Innovation Exchange

Mobile Teaching Units (MTUs)


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Over time some schools can suffer from capacity issues due to either pupil population ‘spikes’ or persistent trends in increased pupil numbers within the catchment area. Where there are pupil growth ‘spikes’, there is a need for a short term, low cost accommodation option which will provide the school with the necessary accommodation until the capacity returns to its “natural” level. Where there are more long term capacity issues there would also be benefit in utilising a short term, low cost option to allow time for more fundamental and permanent options (e.g. extension or adaptation) to be assessed, designed, tendered and constructed.


Current solutions to deal with these capacity issues have usually been to provide modular units on a temporary basis. Timescales for the provision of modular units can be extremely challenging to ensure that the accommodation is in place prior to the start of the new school year. In South Lanarkshire P1 enrolment takes place at the end of January, therefore the absolute need for additional accommodation is only identified in February. This leaves approximately 5 months to design, obtain statutory consents, procure, construct and fit out units prior to the start of a new school session. The provision of these units is also very costly with recent projects being in the region of £200k to £300K each.

An innovative solution to this problem would be the provision of a ‘Mobile Teaching Unit (MTU)’ which could easily and quickly be transported to the school experiencing short term pupil pressure.




Theme: Children and Education

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The MTU will provide flexible teaching accommodation to help the affected school meet its statutory requirements in terms of educational accommodation and will also assist the school in meeting the needs and requirements of delivering the Curriculum for Excellence.

The main benefits include:


  • Capital costs savings through the ability to use the facilities time and time again at affected schools.


  • Timescale savings and ability to meet the accommodation needs of the affected school quickly.


  • Provides flexibility to meet the ever changes accommodation pressures within the school estate.

The project is currently underway and will be evaluated post implementation in 2017.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Vance Sinclair

Partnership Development Manager, Education Resources

South Lanarkshire Council

01698 452065

Case study added to site: June 2016

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