Updating the School Premises Regulations 1967: consultation

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


Legislation applying to school premises only

5. The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 provides the powers to Scottish Ministers to prescribe standards for premises of educational establishments in Regulations [2] . The current standards are set out in the 1967 Regulations. Education Authorities and the managers of any grant-aided school must ensure that the premises and equipment of any educational establishment under their management conform to those standards.

Legislation applying to different types of buildings, including schools

6. There is other legislation that applies to all buildings, including schools. This includes:

7. All new educational and day care buildings, must be designed and built in accordance with the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 ('the building regulations'). The Scottish Building Standards Technical Handbook for Non-Domestic Buildings ( Technical Handbook) provides guidance on ways of complying with the building regulations, which in some instances includes reference to British Standards. Similarly, such buildings which undergo extension, alteration or conversion must also meet the standards (for the new work being carried out) and be subject to building warrant approval.

8. Compliance with the above legislation provides buildings that secure the health, safety and well-being of pupils and staff, as well as providing buildings that are energy efficient and sustainable. However, those who are responsible for schools also need to ensure that the premises are suitable for education and that pupils are provided with facilities to deliver their education (such as playing fields) or to ensure that pupils' specific welfare needs are met. Further, the needs of employees are not necessarily the same as pupils.

Other relevant legislation/guidance etc.

National Care Standards - Early Learning and Childcare

9. The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 set up the Care Inspectorate,

which has a scrutiny and improvement role taking account of standards and outcomes issued by Scottish Ministers. On 9 June 2017 Ministers issued new Health and Social Care Standards ( http://www.gov.scot/publications/health-social-care-standards-support-life//0) to fulfil this duty. The Care Inspectorate's scrutiny and improvement role includes Early Learning and Childcare ( ELC) settings ensuring they meet the Health and Social Care Standards and the ELC design guidance 'Space to Grow' and in doing so will ensure the suitability of the premises for the care provided.

10. The Care Inspectorate can also issue recommendations for improvement and requirements for change and can seek to cancel a registration for operation in very serious cases. As the Care Inspectorate carry out a comprehensive inspection regime within ELC, it seems unnecessary to duplicate legislation in this area within the 1967 Regulations. The intention is therefore to remove all reference to ELC within the 1967 Regulations.

National Care Standards - School Care Accommodation Services

11. There were minimum standards for boarding accommodation in the School Premises (Standards and General Requirements)(Scotland) Regulations 1959, but these have since been repealed. The accommodation standards are no longer set down in legislation but are based on established practices and procedures.

12. The Care Inspectorate is responsible for regulating school care accommodation services. If a school offers boarding facilities it must be registered with the Care Inspectorate as a school care accommodations service. The Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland work together to deliver an integrated service for the regulation and inspection of these services.

13. Therefore, this is an existing example of an area where the School Premises Regulations have been repealed but the environment has been taken into account as part of the inspection process.


Email: Veronica Smith

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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