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Publication - Consultation Paper

Updating the School Premises Regulations 1967: consultation

Published: 17 Jul 2017
Part of:
Education
ISBN:
9781788510882

Consultation seeking views on the updating of the School Premises (General Requirements and Standards) Regulations 1967.

52 page PDF

3.8MB

52 page PDF

3.8MB

Contents
Updating the School Premises Regulations 1967: consultation
Annex C - Partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment

52 page PDF

3.8MB

Annex C - Partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment

1. Title of Proposal

Updating of the School Premises (General Requirements and Standards)(Scotland) Regulations 1967 ('the 1967 Regulations').

2. Purpose and intended effect

2.1 Background

The 1967 Regulations prescribe a broad minimum standard applicable in relation to certain aspects of school buildings, including areas for school sites, overall minimum internal space, playing fields, sanitary and washing accommodation, lighting, ventilation, heating etc.

The contents of the 1967 Regulations were last amended in 1973 and 1979 [20] and are now somewhat dated for 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. For example, the 1967 Regulations do not prescribe standards for accessible sanitary facilities for disabled people or allow unisex toilets that could address gender issues. The area size of school playing fields is also outdated as it does not take account of the growth of synthetic pitches ( SP) which could be met with a reduced area of provision.

The 1967 Regulations were also drafted and amended before the expansion in Early Learning and Childcare ( ELC) provision. Nursery provision has changed substantially from when the Regulations first came into force with provision now extending to 2 and 3 year olds. The Care Inspectorate through the ELC Design Guidance 'Safe to Grow' prescribe a higher space standard for under 2 year olds and 2 to under 3 year olds than the standard prescribed in the 1967 Regulations and they carry out a comprehensive inspection regime within ELC.

The Care Inspectorate apply the 1967 Regulations space standards to local authority provided early years settings but for all other partner providers they apply their own space standards, thereby operating a dual regulation system which causes confusion within the regulatory system. Given the commitment to expand the provision of ELC from 600 to 1140 hours by 2020 there are concerns that this problem will be exacerbated.

Therefore, given that the expansion in ELC provision is required by 2020 and for the other reasons outlined in paragraph 2, it is considered appropriate that the 1967 Regulations are updated.

2.2 Objective

The policy objective is to revoke unnecessary Regulations, update or retain those that remain and produce a clear set of requirements for school premises. This should have the effect of minimising bureaucracy whilst ensuring buildings are appropriate for educating children and young people and minimise risks to children's health and safety.

2.3 Rationale for Government intervention

The 1967 Regulations are well out of date and do not meet the needs of modern schools in Scotland and the expansion in ELC. The rational for intervention is to remove the application of the Regulations to ELC thus minimising regulatory burden and to remove unnecessary school-specific Regulations where this is already covered in other legislation. Where separate school-specific premises Regulations are needed, particularly with regard to the welfare of pupils or to ensure that school premises are conducive to education, these can be updated.

The proposals will contribute to the better achievement of the national outcomes:

  • Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed;
  • Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

by:

  • Facilitating a well-designed, maintained, managed school estate which encourages continuous engagement with learning.

3. Consultation

3.1 Within Government

The School Infrastructure Policy Unit has engaged with the following divisions and agencies during the development phase of the policy.

  • Local authorities, who are responsible for their school estate, ensuring the location and condition of schools meets with population patterns and educational needs.
  • Care Inspectorate who inspect services which include ELC to assess the suitability of the premises from which care is being provided.
  • sportscotland who have an interest in the provision of playing fields.
  • Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People who have an interest in the standard and quality of school toilets for pupils.
  • Scottish Government Building Standards Division who, working through Scottish Ministers, set out the essential standards for building or conversion work including preparing building regulations and writing guidance on how to meet them.

In considering the best approach to updating the 1967 Regulations the SG considered the views of the above organisations.

  • Local authorities through the ADES resource network were able to input their views on each of the Regulations and whether they met the needs of schools in the 21 st century.
  • The Care Inspectorate raised the concerns that the 1967 Regulations do not address the needs of 2 and 3 year olds particularly with the space standards which were developed when provision was for 4 to 5 year olds for 2.5 hours a day.
  • sportscotland were able to advise that if synthetic pitches ( SPs) were provided the area of playing fields could be reduced as SPs provide greater playing capacity than grass pitches.
  • Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People launched a campaign 'Flushed with Success' which looked to address the standard and quality of school toilets for pupils and aims to make sure that the quality of school toilet facilities for children is monitored and guaranteed, in the same way as for adults in the workplace.
  • The SG Building Standards Division were able to advise whether school-specific or generic Regulations and guidance were already covered in Scottish building regulations and the non-domestic Technical Handbook.

3.2 Public Consultation

A consultation on proposals to update the 1967 Regulations will run for 12 weeks during the summer. As well as directly contacting stakeholders with a known interest, the consultations are also promoted on the SG website.

Additional informal consultation meetings have been held with:

  • A representative of the ADES resources network;
  • Care Inspectorate;
  • sportscotland;
  • Commissioner for Children and Young People;
  • SG Building Standards Division.

3.3 Business Consultation

In developing proposals, the engagement in support of the Scottish Firms Impact Test will be undertaken during the public consultation. A questionnaire asking details about the proposals will be issued prior to SG visiting the identified stakeholders for face to face discussions.

These are with:

  • Design and build companies - micro business
  • Architectural firms and other consultants - micro and small business
  • Manufacturers/suppliers - small business

4. Options

4.1 The following options were considered:

1. Do nothing.
2. Remove all reference to ELC within the 1967 Regulations.
3. Produce new School Premises Regulations which will not include reference to ELC and which would update other outdated Regulations e.g. lighting.
4. Produce new School Premises Regulations which will not include reference to ELC or to other school-specific premises standards which are met by other legislation and update or retain those that remain.

Option 4 is the preferred option. The removal of the application of the Regulations to ELC and to remove unnecessary school-specific Regulations where such requirements are already covered in other legislation, will minimise the regulatory burden. Where separate school-specific premises Regulations are needed, particularly with regard to the welfare of pupils or to ensure that school premises are conducive to education, these can be updated.

4.2 Sectors and groups affected

Sectors and groups affected include:

a) Local authorities - they will need to ensure that when procuring the building or refurbishment of schools that they adhere to the new requirements within the Regulations.
b) Care Inspectorate - they will apply the ELC design guidance 'Safe to Grow' to ELC settings and have a consistent approach to these standards in both a local authority and partner provider setting.
c) Building users - people using the building whether teachers, pupils, visitors will be affected by any changes to the current provision.
d) Building designers/constructors - all those involved with building design and construction would have to familiarise themselves with the new/amended standards and guidance through training etc.
e) Verification - Local authority verifiers would have to train staff to ensure they are aware of the requirements within the new Regulations.

4.3 Benefits

The Scottish Government is committed to address the concerns that the 1967 Regulations do not satisfy the current needs of schools and ELC.

Option 1 - Do nothing. This option would not assist in addressing the concerns regarding the space standards for ELC settings and for the other out-dated regulations.

Option 2 - Remove all reference to ELC within the Regulations. This would address the concerns regarding the space standards for the expansion in ELC for 2 year olds and 2 to 3 year olds and the dual regulation system within ELC settings. However, other out of date Regulations would remain and there would still be unnecessary school-specific Regulations that are already covered in other legislation.

Option 3 - Produce new School Premises Regulations which will not include reference to ELC and which would update other Regulations. This would address the concerns regarding the space standards for the expansion in ELC for 2 year olds and 2 to 3 year olds and the dual regulatory system within ELC settings. However, there would still be unnecessary school-specific premises Regulations which are already covered in other legislation.

Option 4 - Produce new School Premises Regulations which will not include reference to ELC or to other school-specific premises standards which are met by other legislation. This will minimise the regulatory burden and ensure where separate school-specific premises Regulations are needed these can be updated or retained.

4.4 Costs

Give details of all costs (additional and savings) associated with each option you are considering.

Regulation

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

4. General Requirements

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

7. Sites for primary and secondary schools

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

If the best site is selected to meet the needs of the community then there is the potential to have cost savings. A site that perhaps would have been too small under the 1967 Regulations could be selected to build a multi-storey school. This could result in savings on land costs. Land prices for sites on which schools could be built vary across the country and even within localities will be affected by a range of factors. However, it stands to reason that where a school can be developed on a smaller site than would previously have been required, there is potential to save on the site costs. There is also potential annual school transport costs savings of £111 per primary pupil and £244 per secondary pupil [21] if the most suitable site is selected. However, as the local authorities can choose the size of site then it could be argued that the effect of the Regulation is cost neutral.

If the best site is selected to meet the needs of the community then there is the potential to have cost savings. A site that perhaps would have been too small under the 1967 Regulations could be selected to build a multi-storey school. This could result in savings on land costs. Land prices for sites on which schools could be built vary across the country and even within localities will be affected by a range of factors. However, it stands to reason that where a school can be developed on a smaller site than would previously have been required, there is potential to save on the site costs. There is also potential annual school transport costs savings of £111 per primary pupil and £244 per secondary pupil if the most suitable site is selected. However, as the local authorities can choose the size of site then it could be argued that the effect of the Regulation is cost neutral.

8. Sites for playing fields

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

There should be no extra costs as local authorities can still choose to have the minimum provision for grass playing fields. However, if local authorities choose to include SP then it is possible that the provision can be provided over a reduced area. This could result in savings on land costs, which will vary across the country and even within localities, but this would be offset by extra costs associated with SP. A grass pitch costs around £150k while a synthetic grass pitch ( SGP) around £500k [22] . However, grass pitches require higher maintenance costs of around £25-30k per annum compared to £10-15k for SGP [23] .

There should be no extra costs as local authorities can still choose to have the minimum provision for grass playing fields. However, if local authorities choose to include SP then it is possible that the provision can be provided over a reduced area. This could result in savings on land costs, which will vary across the country and even within localities, but this would be offset by extra costs associated with SP. A grass pitch costs around £150k while a SGP around £500k. However, grass pitches require higher maintenance costs of around £25-30k per annum compared to £10-15k for SGP.

9. Educational accommodation in primary schools

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

The accommodation metrics used within the Schools for the Future Programme were developed by assessing the mean accommodation area of existing primary and secondary schools in Scotland. This indicates that the minimum educational accommodation area as detailed in the 1967 Regulations were not used and that the accommodation metrics is a more realistic measure. Local authorities can also choose to build larger schools if they wish. Therefore in reality the change to this Regulation is cost neutral.

The accommodation metrics used within the Schools for the Future Programme were developed by assessing the mean accommodation area of existing primary and secondary schools in Scotland. This indicates that the minimum educational accommodation area as detailed in the 1967 Regulations were not used and that the accommodation metrics is a more realistic measure. Local authorities can also choose to build larger schools if they wish. Therefore in reality the change to this Regulation is cost neutral.

10. Educational accommodation in secondary schools

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

The accommodation metrics used within the Schools for the Future Programme were developed by assessing the mean accommodation area of existing primary and secondary schools in Scotland. This indicates that the minimum educational accommodation area as detailed in the 1967 Regulations were not used and that the accommodation metrics is a more realistic measure. Local authorities can also choose to build larger schools if they wish. Therefore in reality the change to this Regulation is cost neutral.

The accommodation metrics used within the Schools for the Future Programme were developed by assessing the mean accommodation area of existing primary and secondary schools in Scotland. This indicates that the minimum educational accommodation area as detailed in the 1967 Regulations were not used and that the accommodation metrics is a more realistic measure. Local authorities can also choose to build larger schools if they wish. Therefore in reality the change to this Regulation is cost neutral.

11. Educational accommodation in schools providing both primary and secondary education

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

12. Playroom accommodation in nursery schools and classes

Cost neutral

The space standard within the ELC design guidance 'Space to Grow' for under 2s is 3.7m², 2 and under 3s is 2.8m² and 3 and over is 2.3m². The 1967 Regulations playroom accommodation is from around 2.3m² to around 2.7m² depending on the number of pupils. Therefore, the Care Inspectorate space standards are higher. However, as covered external space will be included in the accommodation area this could result in undefined savings.

There would also be cost savings, although this is not defined, for the Care Inspectorate as they would not need to refer to two standards when carrying out their inspections.

The space standard within the ELC design guidance 'Space to Grow' for under 2s is 3.7m², 2 and under 3s is 2.8m² and 3 and over is 2.3m². The 1967 Regulations playroom accommodation is from around 2.3m² to around 2.7m² depending on the number of pupils. Therefore, the Care Inspectorate space standards are higher. However, as covered external space will be included in the accommodation area this could result in undefined savings.

There would also be cost savings, although this is not defined, for the Care Inspectorate as they would not need to refer to two standards when carrying out their inspections.

The space standard within the ELC design guidance 'Space to Grow' for under 2s is 3.7m², 2 and under 3s is 2.8m² and 3 and over is 2.3m². The 1967 Regulations playroom accommodation is from around 2.3m² to around 2.7m² depending on the number of pupils. Therefore, the Care Inspectorate space standards are higher. However, as covered external space will be included in the accommodation area this could result in undefined savings.

There would also be cost savings, although this is not defined, for the Care Inspectorate as they would not need to refer to two standards when carrying out their inspections.

13. Educational accommodation in special schools

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

14. Kitchen premises

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

There would be cost savings, although this is not defined, for those involved in the building of schools as they would not need to look at multiple legislation.

15. Sanitary accommodation for pupils

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral as the number of toilets and washbasins remain the same. However, local authorities can choose whether to have unisex toilets and urinals. While the number of baths or showers are not prescribed within the 1967 Regulations there was an expectation that these would be provided for physical education. The amendment defining the number of showers which meets the British Standard provides clarity and would be Cost Neutral.

Cost neutral as the number of toilets and washbasins remain the same. However, local authorities can choose whether to have unisex toilets and urinals. While the number of baths or showers are not prescribed within the 1967 Regulations there was an expectation that these would be provided for physical education. The amendment defining the number of showers which meets the British Standard provides clarity and would be Cost Neutral.

16. Washing accommodation for pupils

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral as the number of toilets and washbasins remain the same. However, local authorities can choose whether to have unisex toilets and urinals. While the number of baths or showers are not prescribed within the 1967 Regulations there was an expectation that these would be provided for physical education. The amendment defining the number of showers which meets the British Standard provides clarity and would be Cost Neutral.

Cost neutral as the number of toilets and washbasins remain the same. However, local authorities can choose whether to have unisex toilets and urinals. While the number of baths or showers are not prescribed within the 1967 Regulations there was an expectation that these would be provided for physical education. The amendment defining the number of showers which meets the British Standard provides clarity and would be Cost Neutral.

17. Accommodation for staff

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

There would be cost savings, although this is not defined, for those involved in the building of schools as they would not need to look at multiple legislation.

18. Medical inspection and rest room accommodation

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

19. Storage accommodation

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

There would be cost savings, although this is not defined, for those involved in the building of schools as they would not need to look at multiple legislation.

20. Outdoor educational and recreational areas

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

21. Lighting

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

22. Ventilation

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

There would be cost savings, although this is not defined, for those involved in the building of schools as they would not need to look at multiple legislation.

23. Heating

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

There would be cost savings, although this is not defined, for those involved in the building of schools as they would not need to look at multiple legislation.

24. Acoustic conditions

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

25. Water supply

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

26. Application of regulations to grant-aided schools

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Costs as detailed within this column.

Costs as detailed within this column.

27. Application of Regulations to self-governing schools

Cost neutral - Regulation is to be repealed

Cost neutral - Regulation is to be repealed

Cost neutral - Regulation is to be repealed

Cost neutral - Regulation is to be repealed

Application of Regulations to Independent Schools

Cost neutral

Cost neutral

Costs as detailed within this column.

Costs as detailed within this column.

Scottish Firms Impact Test

5. The face-to-face discussions will be carried out during and after the public consultation. The questions, responses and how business engagement will feed into the development of the proposal and will be completed at the post-consultation stage as part of the Final Stage BRIA.

5.1 Competition Assessment

Assessment has been based on Options 2, 3 and 4 as Option 1 proposes no change and therefore imposes no actions that may incur additional costs.

The building of schools are large infrastructure projects and therefore it is larger businesses that are likely to be involved in their construction.

The four competition filter questions provided within the Office of Fair Trading guidelines for policy makers on competition assessment were applied and it is considered that the proposed updating of the 1967 Regulations will not impact on competition within the market place.

i.e.

  • Updating and simplifying the Regulations will not directly or indirectly limit the number or range of suppliers.
  • Updating and simplifying the Regulations will not limit the ability of suppliers to compete.
  • Updating and simplifying the Regulations will not limit suppliers' incentives to compete vigorously.
  • Updating and simplifying the Regulations will not limit the choices and information available to consumers.

5.2 Test run of business forms

No new forms associated with this proposal are expected.

6. Legal Aid Impact Test

It is not envisaged that there will be any greater demands placed on the legal system by this proposal. Accordingly, it is not considered that there will be any effect on individuals' right of access to justice through availability of legal aid or possible expenditure from the legal aid fund.

Enforcement, sanctions and monitoring

7.1 Background

Local Authorities are responsible for ensuring that they meet the requirements of the School Premises Regulations. The new Regulations will be published on the Scottish Government web-site. All matters relating to enforcement, sanctions and monitoring will be carried out under the existing processes.

7.2 Enforcement and sanctions

It is the responsibility of Local Authorities to ensure they meet the requirements of the School Premises Regulations.

If the requirements of the School Premises Regulations are not met then under

Section 70 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 ('the 1980 Act') any interested person may make a complaint to the Scottish Ministers that a responsible body, such as an education authority, has failed to discharge any duty under the 1980 Act or any other enactment relating to education. The Scottish Ministers may make an order requiring the responsible body to carry out that duty, but before they do so, they must be satisfied that there has been a failure to discharge it. The Scottish Ministers are empowered, but not obliged, to make an order declaring a responsible body to be in default of a statutory duty.

7.3 Monitoring

The School Infrastructure Unit will review the implementation of the new Regulations with regular discussions with Local Authorities through the ADES Resources Network.

8. Implementation and delivery plan

8.1 Implementation

Option 4 will be taken forward by producing new School Premises Regulations which will not include reference to ELC or to other school-specific premises standards which are met by other legislation. The proposed changes will be subject to a 12 week period of public consultation beginning the summer of 2017. This will give a familiarisation lead-in time for stakeholders before the proposed new School Premises Regulations come into force the early part of 2018.

8.2 Implementation Period

The proposed updating of the School Premises Regulations are relevant to any party responsible for building schools. The proposed changes are planned for publication in the early part of 2018 pending the findings from the public consultation.

8.3 Post-Implementation Review

There will be continuous monitoring by the School Infrastructure Unit of the implementation of the proposals and through feedback from the ADES resources network. Any issues raised will be used to inform any future review which will take place within 10 years of the updating of the School Premises Regulations.

Summary and recommendation

Option 4 is being recommended. The removal of the application of the Regulations to ELC and to remove unnecessary school-specific Regulations where such requirements are already covered in other legislation, will minimise the regulatory burden.

  • Summary costs and benefits table

Option

Total benefit per annum:

  • economic, environmental, social

Total cost per annum:

  • economic, environmental, social
  • policy and administrative

1

No benefits

Cost Neutral

2

Removal of dual regulation system.

Care Inspectorate will have the responsibility of ensuring Early Learning and Childcare ( ELC) meet the standards prescribed within the ELC design guidance 'Safe to Grow'.

Although the space standards are higher within the Care Inspectorate standards, covered external space is included within the standard. This could result in cost savings.

There would be cost savings, although this is not defined, as the Care Inspectorate would not need to refer to two standards when carrying out their inspections.

As covered external space will be included in the accommodation area this could result in undefined savings.

3

As per option 2 and:

The best site to build a school is selected that meets the needs of the community.

The best site may increase active travel, improving health and wellbeing and reducing travel costs.

Local authorities can choose to have a mix of grass pitches and SP.

SP have lower maintenance costs and can accommodate significant levels of use by both school and community.

Accommodation metrics will be used which have been developed by assessing the mean accommodation area of existing primary and secondary schools in Scotland and is therefore a more realistic measure.

The number of toilets and washbasins will remain the same which is a higher provision than the British Standard 6465-1: 2006.

There will be equality benefits in that unisex toilets will be permissible and accessible toilets although always provided under the building standards legislation will be included within these Regulations.

There will be clarity given in the number of showers required for pupils involved in physical education.

As per option 2 and:

There is the potential of savings in land costs if a smaller site is selected.

There is the potential of savings on transport costs of around £111 per annum for a primary pupil and £244 for a secondary pupil if the most suitable site is selected.

If SP are used it is possible that the provision can be provided over a reduced area. There could be savings in land costs.

SGP are a higher cost at around £500,000 while a grass pitch costs around £150,000. Grass pitches have a higher maintenance cost of around £43k per annum compared to £14k for SGP.

4

As per option 3 and:

Those responsible for building schools would not need to look at the school premises Regulations for certain standards as it is covered by other legislation.

As per option 3 and:

There would be cost savings, although this is not defined, for those involved in the building of schools not needing to look at the school premises Regulation as it is covered by other legislation.

Declaration and publication

The Cabinet Secretary or Minister responsible for the policy (or the Chief Executive of non departmental public bodies and other agencies if appropriate) is required to sign off all BRIAs prior to publication. Use appropriate text from choices below:

  • Sign-off for Partial BRIAs:

I have read the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment and I am satisfied that, given the available evidence, it represents a reasonable view of the likely costs, benefits and impact of the leading options. I am satisfied that business impact will be assessed during the public consultation with the support of businesses in Scotland.

Signed:

Date: 27 June 2017

John Swinney, Member of Scottish Parliament
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

Scottish Government Contact point:
Veronica Smith,

Learning Directorate, School Infrastructure Unit,
Area 2A South, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ

Email: veronica.smith@gov.scot


Contact

Email: Veronica Smith

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG