This Government is committed to ensuring that our schools are first class places to learn and develop and that they demonstrate a commitment to the highest design and environmental standards. Good design and spaces inspire, stimulate, challenge and support pupils and teachers.
The school estate strategy; Building Better Schools: Investing in Scotland's Future which was jointly released with COSLA back in 2009 is as relevant now as it was then. It sets out the national and local governments shared vision, aspirations and principles for the efficient and effective management of the school estate.
Investment in schools represent a major component of Scotland's investment in its people, communities and their futures. During the last 9 years (2007-08 to 2015-16) 651 school building projects have been completed and the proportion of schools in good or satisfactory condition has increased from 61% in 2007 to 84% in 2016.
However, the School Premises (General Requirements and Standards) (Scotland) Regulations 1967 that prescribe a broad minimum standard that the premises or equipment of schools have to meet are now somewhat out of date and it is timely that we take time to update these. This consultation is about seeking your views on the updating of these Regulations to ensure they meet the needs of modern schools in Scotland, such as 2-18 year olds all through schools, school campuses as well as the traditional stand-alone schools.
This consultation is not about the design and construction required for compliance with building regulations, but what the minimum standards should be in our schools such as internal space, outdoor space, playing fields and the provision of sanitary facilities etc. These Regulations provide protection to ensure that no schools fall below an expected standard. Indeed, some of the provisions within the Regulations provide greater protection, such as the provision of sanitary facilities, where the number of facilities required in many instances is greater than the current British Standard.
I hope you are able to contribute your views on these proposals and I invite you to let us know what you think.
Deputy First Minister and
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills
Email: Veronica Smith
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House