Case study: Isle of Wight council schools - Relocation project


The Isle of Wight County Council planned to restructure its educational system from three tiers to two and to reduce and consolidate its schools over a number of locations.

Key issues

Middle schools were to be relocated to existing primary or junior schools.

Some new build was required at existing sites as the Council created new classrooms and structures on its existing sites.

Sixteen schools were to be relocated over a six week period.

There was a critical timeline, as all work needed to be completed prior to term time starting in September.

In line with its policy for supporting the island community, the Council stipulated that 40% of the labour to support the relocation had to be sourced from the island.

Part way through the programme, an additional school was added and additional work had to be undertaken to reschedule the plan.


During the planning phase, a project office was set up which included the Educational Department, the Construction company Wilmott Dixon and the Pickfords project team. This meant that all parties worked closely together for the duration of the project. 

Pickfords supplied an onsite project manager, who worked closely with the other parties.

To meet the labour stipulations, Pickfords recruited and trained labour from the Isle of Wight to work on the project.

The move project was operationally directed from Pickfords’ facility in Fareham.

A pre-project plan was created to plan the programme of work and to define the complete relocation process.

The moves included the relocation of heavy sports equipment, musical equipment, laboratories, classroom resources as well as computer equipment and outside play equipment.

Pickfords deployed a space planning and labelling system to manage the relocation of all equipment from one location to another.

The moves were phased over a six week period.

Typical resources utilised were: two vehicles, five porters per day for four days per move.


The project ran smoothly and was completed one week early, which allowed the schools to prepare for the new term. The project was delivered on time and within budget, despite unexpected changes to the programme. The depth of Pickfords’ resources meant that the changes could be accommodated within the time line.

Client feedback

"I just wanted to pass on my sincere thanks for all the hard work that the team put in over the summer period. It was a mammoth task that we undertook and thanks to Robin’s fantastic organisational skills and calm manner, it went better than I could ever have imagined. The schools went back last week and I have had lots of messages of thanks for our efforts over the holidays. The decanting process was a great success and everyone should feel proud of the part they played in it."

Josie Clark
Capital Project Officer

Schools Reorganisation, Isle of Wight Council.

Need to chat? We'll call you back
We'll Call You Back

* indicates required field