Updating the School Premises Regulations 1967: consultation

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

Regulations that are to be removed

General Requirements

Regulation 4 [9]

42. This Regulation requires that education authorities seek written approval from Scottish Ministers before the commencement for works for the erection of any school building or new premises for an existing school at a cost in excess of £1m. This relates to the historical situation at that time of how school infrastructure development was funded.

43. The current situation is that local authorities have their own capital programme, to deliver both national and local investment priorities. The Scottish Government allocates a proportion of its capital budget directly to local government [10] to support those infrastructure investment programmes. Local authorities are able to supplement their funding from the Scottish Government through borrowing, using receipts from asset sales and other income. Therefore this Regulation is no longer required.

Question 12: Do you agree that this Regulation can be removed? If not, why not?

Sites for primary and secondary schools

Regulation 7 [11] :

44. The size of site for a primary or secondary school or a joint campus will relate to the size of school and the number of pupils to be accommodated. Class size requirements will also influence the number of classrooms required and therefore the size of the school. As well as the educational accommodation there needs to be sufficient space for outdoor spaces (excluding school playing fields), bicycle racks, school transport drop-off points etc.

45. Site selection will be determined by the nature of the educational provision, the types of outdoor learning experiences and recreational activities that will take place at the potential site and the accessibility for the local community etc. In some communities there may be competing pressure on land availability and there may be instances where a suitable site is available but does not meet the existing size of site requirements. A multi-storey school in this context may provide an ideal educational provision, but the current requirements would not allow this unless approved by Scottish Ministers.

46. Therefore, it is proposed that the size of site will not be prescribed in the Regulations but it is for local authorities to select the most appropriate and suitable site that meets the needs of the community, taking account of the accommodation metrics, class size requirements and outdoor space. This means looking at the school as an entity which embraces all of its functions, learning, recreation, social, cultural in relationship to its surroundings and to the local community.

Question 13: Do you agree that this Regulation can be removed? If not, why not?

Playroom accommodation in nursery schools and classes

Regulation 12 [12] :

47. Nursery provision has changed substantially from when the Regulations first came into force with provision extending to 2 and 3 year olds. The needs of this younger age group is different and the accommodation should be appropriate for their needs.

48. The Care Inspectorate regulate and inspect care services such as day-care and nursery provision and ensure that services comply with the School Premises Regulations and their own guidance. However, as their guidance has different accommodation metrics than the School Premises Regulations there is the potential for different inspection standards between local authority run premises and the private sector. The Care Inspectorate have worked with education authorities in developing the ELC design guidance 'Space to Grow'.

49. It is not considered to be appropriate for there to be two systems in operation within this sector. As the Care Inspectorate carry out inspections and only register businesses to operate if they meet the requirements in the current ELC design guidance 'Space to Grow' and the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (Requirement for Care Services) Regulations 2011 then this provides assurances that the space provided in nursery schools and classes does not compromise the health and safety of young children. This Regulation is therefore no longer needed.

Question 14: Do you agree that this Regulation and all other reference to ELC within the Regulations is no longer required and can be removed? If not, why not?

Kitchen premises

Regulation 14 [13] :

50. Food hygiene is covered by the Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and it sets out the basic hygiene requirements for premises, facilities and staff involved in the preparation and serving of food. The area accommodation metrics includes an area for kitchens and dining so it is considered that these provisions do not need duplicating with a separate Regulation within the School Premises Regulations.

Question 15: Do you agree that this Regulation can be removed? If not, why not?

Washing accommodation for pupils

Regulation 16 [14] :

51. It is proposed that the provision in this Regulation is instead covered in the revised toilets and washing facilities Regulation (see paragraph 30 above).

Question 16: Do you agree that this Regulation is no longer required as it is met within the revised toilets and washing facilities Regulation? If not, why not?

Accommodation for staff

Regulation 17 [15] :

52. The current Regulation requires that accommodation including cloakroom and sanitary accommodation, is provided for staff. However, Regulation 11, 23 and 25 of the WRs cover requirements for workstations and seating for staff, accommodation for clothing and facilities for rest and to eat meals. The Technical Handbook also details the sanitary requirements for non-domestic buildings. Therefore, it is considered that a specific Regulation on staff accommodation is unnecessary.

Question 17: Do you agree that this Regulation can be removed? If not, why not?

Storage accommodation

Regulation 19 [16] :

53. This Regulation covers the provision of storage accommodation of material in support of education and for the storage of pupils outdoor clothing and other belongings to permit the safe and convenient passage of persons and goods within buildings. Regulation 17 of the WRs require that every workplace is organised in such a way that people can circulate in a safe manner. As this is a health and safety requirement and the area accommodation metrics also include an element of storage then it is considered that a Regulation on storage is unnecessary.

Question 18: Do you agree that this Regulation can be removed? If not, why not?


Regulation 22 [17] :

54. The Technical Handbook (3.14) offers guidance to appropriate level of ventilation to buildings. Ventilation requirements are also coved in Regulation 6 of the WRs. Therefore it is considered that a specific Regulation on ventilation is unnecessary.

Question 19: Do you agree that this Regulation can be removed? If not, why not?


Regulation 23 [18] :

55. Heating and cooling requirements are covered in Regulation 7 of the WRs.

The Approved Code of Practice ( ACOP) accompanying this Regulation sets minimum temperatures for rooms, differentiating between those that accommodate normal levels of activity and those where more active work takes place, and advises on local heating and cooling where needed. Therefore it is considered that a school-specific Regulation is unnecessary.

Question 20: Do you agree this Regulation can be removed? If not, why not?

Self-Governing Schools

Regulation 27 [19]

56. This Regulation applies the standards to the premises and equipment of self-governing schools. The Self-Governing Schools etc. (Scotland) Act 1989 was repealed in 2000 and there are no self-governing schools in Scotland. Therefore it is considered that Regulation in this area is not necessary.

Question 21: Do you agree this Regulation can be removed? If not, why not?


Email: Veronica Smith

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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