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School Infrastructure Unit
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School Estates Strategy

In response to the 2008 Audit Scotland report 'Improving the school estate', the Scottish Government, jointly with COSLA, developed a new school estate strategy, which was published in 2009: Building Better Schools: Investing in Scotland's Future. This sets out the national and local governments shared vision, aspirations and principles for the efficient and effective management of the school estate.

School Estates Conference

Scotland's Schools Estate Conferences

Listed are all Scotland’s School Estate Conferences with agendas and presentations


Guidance documents which were issued as part of the existing strategy are listed below, with most recent publications first. Hard copies of these publications can be requested by emailing schoolestate@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

  Title Year


Capacity Guidance 2014 Determining Primary School Capacity 2014 Guidance for Local Authorities on the determination of the capacity of Primary Schools in Scotland, with the aim to provide a more consistent approach to calculating the capacity of schools across the country.
Building Better Schools Publication Building Better Schools: Investing in Scotland's Future 2009 Building Better Schools: Investing in Scotland's Future, is the new school estate strategy which builds upon and supersedes the previous strategy published in 2003. The Strategy is relevant to all parts of the school learning environment - the building and spaces, the grounds, the fixtures and facilities, even the furniture - and to all schools, not just those being replaced or refurbished. It focuses firmly on those who benefit from improvements to the estate - the pupils, the staff, the parents and the wider community.

Suitability Core Fact

2008 The Suitability Core Fact seeks to provide a measure of the extent to which a school building and its grounds are appropriate in providing an environment which supports quality learning and teaching and those other services provided to individual children and to the school community, in terms of practicality, accessibility and convenience. Schools are rated from A to D.

School Estate

Condition Core Fact


Guidance for local authorities on the assessment of school condition. This guidance outlines some changes to the current system and provides a suggested assessment methodology, including a scoring and weighting system. Two case studies are included to illustrate the suggested methodology.

School Estate School Design: Optimising the internal environment 2007 Guidance for local authorities on internal environmental conditions in schools. This guidance covers internal air quality ( IAQ), heating, ventilation and acoustics in school buildings. The document suggests ways in which local authorities might consider improving internal environmental comfort to create better learning and teaching environments.
School Estate Post Occupancy Evaluation Workshop 2005 Developments and experiences of schools evaluation with local authorities.
School Estate Post Occupancy Evaluation - Braes High School, Falkirk 2005 The Scottish Executive commissioned Chris Watson to undertake a demonstration evaluation of Braes High School in Falkirk. The exercise involved interviews with groups of stakeholders (including staff, pupils, managers, council officials and community users) to seek their views about what was good, and what was not so good, about their school building.
School Estate Output Specification 2004 For local authorities preparing an output specification for PPP projects.
School Estate Option Appraisal 2004 Provides advice to local authorities on how to carry out an assessment of investment options.
School Estate Evaluation 2004 To help local authorities evaluate how well a completed school building project meets the needs of the school's community, including students, parents and staff.
School Estate Managing Schools During Construction Projects 2004 Aimed principally at Head Teachers and school management teams to assist in planning and managing the tasks they may face during a major construction project.
School Estate Sustainability 2004 Outlines the principles to consider and the process to follow, in order to achieve a sustainable school.