School estates: suitability reporting core facts

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

05 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 further improve the consistency and robustness of the reporting of the suitability core fact. It also aims to strengthen the links between the school estate and its suitability for delivering Curriculum for Excellence.

2. Suitability - a measure of whether a school is fit for the purpose of delivering the education curriculum.

3. Reporting - suitability 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.

4. Scope - the suitability of schools in all three integrated sectors (primary, secondary and ASN) are assessed.

5. Accessibility - accessibility requirements under the Equality Act are dealt with here under suitability.

6. Sufficiency - schools are now assessed for their suitability based on the current pupil roll.

7. Assessors - those best placed to assess the suitability of the school are the school management team(s) and faculty heads, along with the education core team from the authority.

8. Methodology - the methodology is similar to previous and to promote greater consistency the illustrative exemplars for the 'A' to 'D' rankings are now provided along with an expansion of the 'spaces'.

9. Weightings - major 'areas' have been subdivided into intermediate 'areas' to aid completion of assessment and bring a consistency of approach to assessing overall suitability of the schools.

10. Comments - request for feedback, for a local authority's own purposes, on what is working well to consider if the success can be replicated, along with identifying what is influencing 'C' and 'D' ratings.

11. Frequency - suitability surveys are to be carried out, as a minimum, every 5 years or when specific triggers occur and reviewed annually.

12. Consistency - additional measures have been introduced throughout the process to improve consistency in the results.

13. Assessment worksheets - the original 6 'areas' remain and have been revised to assist the assessor when preparing the ratings for the various types of accommodation by providing optional area types and grading examples to obtain greater compatibility of the data.

14. Workbook - Excel spreadsheets for entering and collating the data have been simplified and consolidated.

15. Documented process - good practice dictates that the process for assessing the overall suitability 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.



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