Professor Peter Barrett

Emeritus Professor of Management in Property and Construction

Professor Barrett is a past President of the UN-established International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB). He is Emeritus Professor of Management in Property and Construction at Salford University in the UK and Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education at Oxford University. Peter is an international advisor to the OECD and the US-based Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture and American Institute of Architects. He has produced over one hundred and seventy single volume publications, refereed papers and reports, and has made over one hundred and ten presentations in around sixteen countries.

Professor Barrett has undertaken a wide range of research. He is currently focusing on the theme of Senses, Brain and Spaces with a particular interest in the area of school design and achieving optimal learning spaces. The findings of this work have, for the first time, isolated a significant influence of “Clever Classrooms” on variations in pupils’ learning. This has directly influenced, for example, the US Green Building Council and the Norwegian Education Directorate.
Peter now carries out strategic consultancy on optimising the impact of school buildings on learning, most recently for the World Bank in Romania and, in the UK, for the Girls’ Day School Trust and the Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School.


Future Learning

28 February 2018 | 12:00 - 12:30 | English | Top 10 ways to innovate the primary school classroom

Professor Peter Barrett is a Professor in the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford in the UK. He will be presenting the findings of his HEAD report as a keynote speaker at GESS, brought to the event by Gratnells.  This report is the result of extensive research into the effects of the built classroom environment on student engagement and achievement, and the workshop – 10 Top Tips, will explore the practical things teachers can do with existing classrooms, at minimal cost, to maximise the learning outcomes for young learners.’ This talk is sponsored by Gratnells.

GESS Talks Arena

28 February 2018 | 13:30 - 14:00 | English | Maximising the Impact of the Educational Infrastructure on Learning

Huge amounts of money are invested in creating and maintaining buildings and spaces for education around the world. A lot of it fails to have the maximum impact it could on the key aspect of education – learning.

Building on recent, ground-breaking work with his research team, Professor Barrett will set out the critical characteristics of the physical environment in order to maximise students’ progress in learning. Radical neuro-informed ideas have been extensively tested in the UK context through the HEAD (Holistic Evidence and Design) research project. This established, for the first time, connections between features of the physical environment in schools and their impacts on the learning progress of thousands of pupils.  Alongside more obvious factors, such as good light and air quality, novel aspects linked to individualisation and the ambient level of stimulation have now been evidenced as being just as important for learning.

These results are now being taken up around the world with further development of the ideas in Norway, the US, in Romania with the World Bank, and with private boys’ and girls’ schools in the UK.  This new and practical evidence base provides a basis for confident leadership in decisions to innovate in the educational infrastructure, whether existing or new. Sponsored by Gratnells

Innovation Stage

28 February 2018 | 15:00 - 16:00 | English | How to Make the Most of Your Classroom and How to Get Students Involved in Active Learning

Drawing on many years of experience, Professor Peter Barrett and Dr Paul Swan will be running a joint workshop to explore ways in which teachers can make the most of their classroom environment to enhance learning outcomes, and also practical activities that get students involved in active learning – participating and collaborating in learning exercises that increase engagement and improve learning outcomes.
This practical workshop will relate to daily experiences within the classroom, and demonstrate how simple strategies and solutions can make a lasting impact on student engagement and the enjoyment of learning. Sponsored by Gratnells