School estates: condition reporting core facts

Guidance for local authorities reporting on the condition of school estates.

5 Key Points

This section is provided to summarise, for ease of reference, the main points in this document along with changes from the previous version.

1. Aims - the refreshed guidance aims to provide additional rigour and consistency using a risk-based approach to further improve the condition and safety of the school estate.

2. Condition - concerned with the current state of the fabric of the school and with safety and security.

3. Blocks - the requirement to provide reports based on the GIFA of the schools in each of the conditions A to D, based on the surveys of individual blocks, has been reinstated along with the overall condition of the school.

4. Reporting - condition core fact information should be maintained up to date by local authorities in a manner that suits their reporting cycle. It will be collected by the Scottish Government annually, based on the situation at 1st April each year.

5. Scope - condition core fact reports should be provided for all school types: primary, secondary and ASN. Where early learning and childcare settings are on the same site these should be included and treated as part of the school.

6. Exclusions - the following accommodation facilities should be excluded from condition Core Fact reports:

  • parts of the school given over entirely to a use that is not part of the school operation, e.g. community services, local authority services or other non-school related purpose;
  • facilities (such as sports facilities) operated by others, to which the school has access;
  • staff houses and accommodation for pupils; and
  • playing fields placed out of use as part of planned construction or refurbishment work.

7. Accessibility - accessibility requirements under the Equality Act are excluded from condition, and are to be addressed under suitability.

8. Frequency - a full condition survey of the school estate should be carried out at least every five years and between the full condition surveys the condition data should be reviewed at least on an annual basis, using a risk based assessment. Dates will now be recorded to demonstrate when full surveys and annual intermediate surveys have been undertaken.

9. Latent defects - condition surveyors have to be much more aware of the potential for latent defects and prepared to recommend intrusive surveys or specialist investigation when there is any doubt regarding non-accessible areas of the building or information regarding potential defects in similar buildings.

10. Workbook and weightings - it is essential for the achievement of the consistency of condition ratings, that the condition of the schools is judged at elemental level, using the weighting and scoring system set out in the workbook to aggregate the information to provide an overall condition rating for the schools. Also, that a review and validation process is undertaken to ensure the final results are appropriate.

11. Documented process - good practice dictates that the process for assessing the overall condition of the school as reported to the Scottish Government should be documented, and that suitable records of the process should be kept. These should provide an auditable trail, and facilitate continuous improvement and benchmarking.

12. Compliance - this is a new section based on key aspects of statutory and non-statutory property compliance and has been introduced to allow authorities to demonstrate compliance as part of a greater emphasis on safer buildings.


Back to top