland School is a pioneering establishment and makes up one of 10 special schools in the Devon wide SENtient Co-operative Foundation Trust, maintained by Devon County Council’s Local Education Authority.

These outstanding school accommodation buildings, funded by Devon County Council were a two phase development creating a new Specialised Educational Needs facility in North Devon. The first phase was to create a new traditional build accommodation block for the provision of 25 new term-time residential places for Year 6 to 11 male students from across Devon.

Attractively dressed in vertical larch timber cladding sat on brickwork, the building blends effortlessly with the surrounding environment. The traditional build structure comprised of strip foundations, insitu concrete, with block and brick external walls, timber trussed roofing, along with metal cladding finishing off the highly sustainable build. Marland School is a highly energy efficient, environmentally friendly building for future generations.

The second phase focused on the refurbishment of existing residential accommodation within the main school. This included widening corridors, forming openings, layout changes and new electrical and mechanical installations. The main aim of the project was to provide separation of educational and residential accommodation.

Phase 2 of the project was completed in conjunction with the building being occupied with pupils. Both phases were completed successfully on time, within the 92 weeks period and receiving Perfect Delivery by the client.

Key Challenges

The safeguarding of pupils was the main priority throughout the works, with full segregation of the works, high security measures and strict access/ egress controls to and from site. Any potential disruptive works such as the isolation and installation of services during Phase 1, were undertaken during the school holidays, when the building was unoccupied. These overlapped works between Phases 1 and 2 of the refurbishment were required to be completed before students occupied the completed Phase 1 area, allowing the Phase 2 work area to be isolated.

Coordinating deliveries in a small village location with unsuitable roads for articulated lorries: Deliveries were scheduled on ridged loads or broken down to small lorries. The roof trusses were re-designed to arrive in two sections and bolted on-site due to transit restrictions.

Project Takeaways

Our Success

  • Creating a positive transition for pupils, allowing students to visit the new residential accommodation and interacting positively with them and answering any questions.
  • Providing a smooth process for all parties; ensuring any client concerns and issues were dealt with promptly throughout the project.
  • Regular safety meetings and security was critical, particularly within a live SEN school, these ensured the site was always safe and to a high standard.

Our Learnings

  • There were minor isolated quality issues, however these were quickly resolved.
  • The tender period was challenging and longer than expected, therefore regular communication of delays is required.

Value Added

  • Extensive VE was carried out, generating a saving of £190k.
  • Both phases of the project were completed successfully on time, within the 92 weeks period and received Perfect Delivery from the client.

KPI’s & Statistics

ContractGateway 2 Planning Gateway 3 Contract AgreementVariation
Time74 weeks78 weeks5.4%