I set up School Works to look at the connections between learning and the built environment, in response to a government decision in 1998 to invest millions in re-furbishing school buildings. The aim was to support schools to think about what environments might best support 21st century learning. Our first partner school was Kingsdale in South London. At the start of the project Kingsdale, a large inner city comprehensive was officially classified as failing and unable to receive funding. We argued that such a school was exactly the place that should receive investment. A broad participative project engaged with the curriculum, pastoral care, management and wider community concerns. The architects deRijkeMarshMorgan won a competition to re-design the building around the resulting ideas. In 2004 Kingsdale was recognised as one of the UK’s top 20 most improved schools and an independent evaluation by PriceWaterhouseCoopers recommended the widespread adoption of the project principles and process. School Works Ltd worked with a further 52 schools always putting pupils, staff and the wider community at the heart of the projects.