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BUILDINGBULLETIN77

BUILDING BULLETIN 77

Designing for Pupils with Special Educational Needs and
Disabilities in Schools

Revised and updated 2005




















































department for
education and skills
creating opportunity, releasing potential, achieving excellence



The education of children with special educational needs is a key challenge for the
nation. It is vital to the creation of a fully inclusive society in which all members see
themselves as valued for the contribution they make. We owe children whatever
their particular needs and circumstances the opportunity to develop to their full
potential, to contribute economically, and to play a full part as active citizens.

David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, Meeting Special
Educational Needs: A Programme of Action, DfEE, 1998.



Inclusive design:

places people at the heart of the design process
acknowledges human diversity and difference
offers choice where a single design solution cannot accommodate all users;
provides for flexibility in use
aims to provide buildings and environments that are convenient, equitable
and enjoyable to use by every one, regardless of ability, age and gender

Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE), 2004.















Audience

This guidance is relevant for all local education authorities, diocesan boards of
education, school governing bodies, non-maintained schools, charities or charitable
trusts and independent schools.

This information is written mainly for providers, education advisers, architects,
designers and building contractors on schoolbuilding projects. It may also be of
assistance to head teachers and their staff.


Scope

This building bulletin supersedes the previous edition of Building Bulletin 77:
Designing for pupils with special educational needs, Special Schools. It sets out
guidance which applies to all schools in England where there are likely to be pupils
who have special educational needs and disabilities. It provides information for those
involved in building new school accommodation, or adapting, modifying and/or
extending existing premises. Its audience includes:

all local community schools with or without specialist facilities or with
additionally resourced provision (LEA-maintained or voluntary-aided)
independent schools and academies (state-funded independent schools)
non-maintained schools, charities or charitable trusts which provide education
all special schools, day or residential, co-located or stand-alone community
special schools, (LEA-maintained or voluntary-aided), as well as non-
maintained schools run by charities or charitable trusts and independent
special schools

This guidance may also be relevant for the responsible body with oversight for pupil-
referral units, learning-support units or education centres.


How to use this document

The introduction sets out the current context for pupils who have special educational
needs in all schools.
Part 1 describes the key issues which designers need to understand when
commencing a project. It outlines the legal framework and educational context for
this.
Part 2 provides general information about the main categories of special educational
need and describes the ways in which provision can be made to meet these.

Part 3 covers how LEAs strategic planning will assist in the decision-making and
briefing processes to meet local needs. The different types of educational provision
are then discussed more fully.

In Part 4, guidance and briefing information is given. It emphasises the need to
design accommodation which enhances pupils access to a broad, balanced and
relevant curriculum that is also age-appropriate at each phase of education in all
schools. The whole-school approach is adopted for overall school planning and site
development. There follows briefing for accommodation, using an elemental
construct. This allows for each element to be used in any setting.
Part 5 gives practical and technical advice to assist in achieving best value.
Part 6 summarises advice on project-planning. It sets out typical model schedules for
different types of special school.
Part 7 will contain case studies which show designs for the future (note that these
are not included in this consultation document).


The following sections will provide an initial briefing or quick guide to the information
contained in this building bulletin:

Introduction: Setting the scene

1.1 Key Issues- understanding SEN and access to learning

2.1 Special Educational Needs by type and provision (first page)

Summary notes for Parts 1, 2 and 3

3.1 Policy and planning
3.2 Different types of provision

4.1 Project briefing
4.3 Arrival, departure and circulation
4.4 Teaching and learning spaces
4.5 General teaching spaces
4.1.1-3 Outdoor spaces
4.14 Pupils toilets, hygiene and changing areas

6.1 Project planning:
6.2 Typical model schedules

The intermediate sections give further information and guidance for detailed
reference.

















Contents


Introduction: Setting the scene

1 Context
1.1 Key Issues: understanding SEN and access to learning
1.2 Understanding SEN and disabilities, the legal framework
and their impact on design

2 Special educational needs: types and provision
2.1 Cognition and learning
2.2 Behaviour, emotional and social development
2.3 Communication and interaction
2.4 Sensory and/or physical

3 Strategic planning for regional and local needs
3.1 Policy and planning
3.2 Different types of provision

Summary notes for Parts 1, 2 and 3

4 Briefing information and guidance
4.1 Project briefing
4.2 Whole-school approach
4.3 Arrival, departure and circulation
4.4 Teaching and learning spaces
4.5 General teaching spaces
4.6 Practical specialist-subject spaces and performance spaces
4.7 Large spaces
4.8 Learning-resource areas
4.9 Outside spaces
4.10 Medical, therapy and multi-agency facilities
4.11 Dining and kitchen
4.12 Staff areas including outreach
4.13 Storage
4.14 Pupils toilets, hygiene and changing areas

5 Specialist sections
5.1 Furniture, fittings and equipment
5.2 Information and communication technology (ICT)
5.3 Building construction: elements, materials and finishes
5.4 Environmental services

6 Project planning and monitoring
6.1 Project planning
6.2 Typical model schedules


7 Case studies (not included in the present volume)
Appendices
Glossary
References
Acknowledgements
Introduction: Setting the scene


It is essential to provide a high quality of design in learning environments for all
pupils, especially for those children and young people who have special educational
needs (SEN) and disabilities. When building schools for the future, it is important for
designers to understand the Governments strategic vision to provide learning
opportunities and challenges that lead to positive outcomes for all pupils. Inclusive
design can enable and empower children and young people to participate in life at
school and in the wider community.

This document offers guidance on the planning, briefing and designing of school
accommodation across all educational settings where there are pupils who have SEN
and disabilities. These pupils have rights under the Children Act 2004 and the
Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) as amended by the SEN and Disability Act
2001 (SENDA) (Part 4: Education). These Acts establish the health, safety and
welfare of all pupils and entitlement to education as paramount. It is against this
background that the current trends can be summarised:

Approximately 1520% of all pupils, have some form of SEN or disability,
over a given period of time.
National average figures show that 3% of all pupils have statements of
special educational need. This varies across LEAs, however, from less than
0.5% to more than 4.5%.
Over 50% of all pupils who have statements of special educational need
attend their local community mainstream schools.
Overall, approximately 1% of all pupils who have SEN attend a special
school.
As an outcome of medical advances, a higher percentage of children with
profound physical, health or complex needs are surviving and have a much
longer life expectancy.
The development of early-intervention programmes for children may reduce
the impact of disability on their educational and life opportunities.
There is a perceived increase in the number of pupils who have behaviour,
emotional and social difficulties and those whose needs fall within the autistic
spectrum.

The result is that all schools, but especially special schools, now educate more pupils
who have a wide range of complex needs, sometimes conflicting in their nature, in
overall inclusive learning environments. Such changes have a significant impact on
both the provision made and the design of school buildings. Special schools should
therefore be planned to be a part of the whole community of local schools, as they
have an important role to play in providing:

centres of excellence for pupils who have SEN and disabilities
outreach and training services which will support local community schools
facilities for pupils, on the roll of the school and in the locality, who would
benefit from extended-school activities
facilities for community use
bases for multi-agency services to support children and their families

It is for local authorities, with local consultation, to determine the pattern of provision
to meet local needs, and it is vital that they ensure all schools achieve a high level of
sustainability for their buildings and sites.
1 CONTEXT


1.1 Key issues: understanding SEN and access to learning

It is important to understand the key issues involved in designing to meet a range of
special educational needs, so as to ensure that the appropriate provision is made
and is fit for purpose. This section outlines the main needs about which designers
need to be aware.


1.1.1 Pupils needs

In all decisions that affect children, the primary considerations must be their best
interests in terms of health, welfare and safety. For individuals, these interests may
change over time. It is also very important to safeguard all pupils and to ensure that
meeting the needs of one group does not disadvantage another. There are occasions
when different types of needs have conflicting requirements and where some
separate provision may be appropriate. Good design can help to provide appropriate
interfaces which buffer and ameliorate difficulties.

School design should aim to meet pupil needs and include for:

safety and security All pupils need to feel safe, secure, free from being
stigmatised. They also need, to feel a sense of belonging and to be enabled
or supported to participate fully in school life. Design can contribute to this by,
for example, creating good sight lines and avoiding re-entrant or hidden
spaces.

health and well-being All pupils and staff should benefit from a healthy
school environment in which to live, learn and work. Children with medical
needs have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Providing the
appropriate facilities, such as hygiene, toilet and changing rooms spread
around the school in convenient locations, as well as medical and therapy
spaces, will support and promote their health and well-being.

communication and interaction Children who have communication
difficulties will benefit from different teaching and support techniques or
specialist equipment. Various systems of signs and symbols can be used to
help them access the curriculum, as well as visual or tactile materials and
objects of reference. Some children, however, will not be able to
communicate their needs. Overall, therefore, it is important to design a
communication-friendly environment with appropriate signage and a clear,
easily understood layout.

sensory stimulus and information Children who have sensory impairments
use all of their other senses to compensate in order to understand other
people and their environment. Using appropriate materials in response to
sensory needs may assist them to access, understand and negotiate their
environment. It is essential to provide the appropriate level and type of
sensory stimulus so as to inform or calm, and not confuse, overload, or
stress.
mobility and access Children who have physical difficulties may use
different types of wheelchairs, frames and mobility aids, and should be able to
move around the school alongside their friends. There should be sufficient
space for circulation and storage of equipment. Some pupils may tire easily
and will need a place to rest. Overall, circulation routes should be planned to
minimise travel time, whilst maximising how such areas can be used to best
effect.
behavioural development Children who have behavioural difficulties may
require extra space to move around, or to ensure a comfortable distance
between themselves and others. They may need access to a quiet indoor
place or a safe, contained, outdoor space reasonably close to the teaching
space.

activity and expression Different children have different needs relating to
activity, whether for music and movement, physiotherapy or mobility training,
a high level of structured activity or space in which to release emotions and
calm down. Careful and thoughtful design can provide for both active and
passive play in a variety of indoor or outdoor spaces.
social awareness and participation Whatever school setting they are in,
children with SEN and disabilities should be able to take part and participate
in school life and out-of-school activities along with their peers. Designing
age-appropriate environments using furniture, fittings and equipment to reflect
pupils needs is essential.
spiritual support For a child or young person this means having their needs
met appropriately, having a sense of belonging and a feeling of comfort, being
able to make choices and experience challenges, unconditional acceptance
whatever their condition or behaviour, and having a purpose for living and a
good quality of life. Designs can support these needs by providing both the
appropriate ambience and practical assistance.

1.1.2 Teaching approaches

Generally, pupils with a whole range of needs are taught together wherever possible,
supported in the classroom by additional teaching assistants and support staff. There
are now increased levels of staffing in schools, especially in special schools.
Designers will need to be aware of the need to create buildings and spaces which
support teachers in their work.

Aspects which should be considered are:

flexibility and adaptability Teachers have to respond to the changing needs
of their pupils on a day-to-day basis for different activities, groupings and
annual pupil intakes. They will need to be able to rearrange the layout of
teaching and learning spaces and their designated use in response to these
changes.

teaching and learning Different teaching approaches and strategies are
used by teachers to engage pupils whose needs are diverse. These range
from multi-sensory stimulation (for example through sight, smell and touch),
through to the use of interactive communication and language techniques,
light and sound, music and movement, or tactile and practical tasks.

learning aids and resources Specialist aids and resources can be used as
learning tools to enable access to the curriculum and participation in school
life.
information and communications technology (ICT) ICT and different
technologies can be used across the curriculum. They help to overcome
barriers to learning, facilitate a variety of different teaching and learning styles
and can be very empowering.

1.1.3 The learning environment

Creating a positive impact on the learning environment through good design is
essential. Understanding the use of space is likewise essential to ensure that designs
are fit for purpose.

Aspects and types of provision to be considered include:

the users point of view There should be enough space to move around and
to have everything that may be needed within easy reach. Spaces should be
light, airy and warm with comfortable furniture and pleasant colours.
effective learning environments Essential elements to provide are good-
quality natural and artificial lighting, good sound insulation and acoustics,
adequate ventilation and heating with local adjustable controls, and all
necessary support services.

small-group rooms J ust off or near to the class base, these spaces can be
used for focused individual learning, group work or behaviour support and are
a valuable resource for supporting individual pupil needs.
quiet space Pupils may need to withdraw or retreat to a safe place for a
break. A quiet place can be calm, still, creating a therapeutic environment or
giving a sense of spirituality.
low-sensory-stimulus environment For some pupils, perception of the
world around is confusing. Providing low-sensory-stimulus, non-distracting,
calming environments can assist focused individual learning.
sensory stimulus and sensory rooms The use of multi-sensory stimulation,
using light and sound with interactive training techniques can help pupils with
learning difficulties to improve coordination, develop understanding of cause
and effect, or promote relaxation.
therapy rooms Therapies make an essential contribution to education,
supporting pupils health, well-being and enabling them to access learning.
storage Good storage is imperative to support effective teaching and learning
activities. Each space should be designed to have its own storage space
which should be accessible and fit for purpose.

outdoor spaces Connection to and use of outdoor spaces is essential for
pupils who have SEN and disabilities. A variety of different types of space are
needed in and around the school for the outdoor classroom, sensory
stimulation, sheltered or covered play, and social and recreational use.

1.1.4 Extended schools and community use

The development of extended services (including childcare) in all schools and the
use of school facilities by the community is greatly encouraged.

Schools can develop as focal points for a range of family, multi- agency and
community services. Providing a parents room, an out-of-hours school club, or
extended-school services for out-of-hours use are all possible. Schools are working
more closely with parents to offer them support, and are also opening up to a range
of community users for sports, arts and lifelong learning.

Schools will have different approaches to these initiatives and school designs should
respond creatively and facilitate these needs. The design of schools can incorporate
dual or multi-purpose use for many spaces. The main large spaces the school hall,
dining, sports and arts spaces and hydrotherapy pool along with their ancillary
facilities must be planned and located carefully. The design and layout of the school
and its site must ensure the health, safety and welfare of all pupils and staff.


1.1.5 Design quality

Taking into account all of the above, it is important to develop a high quality of school
design. It is essential that school buildings are attractive, fit for purpose, effective and
convenient for everyone to use. Children, young people and adults respond well to
aesthetics and appropriate sensory stimuli. They can also be consulted and involved
in the design of their school, in an appropriate way. The following considerations are
important for all schools in the design of their school buildings and their sites, but
particularly so for special schools.

The essential principles for designers to bear in mind are:

create an inclusive environment Design with SEN and disabilities in mind,
so that spaces and places can be created which are both fit for purpose and
enjoyable for everyone to use

promote a positive sense of identity Create an attractive, welcoming
appearance and good first impressions of the school, to reflect a positive
identity, give a sense of belonging, promote a sense of ownership, and
ensure the schools value and place in the community

convey a sense of presence and community relationship Show a positive
relationship between the school and its surroundings, in terms of both the
relationship between the school building and its site and the relationship
between the school as a cultural expression and the neighbouring community

display a positive sense of place Have a good atmosphere, so that the look
and feel of its spaces, in terms of colour, light, space, texture and acoustics,
convey that it is a good place to be and give a sense of pleasure, of being
valued and of belonging

use appropriate aesthetics Create a good-looking building which is pleasing
to the eye and uplifts the spirit, with well-proportioned spaces of appropriate
size and shape to suit the purpose for which they will be used

be user-friendly to access Design a clear, simple approach and layout
which is easily understood and uses signage and wayfinding systems with
visual contrast and tactile finishes to provide points of interest and landmarks
for orientation

facilitate ease of movement Ensure reasonable and convenient travel
distances, with ease of movement through the building, and comfortable room
relationships, giving a sense of flow through and between the rooms or
spaces

emphasise the appropriate ambience Defining the character of the space
as well as its function can assist with intuitive wayfinding and can provide
context and focus to enrich the learning experience

enhance learning experiences Promote the positive aspect of the learning
experience to support engagement, communication, interaction and
motivation, and should show the school as a place in which to enjoy learning
and working, thereby encouraging creativity, innovation and attainment

offer multi-sensory stimuli Create an appropriate level of multi-sensory
stimuli in the design for the type and range of special educational needs
involved, and any conflicting needs should be resolved

be age-appropriate Reflect age-appropriate environments with respect for
the culture of children from early years to teenage and for young people
approaching adulthood

promote health and well-being Provide for the health, welfare, safety and
security of all pupils and staff with good-quality personal-care and support
facilities at convenient locations around the school

offer a therapeutic environment Aim to increase a sense of well-being,
through the sensitive use of light, colour, texture, aroma, sound, or through
connecting to nature to stimulate, calm and distract.

provide for flexibility and adaptability allow for sufficient and appropriately
generous space, arranged in a loose-fit way to encourage flexibility for day-to-
day use and adaptability for the future

use attractive, robust materials Select appropriate materials and finishes
which are easily maintained, appropriate to the use and needs of the
situation.

create a comfortable environment Provide good-quality lighting, heating
acoustics, ventilation and support services with comfortable furniture,
providing a user-friendly learning environment for everyone

be sustainable Develop a strategy for sustainability to meet economic,
environmental and social requirements in terms of whole-life costs, thereby
achieving the best long-term value
1.2 Understanding SEN and disabilities, the legal framework
and their impact on design

It is the policy of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) that all pupils are
included and have their needs met, as far as is practicable, in their local community
schools, with additional support or facilities when required. As a consequence, it is
important for designers and providers to understand:

the changing context for providing for pupils who have SEN and disabilities
the legal framework for education, and its relationship to SEN and disabilities
the impact of the above on the design of the school and its site, to ensure it is
fit for purpose, flexible and adaptable for the future

The following is a summary of the legal framework, and of those Acts and
requirements that have a bearing on educational provision for pupils with SEN and
disabilities.


1.2.1 Definitions of pupil needs

In order to understand the legal background, it is essential to know how different
pupils needs are clarified, identified and met. In nearly all cases, additional provision
is made in schools in order to meet these requirements.

The following summary of definitions offers an explanation of:

disability
SEN
medical needs
mental-health needs



Disability

A disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a
substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-
to-day activities.

The definition is broad and might include children with a learning disability, sensory
impairment, severe dyslexia, diabetes or, epilepsy. These are also covered within the
DDA 1995 Ref.: Disability Rights Commission (DRC)

SEN

A child has SEN if he or she has a learning difficulty which calls for special
educational provision to be made for him or her.

This is provided for within the SEN Framework, including in some cases the issuing
of a statement of special educational need describing provision should be made to
meet these.

A disability might give rise to a learning difficulty that calls for special educational
provision to be made if it prevents the disabled child from accessing education in the
same way as his or her peers.
Ref.: Education Act 1996 and Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, DfES, 2001

Medical needs

Some pupils may have medical conditions that, if not properly managed, could limit
their access to education. Such pupils are regarded as having medical needs but do
not necessarily have SEN.
Refs.:; Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs, DfES/DoH Circular 14/96

Mental-health needs

This identifies pupils who experience or who are at risk of experiencing mental-health
problems that significantly impact on their ability to learn (although they may not
necessarily have SEN).
Ref.: Promoting Childrens Mental Health Within Early-years and School Settings, DfES, 2001



Under the definitions above, it should be noted that:

not all pupils with disabilities have a special educational need
not all pupils with SEN will have a disability
some pupils who have medical needs may or may not have SEN or a
disability


1.2.2 Equality of opportunity

Equality of opportunity for pupils with SEN and disabilities is backed by a legislative
framework formed by the relevant sections of the three pieces of legislation
described below.

The Disability Rights Bill

This bill is currently going through Parliament (spring 2005), and will require public
bodies to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people. It is anticipated that
some of these duties may come into effect in 2006/07.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) as amended by the SEN and Disability
Act 2001 (SENDA) (Part 4: Education).

This law sets out duties to ensure that disabled pupils are not discriminated against
thereby promoting equality of opportunity between disabled and non-disabled pupils.
It sets out planning duties for LEAs and schools, to increase access to information,
the curriculum and the physical environment for disabled pupils. It should be noted
that these planning duties involve the making of reasonable adjustments, but
physical adjustments to the environment are not required.

Part 2 of the DDA 1995 sets out the provisions for staff with disabilities and Part 3
sets out the duties for providing goods or services. It should be noted that under
these, physical adjustments to the environment may be required.

All relevant parts of the facilities will need to comply with legislation and may require
design solutions to ensure compliance.

The SEN and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA)

This law provided a revised statutory framework for inclusion and strengthened the
right of children with SEN to attend a mainstream school.
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2001 retained much of the original
code but now also reflects the rights and duties introduced by the SENDA. These are
set out under five principles:
that children with SEN should have their needs met
that their needs will normally be met in mainstream schools
that the views of children should be sought and taken into account
that parents have a vital role to play in supporting their childrens education
that children with SEN should be offered full access to a broad, balanced and
relevant curriculum in the Foundation Stage and in later years

Pupils who have SEN and are placed in mainstream schools will have their needs
met by school action if they require provision which is additional to or different from
that made for most pupils, but which can be met from within the resources of the
school, (for example, numeracy, literacy and behaviour support).
Should such pupils fail to make adequate progress further provision is made through
school action plus. This is where pupil needs are met using additional resources
provided by the LEA and by other agencies, (for example, a visiting peripatetic
specialist).
The LEA has a legal duty to make its best endeavours to meet the needs of all
pupils. Where needs are more severe or complex, the LEA may issue a statement of
special educational need describing the exceptional provision which is to be made.
Some of the pupils who have statements have their need met in special schools.
Until a statement is issued, pupil needs are still met by school action plus.
1

A similar system exists for young children with SEN in early years. Early intervention
to support very young children with SEN (03 years) is now provided as soon as
possible after birth.
Auxiliary aids and equipment which enhance educational access but are additional
to, or different from, those normally available in schools are provided under the SEN
Framework. In the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2001, the exceptions
are wheelchairs and health-related equipment which are provided by the local health
services.

1.2.3 Curriculum entitlement and provision

The Education Act 1996, as subsequently amended, sets out the requirements for a
broadly based curriculum, including the National Curriculum and Religious Education.
The National Curriculum (published by the Department for Education and
Employment and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in 1999) is a statutory

1
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: Towards Inclusive Schools (Ofsted, 2004).
requirement which applies to all community-maintained and voluntary-aided primary
and secondary schools (see Appendix E).

The National Curriculum sets out the entitlement for all pupils to a broad, balanced
and relevant curriculum in a learning environment appropriate to their needs. Within
the curriculum, teachers and schools have the freedom to exercise their professional
judgement about how they teach, how they arrange learning within the school day
and how they decide upon aspects of subject study.

The chapter on Inclusion in the National Curriculum Handbook emphasises the
importance of providing effective learning opportunities for all pupils and puts forward
three key principles for inclusion:

setting suitable learning challenges
responding to pupils diverse learning needs
overcoming potential barriers to learning using the outcomes of assessments
for individuals and/or groups of pupils

Education provision

The following description sets out how education provision is structured.
Overall, and for all pupils, grouping is by age and in four phases: early years,
primary, secondary and post-16. In addition, the statutory school years (ages 516),
are divided into four Key Stages. These groupings are set out in Table 1.

Generally, pupils in early years and reception work to the Foundation Stage
curriculum. The National Curriculum is assessed through eight levels across all of the
Key Stages. The majority of pupils operate in line with these although some pupils
performance may vary widely either side of these. The performance of pupils working
below National Curriculum level is described, in the main, by eight P scales leading
up to National Curriculum Level 1.


Table 1: Ages of pupils and corresponding phases of education

Children age 35 Early years
Primary statutory years
pupil age 45 Reception
pupil age 57 Years
13
Key Stage 1 (KS 1)
pupil age 711 Years
36
Key Stage 2 (KS 2)
Secondary statutory years
pupil age 11+14 Years
79
Key Stage 3 (KS 3)
pupil age 14+16 Years
1011
Key Stage 4 (KS 4)
Post-16 post-compulsory
pupil age 1619 Year
1213



Within this overall structure, the National Curriculum can be adapted and
differentiated so that learning tasks are modified for pupils with SEN and disabilities.
The recent policy to increase the flexibilities of the National Curriculum allows
schools to decrease the need for disapplication of pupils undertaking certain
subjects. Pupils who have SEN and disabilities progress in various ways in relation
to:

the Foundation Curriculum
the National Curriculum
P scales

Pupils with disabilities operate across the whole spectrum of attainment. At the age
of 16, some may attend a college of further education, and attain GCSEs and
vocational qualifications, while others may be achieving at Levels 1 or 2 or may be
progressing on the P scales towards Level 1. This will have implications for
accommodation needs.

1.2.4 Health, safety and welfare
LEAs, schools and further-education colleges already have a formal duty under
Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard and promote pupils welfare.
Schools already support childrens wider well-being, but will progressively take a
personalised approach to pupils learning to help them achieve the highest possible
standards.
The Children Act 2004 sets out a reform of childrens services and was passed
following consultation on the Green Paper Every Child Matters in autumn 2003 and
the publication of Every Child Matters: Next Steps in March 2004.
LEAs and schools will be focusing on provision which aims to improve the outcomes
for children and young people, identified under the following five headings:
be healthy
stay safe
enjoy and achieve
make a positive contribution
achieve economic well being

There is to be a whole-system change to support more effective and integrated
services, to secure a shift from intervention to prevention and to meet the needs of
the most vulnerable with integrated front-line delivery and a common assessment
framework for inspection.

Under the Act, local authorities have duties:

to make arrangements to promote cooperation between agencies and other
appropriate bodies in order to improve childrens well-being (defined with
reference to the five outcomes)
to promote cooperation between agencies in order to improve childrens well-
being, defined with reference to the five outcomes (there is also a duty on key
partners to take part in those arrangements and provision for the pooling of
resources in support of these arrangements)
to draw up a single Childrens and Young Peoples Plan by April 2006
to provide databases containing basic information about children for better
sharing of information, and to create an integrated inspection framework and
joint area reviews
to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to liaise with all other
agencies to ensure this occurs

It is envisaged that as part of the large-scale programme of setting up childrens
centres and childrens trusts, increasingly extended service provision will be focused
around school buildings and their sites.

1.2.5 Impact on design

It is vital that the brief for a school building project identifies and describes fully the
current and anticipated likely needs of the pupils so that these can inform the design.
It is important for designers to understand that across the education continuum, there
are different types of provision which pupils with SEN and disabilities have a right to
access alongside their peers. Therefore, age-appropriate, inclusive provision should
be made at each of the different phases in order to meet the needs of all pupils.

It is also essential that the design supports pupils curriculum entitlements and their
rights as children and young people to equality of opportunity and safe, healthy and
purposeful learning and social environments.
The information in this bulletin will help to guide brief-writers, designers and
constructors to these ends.

2 SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS: TYPES AND
PROVISION

This part of the building bulletin describes the main categories of special educational
need (SEN) and the ways in which provision can be made to meet these in all
schools. The impact on design is summarised for each group. The SEN Code of
Practice 2001 covers four broad areas identified for the purposes of education:

Cognition and learning needs
Behaviour, emotional and social development needs
Communication and interaction needs
Sensory and/or physical needs

Data collected through the Pupil-level Annual Schools Census (PLASC) Data
Collection by Type of SEN (J anuary 2004) subdivides these categories even further
(see Table 2).

Table 2: Categories of special educational need and their abbreviated forms
Cognition and learning
Specific learning difficulty SpLD
Moderate learning difficulty MLD
Severe learning difficulty SLD
Profound and multiple learning difficulty PMLD
Behaviour, emotional and social development
Behaviour, emotional and social difficulty BESD
Communication and interaction
Speech, language and communication needs SLCN
Autistic-spectrum disorder ASD
Sensory and/or physical
Hearing impairment HI
Visual impairment VI
Multi-sensory impairment MSI
Physical disability PD
Other OTH
Source: DfES Pupil-level Annual Schools Census (PLASC) Data Collection by Type of SEN
(J anuary 2004)

It must be stressed that these categories are not exact and only identify the principal
need for individuals who may also have other needs across a wide spectrum. Any
response has to be tailored to the pupil, their circumstances and their quality of life.
The essential criteria are the development of the young persons well-being and
whether they are valued as an individual.

A holistic approach to design is essential in meeting the needs of children and young
people with SEN. Where pupils have more than one need, reference should be made
to the different relevant sections. It is essential to understand all categories of need,
however, as each will have a significant impact on the design process.


2.1 Cognition and learning


2.1.1 Specific learning difficulty (SpLD)

Pupils with specific learning difficulties have a particular difficulty in learning to read,
write and spell (dyslexia) or in manipulating numbers (dyscalculia) or have poor
physical coordination (dyspraxia).

Some pupils may have problems with short-term memory or organisational skills.
Their performance in these areas is below their performance in other areas. The
range and severity of their impairment varies widely. Typical provision to support
these may be as follows:

for dyslexia: practical learning aids, ICT software and laptops
for dyscalcula: practical learning aids
for dyspraxia: mobility training or PE exercises

Most pupils will be in mainstream schools (although there are some independent
special schools for SpLd).

Therapies to support learning can be specialist dyslexia support, speech and
language therapy and/or occupational therapy.


2.1.2 Moderate learning difficulty (MLD)

Pupils with moderate learning difficulties have attainments significantly below
expected levels in most areas of the curriculum. Their needs may not always be met
through differentiation and the flexibilities permitted in delivering the National
Curriculum. They often have greater difficulty with basic literacy and numeracy skills
and in understanding concepts, especially those relating to mathematics and
science. (Some pupils may be operating on P scales at primary phase and others at
National Curriculum Levels 12 at secondary phase).

Some pupils may also have associated speech and language delay, mobility, hearing
or visual impairment, low levels of concentration, low confidence and under-
developed social skills. Others may also exhibit or have associated behaviour
difficulty or be emotionally vulnerable.

Most pupils with SpLD or MLD attend mainstream school and are included in general
classes and tutor groups. For some subjects, however, they may be in smaller
teaching groups or appropriate sets.

Some pupils who have MLD with complex needs (also referred to as complex
learning difficulties) can attend a local community mainstream school with resourced
provision or a community special school, depending on their individual needs.



Provision for pupils with SpLD/MLD and its impact on design

Specialist SEN facility

Learning and behaviour support may be provided to suit individual needs within
mainstream classes and designated SEN resource bases. Therapy support may be
provided by sensory-impairment services or speech and language therapists or
occupational therapists, who can accommodated in the class base or in small-group
rooms, a SEN resource base or a therapy base. This kind of input will affect the
number and size of spaces to be provided. Some pupils with MLD may need access
to a dedicated facility, for example, for pastoral support.

Resourced provision

Some pupils with additional needs such as SpLD or MLD may need access, on a
timetabled basis, to resourced provision. Typically, different learning areas within a
resourced provision will be grouped around a social space. If required, an additionally
resourced provision could comprise a couple of general-teaching class bases (5565
m
2
) with ancillary accommodation, for example:

a small group room (10 m
2
) for learning support, calming, respite or one-to-
one work
a small group room (16 m
2
) for discussions or role play and in which a small
group can be taught

Where such a suite of different learning spaces is provided, these can also be
grouped around a social space. Specialist subject bases will vary in size from
approximately 3065 m
2
, according to pupil groups.

Impact on design

Generally, pupils with SpLD/MLD will require careful positioning in the class base,
with adequate workspace for any learning aids and specialist ICT, and allowing for a
good seating posture and a clear view of the teacher and the whiteboard.

Pupils attending both mainstream and special schools may receive learning and
behaviour support from teaching staff or specialists working on a one-to-one basis,
either in the class base or in a small-group room nearby. Adequate provision must
also be made for storage and preparation of multi-sensory materials. Provision of
sufficient space for all of these needs is vital. Clear signage will also assist them
finding their way around the school.



2.1.3 Severe learning difficulty (SLD)

Pupils with severe learning difficulties have significant intellectual or cognitive
impairment and will need support in all areas of the curriculum. They may also have
mobility, coordination, communication and perception difficulties; some may use
signs and symbols. Many pupils require help to develop social and self-help skills.

A percentage of pupils with SLD may be non-ambulant, have sensory impairments,
or have needs which fall within the autistic spectrum. Other pupils may have
demanding or challenging behaviour. Across the ages and phases their learning may
range from P scales (P4P8) to National Curriculum Level 1.

Multi-sensory teaching and practical work with specialist learning aids and ICT
across the curriculum will take place in small groups with learning and behaviour
support provided.

Most pupils will attend a special school although some may attend a mainstream
school with support, while others still may be on roll at both a mainstream and a
special school.


2.1.4 Profound and multiple learning difficulty (PMLD)

Pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties may have physical difficulties,
sensory impairments or a severe medical condition. Nearly all pupils require a high
level of resources and adult support in order to help them access the curriculum and
to assist with their personal care and medical needs.

At least half of pupils will have sensory impairments such as VI, HI or MSI. They are
likely to need sensory stimulation so as to have access to a curriculum, which will be
broken down into very small learning steps. Some pupils communicate by gesture,
eye-pointing or using symbols, others by very simple language. Pupils may have a
variety of learning programmes throughout the day, including short intensive
sessions of one-to-one communication and interaction.

Nearly all will be accessing the P scales (P1P4). In some cases, pupils with PMLD
can be included in a local mainstream school with specialist support; however, most
pupils attend a special school.



Provision for pupils with SLD/PMLD and its impact on design

Provision for these pupils needs is usually met in special schools although
sometimes specialist facilities and additionally resourced provision can be made in a
mainstream school, depending on the local situation.

The ratio of pupils with SLD or PMLD varies, but nationally it ranges from (on
average) two-thirds SLD and one-third PMLD, to one-third SLD and two-thirds PMLD.
The local profile must be established in order to meet pupil needs and to provide
sufficient space for all relevant activities to be undertaken.

Accommodation in all types of school should provide access to a broad, balanced
and relevant curriculum, whatever the setting. Well-designed indoor and outdoor
spaces are vital for learning, for sensory and mobility training, for behaviour support
and for social development. Indoor spaces will include general and specialist class
bases as well as small-group rooms for learning and behaviour support. It is essential
that there be adequate space for the increased level of staffing required.

Therapies such as sensory services, speech and language therapy, occupational
therapy, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy require a range of specially designed
accommodation, which may be provided in mainstream as well as in special schools.

In addition to the provision made for pupils who have SLD, sensory stimulation
including communication boards, soundbeam or resonance boards are often used.
Additional space in the class base or specialist spaces should therefore be provided,
in inclusive, age-appropriate settings so that all pupils can participate in school life.

There must be provision to meet medical needs, as well as convenient toilet and
changing facilities throughout the school. Inclusion in school activities and in the
wider community is essential. Buildings should therefore enable mobility, sensory
and independence skills to be developed in communication-friendly environments.

It is essential that means of escape and evacuation procedures are developed in
consultation with the local fire authority and building-control officers, so as to ensure
the safety of pupils and incorporate their needs.

The design process should also include briefing for provision to support inclusion,
extended schools, and outreach links with local schools and the wider community.



2.2 Behaviour, emotional and social development


2.2.1 Behaviour, emotional and social difficulty (BESD)

Pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties have behaviours which
present a barrier to learning. Some will have significant difficulties in learning as a
result. Many pupils may have undiagnosed SpLD or other additional learning
difficulties. Pupils usually fall within the average range of ability, but a high
percentage under-achieve. Pupils rarely have physical disabilities, are active and
benefit from sports which encourage teamwork and social skills.

Generally, a mainstream curriculum is delivered with differentiation to suit social,
emotional and behavioural needs. Appropriate use of ICT support may improve
learning and behaviour. Pupils who have BESD can retain work placements, attain
GCSEs or access vocational courses in higher education (HE).

Pupils may have poor concentration, a short attention span, or find it hard to cope in
a group or with unstructured time. Some pupils may display signs of inappropriate
social interaction, provoke, confront or have emotional or violent outbursts, which
may require physical intervention by the delegated responsible person (see
Glossary). Others may be quiet, withdrawn and find it difficult to communicate. Some
pupils may have attention-deficit disorder (ADD or attention-deficit hyperactivity
disorder, ADHD) and a significant minority of pupils may have mental-health needs.

Pupils may come from disadvantaged backgrounds and a number are vulnerable.
Additional support may be provided by learning mentors, therapists, social workers,
educational psychologists, psychiatrists and Child and Adolescent Mental-health
Services (CAMHS).

BESD affects five times as many boys as girls. LEAs need to provide information
during the briefing stage and establish the appropriate type of provision. When there
are significant minorities (for example, of girls) whose needs may otherwise be
overlooked, appropriate separate provision may be required in order to meet their
needs, and to afford the provision to which they are entitled.



Provision for pupils with BESD and its impact on design

Mainstream schools

Some pupils who have BESD may be supported in mainstream settings with general
learning and behaviour support in the class base and more flexible use of small-
group rooms.

Specialist SEN facilities

A specialist support base in a mainstream school can be provided to be used for
different purposes according to pupils needs. For example, a nurture group, pastoral
support and a social-skills base may all be considered appropriate means of
provision. These may be accommodated in a space of 2030 m
2
.


Resourced provision

This may be provided as a learning- and behaviour-support base in a mainstream
school, to be used for a group of pupils on a timetabled basis where required.
Typically, different learning areas to sustain curriculum delivery will be grouped
around a social space, off a lobby from a main corridor or courtyard and combined
with specialist facilities mentioned above.

Within a mainstream school, the layout and design can vary from a small resource
base to a whole suite of accommodation to support most curriculum delivery. The
latter is best sited off a main circulation area in a quieter part of the school, with a
safe, contained, outdoor space as well as a courtyard or separate larger outdoor
learning or play space.

If required, an additionally resourced provision may consist of a couple of general
teaching class bases (5565 m
2
) with ancillary accommodation comprising:

a small-group room (10 m
2
) for learning support, calming, respite or one-to-
one work
a small-group room (16 m
2
) for discussions or role play and in which a small
group can be taught
a nurture group room (2030 m
2
)
a social skills base (2030 m
2
)

Where a suite of different learning spaces is provided, these can also be grouped
around a social space.

The size of specialist subject bases will vary according to pupil groups from 3065
m
2
.

Alternatively, pupils who do attend a mainstream school may benefit from spending
some time in a special school for specialist behaviour-support programmes.

Special School Provision

A pupil who has behaviour emotional and social difficulties may be placed in a
special school for BESD, which has its own character and design features to meet
their needs.

Impact on design

Pupils with BESD may need more personal space for self expression and because
they can feel threatened by invasions of their space. Pupils need secure storage for
belongings, to which they are attached. They may not have their own learning
materials and will be provided with such items; thus, additional storage for pupils
learning resources and for work in progress may well be needed.

A storage system and separate storage spaces which assist with the orderly
progression of lessons and the reinforcement of rules, are imperative. Individual
workstations or a quiet corner to minimise distractions for working, or for respite or
retreat, should also be considered.

Space in the class base is needed for ease of movement, to minimise disruption and
distractions and for flexible layouts of furniture to suit learning needs (separate desks
minimise distraction and interference between pupils whilst group work is facilitated
around a table or in a horseshoe layout).

Small-group rooms may be required but the rationale for their use must be
determined so that each rooms design is fit for purpose. It is important to consider
the following design points:

The physical environment must have a positive ambience with appropriate
use of colour.

There should be a secure, visible entrance lobby and welcome area with
display of work.

A clear, simple circulation plan and class-base layouts with good sight lines
enabling all round supervision are essential, and eradicate areas where staff or
pupils could become isolated or attacked.

Sound-absorbent and sound-insulating materials should be used, because
pupils tend to be noisy, loud and boisterous.

Clear discipline, delineation between activities, and focus on tasks will need
to be reflected in the design of the physical environment.

Robust, sturdy construction and furniture are essential, as is good
maintenance to repair damage.

There should be no exposed services, fixtures or fittings and services controls
should be for operation by staff only.

Lockable storage provision should be made for resources and pupils work.

Separate boys and girls toilets should be provided, with no lobbies or re-
entrant corners, for good supervision.

Designs should minimise possible pupil access to roofs, drainpipes, walls,
stairwells and routes of escape.



2.3 Communication and interaction


2.3.1 Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)

Pupils with speech, language and communication needs have difficulty
understanding and/or making others understand information conveyed through
spoken language. Their acquisition of speech and oral language skills may be
significantly behind their peers; they may have poor speech intelligibility and
experience problems in articulation.

Pupils with language disorders or impairments find it difficult to express ideas or have
trouble getting others to understand what they are trying to say, which can affect their
emotional and social development. Inability to communicate can give rise to feelings
of frustration and anger which can lead to behaviour difficulties. Pupils with speech,
language and communication needs cover the whole ability range.

Most pupils attend a mainstream school where, for some, teaching assistants
prepare worksheets or assist with the delivery of speech-therapy programmes.

Pupils, who may be visual learners, may need to sit near the front of the class, with a
clear view of the whiteboard and of the teacher demonstrating work. Access may be
needed to ICT support which includes electronic communication aids or synthetic-
speech production equipment involving computer and keyboard.



Provision for pupils with SLCN and its impact on design

Specialist facilities

Pupils may need access to speech and language therapy, on a timetabled basis,
provided in a class base, a small quiet group room or a speech-therapy room of 10
15 m
2
(see Section 4.10, Medical, therapy and multi-agency facilities).

Learning and behaviour support may be provided to suit individual needs within
mainstream classes and designated SEN resource bases. Therapy support may be
provided by speech and language therapists, who can accommodated in the class
base or in small-group rooms, a SEN resource base or a therapy base. This kind of
input will affect the number and size of spaces to be provided. Some pupils may
need access to a dedicated facility, for example, for pastoral support.

Resourced provision

This may consist of a large class base (65 m
2
), divided to provide:

a small-group room (1016 m
2
) for learning support or speech therapy. This
should be a quiet room and may have some acoustic treatment.
a small=group room (16 m
2
) for discussions and role play, with sound
insulation and positioned at some distance form the quiet small-group room

If required, a larger additionally resourced provision could comprise a couple of
general-teaching class bases (5565 m
2
) with the ancillary accommodation above.


Impact on design

Children who have communication difficulties will benefit from different teaching and
support techniques and equipment. Various systems of signs and symbols can be
used to help them access the curriculum, as well as visual or tactile materials.

Generally, pupils with SLCN will require careful positioning in the class base, with
adequate workspace for any learning aids and specialist ICT, and allowing for a good
seating posture and a clear view of the teacher and the whiteboard.

Pupils attending both mainstream and special schools may receive learning and
behaviour support from teaching staff or specialists working on a one-to-one basis,
either in the class base or in a small-group room nearby.

Overall, therefore, it is important to design a communication-friendly environment
with appropriate clear signage and an easily understood layout to assist pupils in
finding their way around the school.



2.3.2 Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
The autistic spectrum is a relatively new term which recognises that there are a
number of sub-groups within the spectrum of autism. There will therefore be a wide
range of needs.

Pupils with autistic spectrum disorder may find it difficult:

to understand and use non-verbal, verbal or social cues and understand
social behaviour, which affects their ability to interact with children and adults
to think and behave flexibly or play imaginatively
to integrate and interpret sensory stimuli, which affects their understanding of
their surroundings and can cause anxiety or withdrawal

Pupils with ASD cover the full range of ability and the severity of their impairment
varies widely; ranging from those with Aspergers Syndrome (who share the same
triad of impairments but have higher intellectual abilities and different language
development) through to those with more severe autistic spectrum disorder as well
as other learning disabilities or difficulties.

Some pupils may have restricted, obsessional interests or enjoy repetitive activities,
or may manifest behaviour that challenges. A number may be hyperactive, whilst
others may be quiet or withdrawn.

Some pupils may require a low level of sensory stimulus or distraction, and need a
quiet, calm and ordered learning environment.

Pupils may be supported in a mainstream school within the class base where there
are individual low-distraction workstations.






Provision for pupils with ASD and its impact on design

Specialist facilities

These can be provided for pupils and may include small-group rooms for learning or
behaviour support, quiet spaces and sheltered social-recreation spaces, all with
appropriate use of colour.

Resourced provision

Some pupils may not be able to cope on their own in mainstream settings, and so
need the support of a resourced provision. Within the mainstream school, this can
vary from a small resource base to a whole suite of accommodation to support most
curriculum delivery. The latter is best sited off a main circulation area in a quieter part
of the school, with a safe, contained, outdoor space as well as a courtyard or
separate larger outdoor learning or play space.

Typically, the whole suite can consist of a couple of general teaching class bases
(5565 m
2
) with ancillary accommodation comprising:

a small-group room (10 m
2
) for learning support, calming, respite or one-to-
one work
a small-group room (16 m
2
) for discussions or role play and in which a small
group can be taught

Where a suite of different learning spaces is provided, these can also be grouped
around a social space.

The size of specialist subject bases will vary according to pupil groups, from 3085
m
2
.

Alternatively, pupils who do attend a mainstream school can benefit from spending
some time in a special school for specialist learning support.

Special schools

Pupils with more severe ASD and learning difficulties may attend a special school,
where they are included in generic class bases or taught in separate pupil groups
catering specifically for ASD. Inclusion in other school activities alongside age-related
peers is considered good practice, and contact with the wider community is
beneficial, wherever possible.

There are some pupils whose behaviour is extremely challenging and, in some
instances, they may require an additional space where specialist calming, behaviour
support, management or training can be undertaken. In other cases, a high level of
adult support may be required for small groups in a separate specialist resource base
where learning spaces are grouped around their own dedicated social area.

Impact on design

The following design points should be considered:

Pupils may have difficulty in interpreting their surroundings and become
anxious and distressed if they find it difficult to navigate.

The building should have a simple layout which reflects order, calm, clarity
and has good signage and wayfinding.

Pupils may show different sensitivities to spaces: some will be frightened by
large open spaces and wish to withdraw to smaller spaces, whilst others will not
like enclosed spaces. Providing a mix of larger spaces with smaller ones to
withdraw to when anxious can help.

Designing low-sensory-stimulus environments reduces sensory overload,
stress and anxiety.

The provision of pleasant, well proportioned space, with plain bare walls
decorated in muted soft colours will allow teachers to introduce stimulus (such as
wall displays of work or information) gradually to suit pupils needs.

Classrooms can be arranged so that teachers may employ different teaching
methods, with spaces for individual work or screened personal workspaces. (The
TEACCH system needs flexible furniture layouts; PECS uses picture and
symbols; these and all other such methods require focused, structured activity
spaces.)
2


Use of indirect lighting and the avoidance of noise or other distractions (blind
cords, exposed pipes or dominant views out) need to be considered.

Containment in the class base for reasons of supervision, safety or security
by the use of two door handles, at high and low level, must neither compromise
escape procedures, nor violate human rights (in that children must not be locked
up unless they are secured or detained legally in secure provision).

Robust materials should be used where there are pupils with severe
disabilities, and safety precautions for doors, windows, glass, plaster, and piped
or wired services will be required.

There is a need to balance security and independence and to find the right
mix between tough materials and special equipment on the one hand and
ordinary, everyday items on the other, in order to avoid an institutional
appearance whilst at the same time eliminating risks.

Simple or reduced detailing and changes of plane may reduce the opportunity
for obsessiveness.




2
The range of teaching methods for pupils who have ASD includes: TEACCH (Treatment and
Education of Autistic and Communication-handicapped Children); PECS (Picture Exchange
Communication System); ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis); the Higashi method
(developed in J apan and at the Higashi School in Boston, and based on daily-life therapy and
organised physical exercise); and the SPELL framework developed by the National Autistic
Society.
2.4 Sensory and/or physical


2.4.1 Hearing impairment (HI)

Pupils with a hearing impairment range from those with a mild hearing loss to those
who are profoundly deaf, and cover the whole ability range. For educational
purposes, pupils are regarded as having hearing impairment if they require hearing
aids, adaptations to their environment and/or particular teaching strategies in order to
access the concepts and language of the curriculum.

Approximately 40% of pupils with a hearing impairment also have an additional
disability or learning difficulty.
3


There are two main types of hearing loss: conductive and sensori-neural hearing
loss. A mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conductive and sensori-neural
hearing loss. Hearing loss is measured on a decibel scale and four categories are
commonly used to describe the level of hearing loss: mild, moderate, severe and
profound.

Hearing-impaired children may learn to communicate through sign or spoken
language, or a combination of both. There are three main communication
approaches: auditory-oral approaches, sign bilingualism and Total Communication.
Different communication approaches may involve a combination of sign languages
such as British Sign Language, systems involving signs and symbols, finger spelling,
lip reading and maximisation of the use of residual hearing through hearing aids,
cochlear implants and other technology.

Provision to support the use of hearing aids, radio aids (personal FM systems),
sound-field systems and other assistive technology is a high priority. It is important
that consideration is given to ensure that all such items of equipment in use in the
school, or likely to be used by hearing-impaired pupils in the future, will be
compatible and function correctly for all pupils (see Appendix 000).

HI is a low-incidence special educational need. As a result, most pupils with HI are
included in mainstream schools, where they will need specialist facilities or a
resourced provision in order to meet their needs. It is good practice for pupils who
have HI in mainstream to be in a group, for example in an additionally resourced
provision for 1012 pupils, so as to avoid them becoming isolated. A minority of
pupils may attend a special school for HI in order to meet their particular needs.

Therapy support will be obtained from a hearing-impairment specialist and speech
and language therapist. It is good practice that pupils are consulted about their
preferences.[may need clarification the previous sentence does not contain an or.
AC]

In class, hearing-impaired pupils may receive communication support from a
teaching assistant, learning-support assistant, communication-support worker or
teacher of the deaf. It will be important to ensure that there is room for the support
worker to sit or stand near the child, so that the child can see both the teacher and

3
Fortnum et al, Health-service Implication of Changes in Aetiology and Referral
Patterns of Hearing-impaired Children in the Trent Region (MRC Institute of
Hearing Research, 1996).

the support worker. In mainstream class, pupils may find it helpful to sit near the front
of the class.

A small-group room may be required to which some pupils may withdraw periodically
for learning, language development and behaviour support.

Pupils with HI may develop more sensory awareness to visual and tactile cues, and
may use more of their peripheral vision. They use visual materials as learning aids,
along with ICT to facilitate access to the curriculum. Sufficient workspace should be
allowed for the use of video and television. Video materials should be available with
subtitles or sign language where appropriate.



Provision for pupils with HI and its impact on design

Specialist facilities

The following may be necessary to support pupils with hearing impairment in a
mainstream school:

a small-group room (1016 m
2
) can be used as a quiet space for support
work with a hearing-impairment specialist and can be dual-used by a speech
therapist
a room for preparation and storage of curriculum materials and technical
support for hearing aids and radio aids (610 m
2
)

Resourced provision

This may include one or two class bases in a mainstream school, for timetabled
learning support for 1012 pupils. Typically, it may comprise:

class bases (5565 m
2
) for learning support with whiteboard or CCTV and
seating in a horseshoe layout to aid language and communication development.
(4554 m
2
refurbished class base in existing school for smaller groups of 68
pupils)

a small-group room (10 m
2
) for hearing impairment support or speech therapy

a small-group room (16 m
2
) for discussion or role play

a store (46 m
2
)

a quiet room (10 m
2
), which can be used for calming and respite or behaviour
support, especially if pupils have behaviour that challenges

Special schools

These are available for a minority of pupils who cannot have their needs met
elsewhere. These schools may cater for a wider ability range. They may act as
outreach resources for the local community. Specialist facilities for an audiology
department may be included (see Appendix 000 for details).

Impact on design

The following should be considered:

A social-skills base (2030 m
2
) may be provided.

The provision of clear signage and routes along with visual signal alarms, to
enable orientation and mobility, makes a significant impact. The design of the
school environment should support this.

For visitors attending a school there should be an induction loop at reception
and good-quality lighting so that the receptionists face can be seen (down-
lighting should not be used in order to avoid cast shadows which make lip-
reading difficult).

The main hall should have acoustic treatment and an amplification or sound-
field system where appropriate.

Good-quality lighting and window blinds should be provided in class bases.

Room layouts should prevent teachers having to stand with their backs to the
window.

Adequate space is required for pupils to sign and gesture to communicate
and for role play.

A high-quality acoustic environment should be a priority, with good-quality
room acoustics for speech intelligibility and sound insulation to ensure low
background noise. Acoustic-absorbent surfaces should be used for ceilings, high-
level wall finishes and flooring (see BB93 for more details, available online at
www.teachernet.gov.uk/acoustics).

Avoid noise interference from highly reflective or highly reverberant surfaces,
such as wood-block floors, hard-plastered walls, ceramic tiling or glass blocks.
Metal reflective surfaces for venetian blinds, window frames, panels, balustrades
and railings should be used carefully.

Furniture and equipment should be locatable to face inwards to the teacher,
allowing for cable management and floor boxes as required.

Visual alarms, including fire alarms and lesson-change signals, should be
provided.



2.4.2 Visual impairment (VI)

VI is a low-incidence special educational need. Most pupils with VI are included in
mainstream schools, where they will need varying degrees of specialist support or a
resourced provision based at the school in order to meet their needs. Many children
who have VI and additional needs (32% of the total number of pupils who have VI in
Britain)
4
attend special schools designated either for pupils who have severe learning
difficulties or for pupils who have physical disabilities. A minority of pupils (5% of the

4
RNIB, 2003.
total number of pupils who have VI in Britain)
5
attend special schools specifically
designated for pupils who have visual impairment.

Visual impairment refers to a range of difficulties from minor impairments of sight
through to blindness. Its effects may include total sight loss, loss of acuity, limitations
of visual field or disturbance of colour vision. These effects may be exacerbated by
environmental conditions, or they may be general. Visual impairment may be of
ocular origin, it may be as a result of difficulties in visual processing or it may be the
result of a combination of causes.

Pupils who have visual impairment cover the whole ability range. For educational
purposes, a pupil is considered to be visually impaired if they require adaptations to
their environment, specific differentiation of learning materials or special equipment in
order to access the curriculum. This section is also relevant for those pupils who
have visual impairment and additional disabilities.


Provision for pupils with VI and its impact on design

Specialist facilities

The following may be necessary to support pupils with VI in a mainstream school:

a vision-testing area based in a quiet room where there is a dimension of at
least 6 m on the diagonal
a 5660 m
2
class base with sufficient space for learning aids and equipment,
as well as teaching or specialist-support assistants (4554 m
2
refurbished class
base in an existing school will be sufficient for 810 pupils)

Smaller rooms can be used as follows:

a small-group room (10 m
2
) for learning support
a small-group room (16 m
2
) for discussions and role play
a space for preparation (1016 m
2
) and technical work
a resource store (610 m
2
)

Resourced provision

This may include one or two class bases in a mainstream school, for timetabled
learning support for 1012 pupils. Typically, there may be:

two class bases (5565 m
2
) for learning support including mobility training (or
3654 m
2
for refurbished rooms with smaller pupil groups)
a small-group room (10 m
2
) for learning support
a small-group room (16 m
2
) for group teaching and discussions or role play
a technicians room (1620 m
2
)
storage for resources (610 m
2
)
a sensory dark room (1224 m
2
) for light-tracking and training for coordination
skills which may enable use of ICT

Special schools (broad-range)

5
RNIB, 2003.


Most pupils who have a visual impairment will be encouraged to use whatever is
available of their residual sight and to develop their other senses (hearing, touch,
taste, smell and kinaesthetic awareness) to promote their abilities for communication,
learning, mobility and independence. The spoken word, auditory cues, tactile and
hand-on-hand approaches are all beneficial as learning approaches.

Some pupils who have visual impairment develop heightened sensory awareness to
auditory and tactile environmental cues. They can detect changes in the resonance
of spaces due to their different materials, changes in floor finishes, tactile symbols
and other stimuli or aromas. All of these facilitate orientation and mobility. The design
of the school environment should support this.

It is essential that advice is obtained from a VI specialist and a mobility officer so that
pupils needs can be met in both the class base and the general environment of the
school. It is good practice, wherever practicable, for pupils to be consulted about their
learning preferences.

Partially sighted pupils need a range of learning methods; these will necessitate
differentiated materials and space for additional learning aids and large items of
equipment. For example, enlarged print materials and equipment for reproducing it,
sloping desktops and bookstands to enable close viewing and facilities to allow the
use of on-task lighting (without trailing leads) may be required. A range of low-vision
aids may be needed, including low-tech ones such as magnifiers and high-tech aids
such as CCTV viewers and other ICT for text magnification, speech or sound output.

Pupils may need to be positioned favourably to see the teacher and learning
materials. This need will vary depending on the nature of individuals special needs
and specific learning activities so design should allow for flexible use of space.

Pupils who are blind may require a range of tactile methods of learning and will need
to make optimal use of hearing. Therefore, sufficient space and good room acoustics
are needed throughout the school. Access to learning for pupils who are blind may
include a range of approaches, for example exploration of real objects and three-
dimensional learning aids, the use of raised diagrams and tactile graphics such as
Moon or Braille, the use of vibro-tactile feedback equipment such as resonance
boards or sound boxes, and the one-to-one support of a pupil in learning activities by
an adult.

The use of these approaches requires sufficient space. In addition, classrooms may
need space to accommodate equipment to produce tactile graphics for pupils who
use Moon or Braille, or ICT equipment for auditory access. The successful social
inclusion of pupils who are blind will have implications for school design, especially in
relation to accessibility to recreational and play areas. Providing visual contrast,
tactile trails, or cues (such as giving paths definition) assists with wayfinding, and
enables participation and social integration.

A large store room with shelving will be needed for curricular resources and three-
dimensional learning aids. Large print or Braille books take up considerable shelf
space (one A4 book may take up 1.8 m of a shelf as a large-print or Braille book).

Many special schools make use of multi-sensory stimulation rooms. These are
sometimes known as white rooms or dark rooms. Their uses vary and may include
visual and auditory stimulation using equipment designed or modified for the
purpose. Aspects of assessment of functional vision are sometimes carried out in
these rooms (see Section 000, Medical therapy facilities).

A specialist technical room is needed for equipment to support Braille transcription
and tactile-diagram production. In addition, space will be required to produce and
store learning aids and materials.

Special schools designated for pupils who have VI

A small percentage of those with visual impairment attend a special school catering
wholly for this disability.

All of the above is relevant, but group sizes may be smaller, as in special schools
there will more resources and equipment and specific arrangements for pupils who
are blind. Specialist advice should, therefore, be obtained at the briefing stage.

Impact on design

For all pupils, safety considerations should be reviewed to avoid trip and impact
hazards, protruding elements and the proliferation of cluttered spaces.

Designing to assist wayfinding and accessibility for VI will involve:

use of coloured stripes, tactile cues, signs and symbols, and tactile maps in
reception (it should be borne in mind that these may need to be of a temporary
nature and need to change during the life of the school)
different sounders for lesson changes and alarms for emergency escape
manifestations ( i.e. visual markers) on large glazed areas
speech/voice announcements in lifts
colour contrast which provides sufficient tonal contrast, for identifying
changes between wall and floor surfaces, changes in level, stairs and lifts, and
doors and door furniture

Providing visual tonal contrast of objects, materials and surfaces finishes is important
for all situations. High chroma bright-colour contrast may be appropriate for situations
where pupils have severe visual impairment. Avoidance of excessive stimulation with
strong colours will assist where there are conflicting needs (e.g. pupils with epilepsy,
autism, or hearing impairment).

Provision of good-quality low-glare natural and artificial lighting, and effective means
of controlling the levels of lighting using blinds and adjustable or dimmable controls
should be made. It is also essential to:

make provision for safe cabling routes for task lighting to allow for their use
without trailing electrical leads
allow cable management to furniture
avoid or give clear indication of the presence of hot surfaces and have
controls for hot-water temperatures

A good-quality acoustic environment should be provided to allow for

minimal distortion of sound
good speech intelligibility
the use of auditory aids

To limit the effect of background noise, heating systems should be silent and
solutions to ventilation which are silent should be sought.

Ref.: Educational Provision for Blind and Partially Sighted Children in Britain in 2002 (RNIB,
2003).



2.4.3 Multi-sensory impairment (MSI)

Pupils who have multi-sensory impairment have a combination of visual and hearing
difficulties. They are sometimes referred to as deaf-blind, but may have some
residual sight and/or hearing. Many also have additional disabilities, but their
complex needs often mean that it may be difficult to determine their intellectual
abilities. The impact of such dual-sensory impairment affects:

access to sensory information
social interaction and communication
mobility
conceptual development
anticipation and choice making
learning strategies

As a result, pupils may have greater difficulty in communicating and accessing the
curriculum and the physical environment than those with either visual impairment or
hearing impairment. The combination of complex needs results in a unique pattern of
learning difficulties.

Pupils will need a high level of support provided both by school-based staff and a
range of visiting professionals. Their developmental programmes should reflect a
multi-disciplinary approach, including contributions from an appropriately skilled
occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist, educational
psychologist, teacher of pupils who have hearing impairment or educational
audiologist and mobility officer, coordinated by a teacher of pupils who have MSI.

Facilities should therefore be designed which promote this multi-disciplinary practice.
A few pupils may use Braille or Moon but most pupils require individually adapted
and augmented forms of communication, making use of real objects associated with
activities, and visual or tactile identifiers or symbols.

Many pupils who have MSI need space for supportive seating, standing or lying
equipment, ICT equipment to support access to learning and to receive the one-to-
one support of an adult to provide access to activities and to support inclusion.
In addition to access to a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils who have MSI will
need facilities for:

multi-sensory stimulation
hygiene and personal care
therapy support (this may include hydrotherapy)
assessment of functional vision and hearing
appropriate technology and acoustic considerations to support hearing needs


Provision for pupils with MSI and its impact on design

Provision to meet the needs of pupils with MSI is usually made in special schools. In
addition to considering the design notes for VI and HI, there are particular issues
which are relevant for MSI and which are set out below:

Pupils often have some useful hearing or vision, but do not function as either as HI or
VI pupils. It is important to provide good-quality acoustics, lighting levels with flexible
controls as well as silent heating and ventilation.

Multi-sensory and tactile information is important, but in many cases the way this is
used varies widely depending on the individual pupil. Generally speaking, pupils use
a range of tactile and sensory sensations to inform themselves, for example, about
their whereabouts en route from one part of the school to another. This is likely to
include information from floors and walls, aromas, draughts and temperature
changes. Some pupils use tactile symbols and markers which are attached to doors,
walls and other parts of the environment.

Facilities for assessment of functional vision, hearing and other senses should be
provided. Space will also be needed for one-to-one support from an adult in learning
activities and for ICT equipment for access.

A multi-sensory stimulation room should, ideally, allow for flexible use of space. To
avoid over-stimulation, it should be possible to either store some stimulation
equipment out of sight or to screen it off. Pupils may often experience frustration and
emotional upsets and so a quiet space for respite and calming may be needed.

Many MSI pupils have complex needs and medical conditions and so appropriate
facilities for care, hygiene and educational support may be required. Mobility
equipment for supported sitting, standing and lying in teaching spaces is often
needed. There should be sufficient space for this and for its storage when not in use.
Facilities for hoisting and moving pupils may also be required.



2.4.4 Physical disability (PD)

There is a wide range of physical disabilities and pupils cover the whole ability range.
Some are able to access the curriculum without any additional educational provision:
they have a disability but do not have a special educational need. For others the
impact on their education may be severe. In the same way, a medical diagnosis does
not necessarily mean that a pupil has SEN. It depends on the impact the condition
has on their educational needs.

There are a number of medical conditions associated with physical disability which
may impact on mobility. These include cerebral palsy, spina bifida, hydrocephalus
and muscular dystrophy. Some pupils are mobile but have significant fine-motor
difficulties which require support.

Pupils with physical disabilities may also have sensory impairments, neurological
problems and learning difficulties. Others may need augmentative or alternative
communication aids.

Medical conditions which constitute specific disability include:

neurological damage and its effects
secondary disabilities, such as epilepsy and sensory problems
bowel and bladder incontinence, kidney and other infections or skin lesions
low immunity

As a result of their disability, some pupils may, on occasions or on regular basis,
suffer from tiredness, fatigue or illness, or they may need to recuperate (for example
after a seizure) and have access to a rest room for respite and rest.

Other pupils with physical disabilities may be active, alert and more readily able to
engage and participate in school life along with their peers, provided that suitable
access and inclusion support is in place to meet their individual needs.

Therapy support, such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy, may be required,
as well as access to hydrotherapy. Provision of support for medical and personal-
care needs may be required. A range of aids may be needed for education, mobility,
communication, seating, personal care and daily living.

Pupils may use sticks or crutches, or a self-propelled or electrically operated
wheelchair, or they may need to be assisted. Wheelchairs may have a space for a
bag or equipment behind the seat, adjustable foot rests and reclining modes which
mean that they take up a considerable amount of space. They may also have a tray
fitted to support learning or communication aids. Pupils may also need
communication aids or medical equipment.

Though pupils span the whole range of ability, most attend mainstream schools with
or without specialist facilities or resourced provision. Other pupils with learning
difficulties and complex needs may attend a special school.



Provision for pupils with PD and its impact on design

Specialist facilities

The following may be necessary to support pupils with PD in a mainstream school:

a dedicated medical facility which may comprise a suite of accommodation
including any or all of the following: nurses office, medical treatment room, rest
room, sick bay and first-aid area
a SEN therapy room for physiotherapy (2030 m
2
) with an associated store (4
m
2
) for equipment
a hygiene room (1520 m
2
) for assisted toilet and changing (see Section 000,
Hygiene)
a central equipment store (20 m
2
)
mobility storage (10 m
2
per bay)
a technicians room (1620 m
2
)

Resourced provision

This may include one or two class bases in a mainstream school, for timetabled
learning support for 1012 pupils, and ancillary accommodation which may comprise:

a medical room (2025 m
2
)
a physiotherapy room (2530 m
2
)
a multi-purpose general-teaching class base (6575 m
2
), including ICT
workstations
ancillary accommodation, hygiene spaces, a separate laundry and a variety of
different types of toilet provision

Special schools

Provision will be as for pupils who have a range of SLD/PMLD needs, with
requirements including mobility training, access to the curriculum and independence-
skills development.

Provision of portable or overhead hoists, and mobility-equipment storage may be
essential.

Access to physiotherapy and hydrotherapy may be requirements.

Wheelchair tracking, if required, can be provided in the floor, but this needs to be
decided early on in briefing.

Impact on design

The following should be considered:

In mainstream and special schools, there must be sufficient space in each
class base to allow for pupils to access the curriculum and participate in school
life alongside peers.

Adequate space and a suitable shape of class base must be provided for
pupils who may have three pieces of equipment an outdoor wheelchair, an
indoor or classroom chair and a standing frame.

Those who need support with mobility or scribing may require space for an
assistant.

Adjustable-height furniture and accessible workstations for specialist subjects
should be provided as appropriate.

Space-planning for ergonomic layouts should be incorporated for pupils with
varying degrees of disability.

Space for storage of equipment in mobility bays and provision of a central
equipment store may be needed, along with battery-charging facilities.

Access audits may be required to ensure that designs are fit for purpose.

Consideration should also be given to the following:

the varying need for independent access for those with physical disability,
depending on the gross and fine body-motor skills (for example, whether there is
upper body mobility) and therefore for assistance

health and safety for both pupils and support workers with regard to the
manual handling, transferring or moving of pupils by support workers, in a way
that allows for dignity and respect to be maintained

the space required for the appropriate use of either portable and/or overhead
hoists and tracking, how extensive should this may be, what impact will it have on
users and on other services

lifts, which should cater for the number of pupils to be moved, the largest
chair/frame plus assistant, the likely maximum simultaneous traffic. The need for
fire-hardened lifts for emergency use

emergency-escape procedures, provision of places of refuge for the most
vulnerable groups, consideration of internal evacuation procedures

provision of shallow ramps, a shallow pitch of stairs, a limited number risers to
a landing for a rest, guardings and handrails at two heights for smaller and larger
pupils

access to a range of outdoor spaces with facilities such as accessible play
equipment, or raised planters

3 STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR REGIONAL AND LOCAL
NEEDS


3.1 Policy and planning


3.1.1 Policy
This section sets out the context for how LEAs and schools plan provision for pupils
SEN and disabilities at regional and local levels. Designers need to have good
background knowledge of both the strategic and local context and how provision for
SEN is made. This knowledge will inform specific provision for SEN and disabilities
and its brief.

As a matter of principle, LEAs must plan strategically to meet local SEN needs, for
both current and foreseeable future situations. LEAs and schools have to plan to
increase accessibility to schools for disabled pupils, by increasing access to
information, the curriculum and the physical environment. This is to ensure that
pupils with disabilities are not substantially disadvantaged. LEAs should have
accessibility strategies and school governors should have accessibility plans in
place.
6

The 1997 Green Paper, Excellence for All Children: Meeting Special Educational
Needs, highlighted the need to improve the consistency of services and provision
throughout the country. Thereafter, 11 SEN Regional Partnerships were set up in
England, which aim to achieve minimum standards and encourage collaborative
working between LEAs for coordinated provision in each area, especially in cross-
border situations. Since 1998, responsibility for special school re-organisation has
been devolved to local authorities, and approval has been given by the local Schools
Organisation Committees.

Removing Barriers to Achievement (2004) sets out the Governments vision for giving
children with SEN and disabilities the opportunity to succeed, and puts forward
planned improvements at both national and local level.

Generally, over 50% of pupils with statements for SEN attend mainstream schools
alongside their peers. The most common needs of pupils are SpLD, SLCN, BESD,
MLD, of which MLD is the largest group, but too often their needs may be
overlooked. The number of pupils with ASD and BESD is increasing. Overcoming
speech, language and communication difficulties is also crucial to enabling children
to access the whole curriculum.

Data from the Pupil-level Annual Census (PLASC) for 2003 shows that:

1.1% of pupils are in special schools (but this varies across LEAs from 0.1% -
4.5%)

94,000 pupils attend special schools, 2,000 of whom are dual-registered


6
Provided for in the Education Act 1996, as amended, and the DDA 1995 as amended by
SENDA 2001. See also Accessible Schools Guidance Note (DfES 2002), Special Educational
Needs Code of Practice (DfES, 2001). For more information, see Appendix A and
References.
6,224 are boarders at maintained and non-maintained schools and 2,766
board at independent schools

68% of pupils are boys, 32% are girls

35% of children in special schools are eligible for free school meals

nearly two-thirds of children in special schools are of secondary-school age


Local authorities have an important strategic role to play in planning the spectrum of
provision needed to meet childrens needs within their area, and they should take
account of the following considerations:

The proportion of pupils in special schools should fall over time as
mainstream schools grow in their skills and capacity to meet a wider range of
needs.

Children with less significant needs including those with moderate learning
difficulties and less severe behaviour, emotional and social needs should be
able to have their needs met in a mainstream environment.

Successful special schools have an important contribution to make in
preparing mainstream schools to support inclusion.

A small number of pupils with severe and complex needs will continue to
require special provision.

Reorganisations need to be carefully planned, involving active consultation
with parents. It is critical to ensure that a high-quality provision is available
locally before special schools are reduced.

Co-locating special and mainstream schools, the development of resourced
provision and specialist facilities in mainstream settings and dual registration
can all help children to move between special and mainstream schools and
support transition to mainstream education, as can use of effective SEN
support services.

Removing Barriers to Achievement
7
sets out four key areas supported by a
programme of action;

Early intervention to ensure that children who have difficulties learning
receive the hep they need as soon as possible and that parents of children
with SEN and disabilities have access to suitable childcare
Removing barriers to learning embedding inclusive practice in every school
and early years setting
Raising expectations and achievement by developing teachers skills and
strategies for meeting the needs of children with SEN and sharpening our
focus on the progress that children make
Delivering improvements in partnerships taking a hands-on approach to
improvement so that parents can be confident that their child will get the
education they need

7
(DfES, 2004)
It encourages various strategies which include:
early intervention in early years settings
dual registration and pupils moving between schools
local communities of schools, with special schools participating with
mainstream schools in federations, clusters, twinning arrangements; including
non-maintained and independent schools
develop inclusive practice to help schools become more effective at
responding to needs of individual pupils and implementing good practice,
initially focussing on ASD, BESD SLCN MLD
development of vocational training for 1419 provision
improved opportunities and transition beyond compulsory education

DfES programmes aim to create a wider community of schools. Using capital-funding
strategies including the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, special
and mainstream schools can be brought together, including co-locations. Such
schemes could also involve non-maintained and independent schools.

The effect of duties under the Children Act 2004 will also have to be considered. This
may involve, for example, childrens centres, childrens trusts and extended schools,
joining up health and social services with education provision.


3.1.2 LEA strategic planning

Liaison and joint working between different local-authority and LEA departments and
other agencies will be required to support the process of providing joined-up full-
services provision for children and young people.

Nevertheless, local authorities have an important strategic role to play in planning the
spectrum of provision needed to meet childrens and young peoples needs within
their area. It is essential that the LEAs strategy ensures different types of provision
for pupils with SEN and disabilities at each phase of education and across all
settings. Various factors will influence the planning process, to a greater or lesser
degree, some of which are listed below.

Strategic factors

Local planning factors:

LEA accessibility strategy and plans
geographical and demographic context
historical designation of special schools
political considerations

Consultations and approvals factors:

outcome of public consultation
parent and pupil views
liaison with local schools
schools willing to accept co-location
school reorganisation approvals

Factors regarding local needs and services:

SEN, its incidence and distribution
adequacy of SEN provision
transport and travel time for pupils
development of local-area services to reduce out-of-area placements
the need for residential or respite provision

Factors governing resources for facilities:

availability of specialist SEN staff
Primary Care Trusts: local healthcare provision in relation to joint planning

Buildings-provision factors:

site area, availability of suitable sites and accessible school buildings
continuity of education service
adequacy of LEA resources

Developing provision to meet local needs can result in quite different arrangements
being made in each part of the country, so no one simple design template will fit all
circumstances. Examples of typical patterns are set out below:

A high proportion of pupils with SpLD, SCLN or MLD can have their needs
met in mainstream schools. As such, plans must be made for dispersed
facilities and support services provided by a sufficient number of readily
available and qualified staff with an appropriate level of resources.

Where there is a low incidence of pupils who have a severe sensory
impairment or physical difficulty, staff with expertise will be required to meet
their needs. Provision for 1012 pupils may be made in a sub-regional or
central location by means of an additionally resourced provision in a
mainstream school.

Where there is a cohort of pupils with a broad range of more complex or
severe special educational needs, a special school may be provided. The
schools location will be considered in relation to a local catchment area and
to the travel arrangements for pupils. There needs to be a critical mass of
provision required to run an effective service and to attract and retain suitably
qualified specialist staff.

Ideally, synergy and symbiosis will be reflected in the ongoing integrated planning of
all specialist services for children, including through the LEAs education planning, its
Accessibility Strategy and through School Accessibility Plans.


3.2 Different types of provision

The different types of provision for pupil placements are listed below and further
information is available in Appendix E.

LEA-maintained schools can be:

local community mainstream schools, which may or may not have specialist
facilities or additionally resourced provision
local community special schools, which may be phased provision or all-age,
co-located or stand-alone
residential special schools

LEAs also maintain pupil referral units.

In addition, there are non-maintained and independent special schools, with day
pupils or including residential settings (see Appendix E).

In mainstream schools, specialist facilities and additionally resourced provision can
be provided to support pupils who have SEN and disabilities, according to local
needs. The net capacity of the school can be reviewed and changed if pupils with
SEN are taken on to the roll. A reduction in planned school places can be made in
order to meet SEN needs where pupils are fully included in mainstream.

Where pupils needs cannot be met in mainstream schools, then pupils may attend
special schools.

Planning and provision of dual-roll placements for pupils, so that pupils may attend
both a mainstream and a special school, may take place where this is part of the LEA
policy.

Provision of training and outreach services between mainstream and special schools
will require appropriate accommodation to support it.

A summary description of the provision which can be made for pupils with SEN and
disabilities in both community mainstream and community special schools is set out
below.


3.2.1 Mainstream inclusive schools

Many pupils who have SEN and disabilities can be included alongside their peers in
mainstream class bases, with additional support which may include any or all of the
following:

learning and behaviour support with teaching assistants and other specialists

therapy with specialist staff as a means of ensuring improved access to
learning

personal-care facilities for independent or assisted access

medical and social-care support for pupils health and well-being, managed by
appropriate responsible staff

When planning a mainstream school, it is important that brief-writers and designers
know the composition of the school population so as to ensure that appropriate
provision to meet pupils needs is identified in the brief for the school
accommodation. The numbers of pupils at school action/school action plus or with
statements of special educational need and their likely needs should be identified, as
well as the provision required to meet these.

It is also essential to plan for anticipated needs, so that there is flexibility and
adaptability to ensure access to learning for all pupils now and in the future.
Summary guidance notes are set out below.

In mainstream class bases, there needs to be sufficient space for about 30 pupils, a
teacher and between one and three teaching assistants, as well as space for
specialist equipment, personal belongings, mobility equipment, the use of learning
aids, the delivery of the curriculum and storage, whilst ensuring health and safety
requirements are met.

It is recommended that at least one teaching space for each subject be larger in
order to provide sufficient space for access to learning, accessible workspaces for
pupils who use wheelchairs, or to accommodate a large number of pupils with SEN.

A general-teaching class base may have an area of 6065 m
2
. Practical specialist
spaces may need to be larger and should have accessible workstations.

Where there are small existing class bases such as in a school where refurbishment
is planned, the following should be considered:

the number, age and type of pupils, and the range of their needs that can be
safely and appropriately accommodated in the size of class base
the equipment and resources needed
the number of staff

It may be necessary to consider having smaller pupil groupings, but the
consequences of this should be understood. For example, smaller groupings of 26
pupils may increase the number of spaces and staffing numbers required, depending
on the situation and the capacity of the school.

Mainstream inclusion and the phases of education

This section sets out the provision which can typically be made for pupils who have
SEN and disabilities at each phase of education in inclusive mainstream schools. It
summarises matters to be considered for inclusion and identifies specialist facilities
which can be provided.

Early years

Generally, provision for younger children with SEN and disabilities is integrated into
local community settings such as neighbourhood nurseries and nursery classes at
local community primary or community special schools.
8




8
Reference can also be made to Building for Sure Start (DfES, 2004) and, for settings that
provide childcare, the National Standards for Under-eights Day Care and Childminding.
Early screening and intervention enables appropriate provision to be made to meet
medical needs and needs associated with more severe disability. LEAs, schools and
other agencies will need to provide specialist advice for the brief, as appropriate.

Typical accommodation needs are described below.

Nurseries have large class bases with a large open space for arranging different
layouts according to areas of experience. Facilities and areas may comprise:

smaller scale furniture and fittings, toys, play equipment, furnishings, curtains
and cushions, bearing in mind the childrens needs

small bays for practical areas or learning resources in trays or on trolleys

computers for early years

views out at low level for children who spend a lot of time near to or on the
floor

wet and dry spaces for different activities

ample storage for play equipment, buggies and prams

space for mobility equipment

safe, clean, non-abrasive and non-slip sheet flooring or carpet according to
the activities being undertaken

adjacent kitchen areas (gated off as necessary), toilet and staff facilities

direct access to a sheltered outdoor play area, a separate dedicated external
play area and also some covered outdoor play space

a range of different outdoor spaces to meet pupil needs

the appropriate scale and volume of spaces for early years, remembering that
scaling down rooms could make them constricting and inflexible. For some
children a large space can be confusing, whilst for others it gives a sense of
freedom

For children with SEN the following should also be considered:

sufficient area in the class base for assistants and therapists to work

small places for withdrawal for one-to-one or sensory work

a quiet area or semi-enclosed space for learning and behaviour support

a sensory room

a soft-play area (shared with primary, if part of a primary school)

a medical room with safe storage for drugs, tubes for feeding, oxygen packs,
medical goods and provision for the disposal of clinical waste

toilet and changing areas with small-scale fittings and cubicles at a lower
height, to allow for both privacy and passive supervision. Space both sides of
toilets and showers with hoist provided for manual handling by carers, if
required

a multi-purpose therapy room

a medical/therapy office

a case conference/meeting room

a parents room

Primary

Children with SEN and disabilities are usually integrated into local community
mainstream or special-school settings.

Children are grouped into classes and are taught most if not all subjects by their
class teacher. As well as the daily literacy hour and numeracy lesson, there will be
general teaching of specialist subjects such as history and geography as well as
imaginative and constructive play and practical activities undertaken through art,
science, music, food technology and design and technology. Sometimes, these
activities have specialist spaces. Group activities such as drama and movement and
Physical education may take place in the hall, dining area, or a large-group room or
drama studio.

Other accommodation is required for:

staff non-contact time
outreach
training
school administration
catering
cleaning
maintenance.

Typical accommodation needs are described below. It is important to provide a
sufficient number of class bases and a large enough area in the class bases for:

supporting the full curriculum

accommodating the numbers of pupils and their types of need

accommodating additional staff

different pupil groupings (sitting in a circle or arc arrangement, working
around a table or in individual work space)

a range of activities taking place at the same time, some of which will need
large pieces of equipment

provision of water and space for practical technology work, as well as art,
music, science and food-technology activities, as appropriate to age and need

storage for resources in cupboards or moveable trolleys

There should be:

views out at low level for small children nearer the floor

the appropriate scale and ambience for the age of the children

places for relatively quiet and more noisy activities

shaded outdoor space directly off the class base for outdoor learning and
recreation

a range of different outdoor spaces to meet pupil needs

a library and resources area for use by the whole school

ICT workstations in the class base and as an ICT bay

When designing for children with SEN and disabilities in teaching spaces,
consideration should be made for:

a suitable physical environment to support a range of learning styles,
including for those who have learning, behaviour, interaction, sensory or
physical needs

sufficient space in the class base for assistants and therapists

a quiet or semi-enclosed area for learning and behaviour support

minimum fixed furniture so staff can arrange furniture or fittings flexibly

sinks at adjustable height or at different heights for pupils and staff

space for large play equipment, mobility equipment, learning aids and
resources on trolleys, with suitable storage

areas for individual-learning aids, access technology, ICT and workstations
with associated services and storage

small-group rooms or resource bases adjacent or near the class base to
support pupil needs

a medical/therapy room and offices

a case-conference/meeting room

non-abrasive, non-slip sheet flooring with a soft carpet area

toilet and changing areas with small-scale fittings, cubicles at a lower height
for privacy and passive supervision, space for carers, and the provision of
hoists, as required

sensory rooms

a soft-play room

therapy rooms

hydrotherapy for pupils with significant physical or profound needs

Secondary

Typical accommodation needs at this phase are outlined below. Some teaching
spaces are used as both general teaching and learning spaces and specialist subject
spaces, for example for history and geography. Specialist subject lessons are taught
by specialist teachers in a specialist spaces. This allows for the collection of
specialist resources and the establishment of a subject ethos through display.
Teaching and learning spaces are usually arranged in subject departments with
storage, staff offices, computer hubs, resource rooms and small-group rooms.

Specialist practical spaces occupy designated accommodation for science, food
technology and design and technology, with appropriate storage, preparation rooms
and staff facilities. For health and safety reasons such spaces are not used for tutor
groups. These areas can allow facilities for the vocational curriculum to be
developed.

The library and resources area is provided for use by the whole school. ICT
workstations will be provided in the class base and/or within an ICT suite. Physical
education, sport, gym, dance, music and drama can be undertaken in the assembly
hall which is also used for examinations and performances in small schools.

Pupils need to have their own class bases, which may also be used as general
teaching spaces, to register and for pastoral or tutor-group work periods. They also
need a place to store personal belongings and learning materials and a place to give
a sense of ownership, belonging and stability.

When designing for children with SEN and disabilities there should be:

an adequate area at the front of the class base for access to the teacher and
whiteboard, and for access and egress

clear visibility of the whiteboard without glare (low-glare lighting and provision
of blinds or curtains)

clear visibility and audibility of the teacher (good-quality acoustic finishes)

suitable demonstration facilities to enable visual learning

a suitable physical environment to support a range of learning styles and
types of activity

sufficient circulation area for pupils who use wheelchairs, and room for them
to access the curriculum within the space

sufficient area in the class base for teaching assistants and therapists to work
alongside pupils

sufficient workspace for use of learning aids, specialist computers and links
for radio aids

spaces for temporary storage of mobility equipment

storage for learning aids and other mobility, technical and educational
equipment

space for storage of pupils coats and bags

permanent storage for teaching and learning resources and aids

space for adjustable-height furniture, for use when required

space for suitable robust ergonomic furniture for a range of pupil ages and
sizes and types of need

support spaces for independent access and assisted toilets and hygienic care
suites

space for parents and carers to meet staff

parking bays and storage space for mobility equipment

small-group rooms (1 per 6 class bases)

a SEN resource base

a SENCO office

a medical/therapy room

a case-conference/meeting room

specialist facilities

resourced provision

a range of outdoor spaces accessible for all pupils

Post-16 level

Where pupils are able to learn alongside their peers in local community schools, they
will work towards obtaining nationally recognised, externally accredited qualifications.
A student may attend mainstream school as well as another accessible education
setting, such as a local further-education (FE) college or sixth-form college. These
will have their own resourced provision, funded by the Learning and Skills Council
(LSC). Some special schools have their own tertiary section or are co-located with a
mainstream school or FE College.

Whichever educational setting applies, ample specialist accommodation is required
to enable relevant courses to be taught, although some learning may still take place
in the main school. The accommodation provided should be significantly different and
separate from the rest of the school, in order to reflect the approaching adult status of
the young people and their contemporary culture.

There should also be a student common room with spaces for working in a more
independent way and in a relaxed social setting. Here, separate activities can be
carried out at the same time by different groups, students achievements can be
displayed, and students can make their own drinks or food.

In addition to the considerations listed for secondary schools in the previous section,
the design of the learning environment for post-16 students should be age-
appropriate, demonstrate respect for individuals and their dignity, enable participation
and inclusion in student life and give access to inclusive opportunities in the wider
community.


3.2.2 Specialist facilities in mainstream schools

In mainstream schools, some spaces are allocated to support pupils with additional
needs or SEN. Additional specialist facilities can also be provided for learning and
behaviour support. These facilities may comprise a combination of spaces (for more
details on supplementary net area, see BB98). Such facilities may be located in a
central part of the school or in dispersed locations around the school.

Where particular needs have been identified or there is a high number of pupils who
are identified as school action plus or who have statements of SEN, additional
specialist accommodation should be provided to support pupils needs.

Typically, in addition to the SEN resource base, a one- or two-form entry (1FE or
2FE) primary school may need a small-group room for shared use by each year
group and a 3FE or 4FE primary school may need 2 small group rooms per year
group.


Table 3: Typical spaces to support pupils with SEN in mainstream
schools
(These will vary with the size of the school, as required)

Primary area m
2
12 two small group rooms 7
1 small-group room for pupil support and use by a SENCO 12
1 accessible hygiene room 710
Source: Draft BB99: Briefing Framework for Primary School Projects (2004)
Secondary area m
2
1 SEN resource base 20
12 small-group rooms 16
1 SENCO office 8
SENCO/wheelchair/appliance space 12
medical room (priority for MI and first aid) 18
Source: BB98: Briefing Framework for Secondary-school Projects (2004)



Table 4: Additional spaces which can support pupil needs
in mainstream schools
(These will vary with the size of the school and type of need)

Space Area m
2
SEN resource base 2554
Small-group room 2530
Hygiene room 1530
Technicians room 1020
Wheelchair-appliance store 810
SEN central store 58
SENCOs office 610
Sensory room 1220
Soft-play area 1030
Medical-inspection room 1015
Physiotherapy room 1620
Warm-water pool 70150
Laundry 58
Source: BB94: Inclusive School Design (2001)


This bulletin recommends that in addition to the accommodation identified above, the
spaces shown in Table 5 should be provided, as appropriate, to meet the needs of
pupils with SEN in mainstream schools.


Table 5: Typical specialist facilities to support pupils with
SEN
(A number different type of spaces should be provided to
support the current and anticipated needs of the pupils)

Spaces Area m
2

Storage for small items (HI aids) 4
Storage for resources (general) 610
Technical preparation room 610
Technical preparation room (VI) 1620
Mobility storage per bay (PD) 10
Sensory room 12
Hygiene room 1820
Small-group rooms / support spaces

These may have a specific designated use
or be multi-purpose, used for the following:
- learning / behaviour support
- quiet room for calming or respite
- sensory-service support
- speech and language therapy

10 -12
Small-group rooms / support spaces

These may have a specific designated use
16
or be multi-purpose, used for the following:
- learning / behaviour support
- sensory-service support
- speech and language therapy
- role play/discussions
Resource base / support space

The following functions can be provided in a
specific designated room of this size:
- social-skills training base
- pastoral-support base
- nurture-group base
- a multi-purpose therapy room
- nurses office
- first-aid/rest room
- parents room
- case-conference room
2030
SEN resource/class base 3060
Visual-impairment learning resource and
mobility training
4560


Resourced provision in mainstream schools

Some pupils may not be able to cope on their own in mainstream settings without a
resourced provision. This may support a small group of pupils, (usually 1012
individuals), and can be planned as an integral part of a mainstream school.

Provision is usually made for a particular type and range of special educational
needs, and reference should be made to Part 2, Needs and means, for specific
requirements for each type of special educational need. Outreach and training to
support other local schools may also be provided.

Typically, a resourced provision can consist of one or more class bases (of 4565
m
2
) for timetabled use with fewer pupils (1012 individuals) and space for specialist
learning aids and resources. Generally, it is beneficial for the provision to be near
other, well-used facilities to reduce travel time around the school and to aid natural
social interaction.

Most pupils will be registered in tutor group and attend lessons with their peers, only
attending the resource base for timetabled sessions of learning or behaviour support
to suit their individual needs. However, for a minority of pupils, it may be beneficial to
receive more support in the resource base. In these circumstances, a suite of
accommodation to support most curriculum delivery may be grouped around its own
dedicated social space.

It may be beneficial for this suite to be sited in a quieter part of the school (though it
should not be remote or isolated), off a main circulation area, and with a safe,
contained outdoor space or courtyard, or a separate larger outdoor learning or play
space.

This bulletin recommended a typical additionally resourced provision be comprised of
the accommodation in Table 6.


Table 6: Accommodation for a resourced provision (area m
2
)

Resource base: 1012 pupils
5565
Resource base: 810 pupils
4554
Small-group room for learning support or
respite

10
Small-group room for discussions and role
play

16
Practical specialist-subject spaces (pupil
numbers vary)

5065


3.2.3 Special schools

In special schools the same range of subjects is taught as in mainstream schools, but
appropriate specially equipped practical spaces will be required, suited to age, phase
and special educational needs. Medical, therapy and support spaces will also be
needed. In addition, there must be a centre for outreach and training to support pupil
needs in mainstream schools, a parents room and multi-agency working spaces.
Extended-school activities and community use for the school are beneficial, so
facilities must lend themselves to such functions.

Where groups of pupils from mainstream schools attend the special school part-time,
planning to meet their needs must be considered early on, especially if more space is
required.

Where special schools are small, it may be possible to provide some of the specialist
accommodation off-site by using the facilities of a local secondary school or other
setting. This may be a suitable arrangement where the special school is co-located
on the same campus as a secondary school.

It is also extremely important to note that if an all-age school is built, due to local
needs, it should be able to provide age-appropriate environments.

The same requirements apply for:

maintained co-located and stand-alone schools

non-maintained independent schools and day-residential schools

See Appendix B for more information.

Co-location of a mainstream and a special school

A special school and a mainstream school can be co-located on the same site or as
part of a learning campus, but retaining their separate identities. Different
arrangements can include:

separate identities and separate buildings
both separate and shared accommodation and resources
a fully integrated school

It is recommended that co-location is by phase, so that for example a primary special
school is co-located with a primary mainstream school, and a secondary special
school is co-located with a secondary mainstream school.

Some points to consider are set out below:

Positive joint working arrangements between head teachers and governors
should be in place, so that the schools have a mutually supportive
relationship, with shared staff facilities as appropriate.

The balance of the different schools pupil populations and their respective
needs should be planned and designed for carefully.

The special school provides facilities which the mainstream pupils can use to
encourage an inclusive whole-school approach.

All joint-use spaces and shared accessible facilities in the mainstream school
should provide good-quality accommodation of sufficient size, with accessible
workstations and adequate storage so that pupils with SEN and disabilities
can benefit from curriculum activities.

The mainstream school should have specialist facilities and/or a resourced
provision for their pupils who have SEN and disabilities, the use of which can
be shared with the special school.

Planning should ensure that travel time and distance are reasonable, that
internal and external circulation routes are accessible, and that access,
egress and security arrangements are safe, avoiding conflict of routes
between different pupil groups, mini-buses and car parking.

There should be both planned and informal opportunities for social inclusion
whether through assemblies, tutor groups, dining, or outside school activities.

Inclusive dining arrangements should accommodate the different patterns of
dining which will support pupils social development and medical needs.

Further support facilities may be required for pupils with more complex needs
in mainstream settings.

Pupils from the special school may find the large numbers of mainstream pupils a
daunting experience, although such situations can be advantageous to help pupils
understand social and cultural diversity. Designs can assist inclusion by:

providing passing bays or incidental spaces off circulation spaces

allowing space just inside a class base for pupils to orientate themselves

including small-group rooms

segregating noisy and quiet areas

planning quiet spaces or joint-use spaces as links or buffer spaces

providing a range of outdoor spaces to meet different pupil needs, e.g. for
more sheltered, quieter or contained spaces

All-age special school for a broad range of SEN

The following points should be considered:

Buildings should provide progression throughout the school with age-
appropriate environments to suit pupil needs at every stage.

Separate entrances or identities can be designed to show progression.

The distinct needs of pupils of different ages should be thought through,
understood and provided for in the design.

Accommodation for PE, music and drama may be shared between the
primary and secondary phases if it is considered that each group will have
sufficient timetabled access.

Options for joint or separate use of halls and dining spaces will also need
careful consideration in relation to age-appropriate environments and
curriculum delivery.

Opportunities for economies of scale must not be at the expense of access to
the curriculum. There is, however, the potential to maximise learning
opportunities and develop specialist facilities or spaces for different learning
experiences, such as music and drama.

Residential schools

Pupils attend residential schools for many different reasons. They can be an
essential part of their educational programme, or assist families in resolving social
issues, or provide respite.
The design and provision of the school accommodation should comply with BB77
recommendations wherever possible.
Residential accommodation has separate standards and is often preferred in a
separate building or part of a building.
Opportunities for multi-purpose use or community use should have very careful
consideration in relation to health, safety and welfare of pupils.
Residential special schools are distinct from respite accommodation, other boarding
schools and childrens homes. They can be maintained, non-maintained or
independent schools (see Appendix B).

Summary notes for Parts 1, 2 and 3

The following summary of the main principles and key points from the first three parts
of this document can form a useful checklist at the start of a project or briefing
process.
Principles
Initially, the following four main aspects and their interrelationships should be
considered.
1. The Planning Duties under the DDA, the LEA Accessibility Strategy, the
School Accessibility Plan and the five outcomes under the Children Act 2004.
2. The aspirational and educational vision of the school, which will need to be
set out in a way which enables it to be translated into practical reality and
realised (see Part 4 for more detail).
3. The context of the LEAs provision for special schools and SEN resourced
provision, and the symbiosis between these if there are to be shared
arrangements.
4. The provision to be made for all pupils, including those who have medical
and/or mental health needs, disabilities, and complex and special educational
needs. This assessment should be made in the light of both current and
anticipated needs.

Summary checklist
On the basis of these principles, the points set out below will assist with the more
detailed preparation of a brief for a school. Collaboration and consultation between
all parties will be necessary:

Regional and local factors
LEA and school-level planning for accessibility and inclusion to meet regional
and local needs under DDA and SENDA

age-appropriate provision for each phase of education by type of special
educational need

the range and type of pupils special educational needs (whether needs are
identified that are generic, associated with particular groups or specific to
individuals)

what provision is required by phase of education across a range of settings
for each identified group of needs

Teaching and learning factors
the likely and anticipated number of pupils and their needs

the general provision which is fit for purpose and which meets a broad range
of need

how to provide for requirements which are additional to, or different from the
current mainstream provision

the typical learning and behaviour support required for different groups of
pupils

the suitable type, level and mode of curriculum delivery and the teaching and
learning resources likely for different groups of pupils

the provision to be made for general teaching, practical specialist subjects,
ICT, other learning resources and storage

the ICT and access technologies which will be required to enable pupils to
access the curriculum

requirements for teaching in small groups or one-to-one working

the ways in which flexibility and adaptability can be provided for the future

the potential for extending teaching spaces

provision of outdoor curriculum spaces

the means by which safe indoor and outdoor spaces are provided for
withdrawal, learning and behaviour support, social interaction and recreation

the medical healthcare and therapies required to give pupils access to
learning

the practical, vocational work, or independent living spaces required

staff facilities and support accommodation

the building services, facilities management and maintenance
accommodation required

provision of residential accommodation, its status, operational needs and
requirements (including its interface with any other accommodation and
services)

Individual pupil needs

the individual learning needs of the pupils (sensory, mobility, activity,
communication, social, behavioural)

the means by which any conflicting needs are to be resolved

a comfortable learning environment for all pupils

provision for medical, therapy and personal care

the outcome of health and safety risk assessments, which must provide for
safety and security for both pupils and staff


Community aspects

provision for outreach or training services and inclusive links to other local
schools, in terms of both inreach and outreach

facilities for multi-agency working and services (independent or joint-use
facilities, associated services with their requirements, any additional
accommodation needed and its funding)

provision for extended-school use (independent or joint-use facilities,
associated services with their requirements, any additional accommodation
needed and its funding)

provision for community use (independent or joint-use facilities, associated
services with their requirements, any additional accommodation needed and
its funding)

provision on-site for residential or respite accommodation (see Appendix 000)
and any potential for multi-purpose or shared use should be be assessed very
carefully

the appropriate means for realising a sustainable strategy to meet economic,
environmental and social needs

the means for ensuring that a high standard of design, construction and
maintenance is achieved for all school buildings, their sites and surroundings


























4 BRIEFING INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE


4.1 Project briefing

This part of the guidance acts as a briefing guide. It has been prepared for use by
designers and those involved in writing the brief or undertaking feasibility work on
projects where provision for pupils with SEN and disabilities is to be made.
To begin with, a whole-school approach sets out particular issues relevant to SEN.
Thereafter, an elemental approach to briefing has been adopted, which enables the
user to select those items which are relevant to meeting local needs and applicable
to their own circumstances. These elements and their subdivisions for spaces
comprise:

whole-school approach
arrival, departure and circulation
teaching and learning spaces
general teaching spaces
practical specialist spaces
large spaces
learning-resource areas
outside spaces
medical, therapy and multi-agency
dining and kitchen areas
staff areas including outreach
storage
pupil toilets and changing areas

Each section commences with an overarching guiding principle and a design-quality
statement. These are followed by a suggested approach to designing for purpose
with the main relevant issues and design guidance notes for consideration.
Reference should also be made to the specialist sections in Part 5, as appropriate.
Once all of the information is gathered, a school-accommodation schedule can be
drawn up and reference can be made to Part 6, Project planning.

Altogether, the above will direct the design, providing a map for developing and
implementing the overall whole-school provision.


4.1.1 The briefing process

The briefing process is described below. Initially, the LEA may outline its strategic
brief
9
which describes the main requirements and the constraints of the project.
These can be developed into the project brief
10
which defines the scope of the project
in detail; it is often produced by the project team for LEA approval. More details can
be found online at www.nbseducator.co.uk/briefs.

The project team

Education specialists, architects and engineering consultants are appointed, and

9
See the RIBA Job Book (RIBA Publications 2000).
10
Ibid A-B/CM statement of need D/CM2 Project brief, final checklist
often contribute to the briefing process. It is fundamental that they have a good level
of understanding and preferably also appropriate relevant experience of designing for
SEN and disabilities. It is essential to ensure that every project has a brief which
defines its scope and characteristics, and from which the design will grow and be
realised.

Consultation

It is recommended that consultation takes place and that the outcomes be used to
inform the briefing and design processes. School staff will have valuable insights and
expertise regarding the effectiveness and quality of provision to be made and they
are therefore a good source of information.

Parents of children who attend or who will be attending the establishment can have
their views canvassed. Pupils who have SEN and disabilities can also be involved in
the design of the school, as appropriate.

There will also be other education, health and social-care professionals who may
need to be consulted. The LEA will identify such personnel as part of their multi-
agency joint-working procedures, as well as seeking advice from disability
organisations and access officers. Local needs, however, may affect the brief and so
must be taken into consideration.

During the life of the school building, differences in curriculum development, teaching
and learning methods, and in school management and school staff will occur
(especially because of the different approaches head teachers take to school
organisation).

Overall, the LEA is responsible for ensuring that all the necessary requirements can
be met. Therefore, they should inform designers of any immediate or short-term
changes.

Designers should also be cautioned about adopting a design approach which is too
personalised, or fixed, which might compromise new or different approaches in the
future. Ideally, there should be an overall long-term strategy within which change is
allowed to take place, so that flexibility and adaptability can be developed and agreed
by all parties.

Procedures and processes

Briefing is an iterative process, which involves the testing and re-testing of ideas.
Therefore, the brief should be set out in a way which enables its progress to be
reviewed at critical stages. It is recommended that a record be kept of the key
decisions made, so that an audit trail can be established for future reference. It is
also important for architects to understand the remit of their work.

Briefing involves setting out information, giving instructions and defining the essential
characteristics and requirements for the school buildings. It will be necessary to
describe both quantitative and qualitative attributes, which may be thought of as
comprising two aspects:

the aspirational brief, which describes the vision for the school in terms of its
ambience, sense of place and the potential for use of spaces, reflecting its
educational aims and values
the practical brief, which describes the physical needs of the school, its
impact on its environment, the accommodation requirements, spatial
relationships, room data sheets and performance specifications

Inevitably, economics may mean that choices have to be made, necessities and
preferences identified, priorities set and different options evaluated. Discussing the
impact of having, or not having, an item or facility may assist this process.

The lines of enquiry which are set out enable the brief writer to facilitate discussions
with local authorities and schools. Their outcomes provide a basis for compiling the
brief, giving pointers which will assist the designer during the outline and detailed
design stages.

All school buildings, as a minimum, must be fit for purpose and comply with current
regulations. Often, in order to meet the needs of pupils with SEN, it is necessary to
provide more than the minimum that is required under the current regulations.

The brief may also set out requirements for performance or outcomes to be used for
quality control at later stages of the project. These must be realised in the school
building and are crucial for the desired educational outcomes and improved pupil
attainment.


4.2 Whole-school approach

Essentially, the briefing process provides a better understanding of the design issues
involved, and so enhances the design quality of the school and its surroundings. It is
recommended that a whole-school design approach be developed. Whatever the
setting, this ensures that a sustainable, holistic and inclusive programme for meeting
a wide range of needs is realised, as is a positive and enduring outcome.


4.2.1 Guiding principles

It may be useful to establish some guiding principles, which help to ensure the
schools ethos and educational vision are set out in the brief. For example,

being person/pupil-centred
having a holistic approach
providing access to learning
health, safety and welfare of pupils
assuring participation in school life
supporting multi-agency working
improving quality of life
meeting local needs
achieving flexibility and adaptability

These principles will impact on the design, so a design statement should be devised
to reflect them.


4.2.2 Education and inclusion

Good design will assist with transforming learning and working environments in
schools and will help to raise levels of attainment and achievement. It also supports
equality of access to learning, along with inclusion and involvement in school life.
Reference should be made as appropriate to the other parts of this bulletin:

Part 1 Key issues and design quality
Part 2 Special educational needs
Part 3 Strategic planning / summary checklist
Part 4 Teaching and learning spaces
Part 5 Specialist sections
Part 6 Project planning


4.2.3 Sustainability

It is vital that all school buildings and site developments are sustainable, in social,
economic and environmental terms. These factors are considered below:

Social sustainability

It is essential to provide school buildings and sites with good-quality learning and
working environments, which are attractive, safe, have an uplifting ambience and a
positive presence in the community. These principles are important for maintaining
the morale of pupils, parents and staff. Better facilities help attract and retain greater
numbers of teaching and non-teaching staff.

Overall, it is important to understand that a school is:

a group of people who live, learn and work together, and as such it is a place
for teaching, learning and encouraging pupil attainment and achievement
a building and site where learning activities take place, and therefore school
buildings have to be designed to be fit for purpose
a focal point for all users, so its design and appearance should reflect its
position at the heart of the community

All schools should be designed, as far as possible, to be fully accessible and
inclusive for a wide range of pupils needs, to promote equality of opportunity for
everybody and encourage social inclusion and celebrate diversity.

The opportunity to open up the school to the community as a focal point for a range
of healthcare, childcare, community and family services should be encouraged,
where appropriate. It is essential, however, to maintain the priorities required for
efficient school functioning and site use, as well as ensuring the security of pupils.

Economic sustainability

A high level of resourcing is often required to design, build, finance and operate
schools for pupils with SEN and disabilities. This investment could, however, offer
facilities and services for the benefit of the whole school and local community.

It is crucial for planning and designing that a sufficient level of resourcing and funding
to support pupils needs is provided at the outset. Any project should, however, be
planned in terms of achieving best value through whole-life costing, using the
available resources and funding wisely.

For special schools, a very high level of resourcing and funding will be required, due
to the intensive demands made on the use of space. The spatial requirements (i.e.
floor area per pupil) will be significantly higher than those which are normally
provided for pupils in mainstream schools. This should be accepted as inherent in the
nature of the special provisions being made, in that such pupils needs cannot always
be met in the local mainstream schools.

Each school will have its individual profile, as the incidence of SEN will vary widely
across the country, and therefore a one size fits all approach will not be satisfactory.
Each special school or resourced provision should be considered on its own merits.

As a principle, the initial capital investment should enable best value to be achieved
for the whole life of the school building, in terms of both educational and social
values, and economic and environmental issues.

When considering any economies to be made in a building contract, these should in
no way compromise pupils rights to full access to education.

Environmental sustainability

Raising awareness about the importance of creating schools with a high quality of
design and sustainability is vital. Being mindful of the following will help to achieve an
environmental balance:

minimising adverse environmental conditions and their impact on areas
surrounding the school and reducing emissions and pollutants (this includes
consideration of the use of transport, and of energy and water consumption)
efficient use of the site in terms of the siting of the buildings, optimising
orientation and microclimate in relation to the variety of school and community
uses
effective planning of the spaces between buildings to avoid problems of
overshadowing (see BB85 and BB79), for supervision, safety and security
and to encourage biodiversity
responsible and safe storage, handling and disposal of all types of materials
and waste, as well as making opportunities for effective recycling
providing safe, secure access for operation and maintenance of mains
services together with all subsidiary services and systems for the building and
its site
responsible use of materials with respect to their embodied energy,
environmental impact, long-term maintenance and whole-life cost

These environmental issues are explored more fully below and in Part 5.


4.2.4 Site development

Location

The school site should be in a convenient location. Good transport links and
proximity to other local school and community facilities, which pupils can visit as part
of their learning, job and training opportunities in the community are vital.

An appropriate location can support social inclusion and local-community
involvement.

Site planning

Strategic planning will be needed to develop a long-term view of school buildings and
their sites in relation to current and future needs, as well as the impact of their
development on the local community in relation to land use, employment, transport,
and community development.

It is recommended that accommodation be planned to be adaptable and flexible, so
that the school is able to cope with changing needs as they arise, and so avoid
inefficient and poor-quality piecemeal development.

The development will also be subject to various educational strategic planning laws
and sets of guidance, which it is essential to investigate thoroughly. Strategic issues
and related factors for site development are listed below.

Size

The size of a special school can have a significant impact on what is or is not
achievable. For that reason, the special-school site should be large enough in area
for:

safe access, circulation and egress for all
vehicular access, including car parking and access for buses and a safe drop
off zone for pupils arrival and departure
sufficient area for school buildings, with social and outdoor spaces for
delivering the full curriculum
space for ease of maintenance, support and provision for emergency services
allowance for future expansion or infill over a 2540 year period according to
the premises development plan
allowing respect to other surrounding land uses
encouraging community access

Shape

The shape of the school and its integral spaces are equally important. Hence, the
school should have a suitable practical shape in relation to its function. Whilst it is
recommended that the site should be relatively level, the designer should be aware
of issues, such as steeply sloping, restricted or difficult sites, and offer the optimum
solutions for overcoming problems with approach and levels or travel in the early
design stages so as to avoid difficulties later. Sometimes changes in level can be
exploited positively for split-level two-storey special schools, which offer external
access to ground at both levels.

Site planning and accessibility

Accessibility is a major consideration in the choice of site and the design of external
works. All areas of any school should, as far as possible, be equally accessible to
everyone.

Good physical planning from the site boundary, regarding the approach to the
entrance and use of the whole school site, is essential. A clear, simple and easily
understood layout for all users of the school and its site must be established from the
outset. This should include site design for safe access and egress, accessibility and
inclusion, well organised circulation routes, signage and wayfinding for all users.

Relationship between buildings and site

The sites location, size and shape will all have an impact on indoor and outdoor
relationships. There should be a suitable practical arrangement of different external
spaces for a range of activities (such as outdoor curriculum use, sports, play,
socialising and recreation), and the design of this arrangement should relate to the
site, its location, levels, access and orientation. An attractive external environment
should be created, with appropriate landscaping that fits into its surroundings, is safe
and secure, and enhances environmental and ecological value.

Zoning

Site layout and the planning of school building accommodation should be carefully
considered. The organisation of spaces should be designed to allow for compatible
use of the building and site for different purposes and by different users. At the same
time, maintaining the appropriate interrelationships of spaces for the school is
essential to facilitate efficient teaching and learning.

When providing for SEN and disabilities, due regard should therefore be given to the
following:

accessible open areas and inaccessible secure areas
safety, security and accessibility
safe separation of pedestrians, wheelchair-users and vehicles
external noise and pollution
noisy and quiet areas
the active and passive functions of each space
functional and maintenance areas
public and private uses
formal and informal uses
clean and dirty areas
building works and school functions

Safety and security

The levels of security necessary will vary from location to location, but will need to be
addressed at the outset. The same considerations for pupils, staff and visitors, which
affect the school site, also carry through into and throughout the school building.
Planning for continuity of passive supervision with good sight lines, and avoiding re-
entrant areas will apply to both internal and external areas is essential.

The security of school buildings and sites for pupils, staff and visitors is a serious
matter, and there should be strategies for managing passive supervision,
surveillance, trespass and vandalism risk. Appropriate use of external lighting,
security and fire prevention systems are also important. The safeguards used must
not impact negatively on the practicalities of daily life at the school, or the
appearance and design of the whole school environment.

Fire engineering

It is essential to develop an appropriate fire strategy when providing for pupils with
SEN and disabilities. It should be developed and agreed in consultation with the local
fire authority. Decisions about use of internal or external evacuation procedures, or
whether fire doors are held open and linked to the fire-detection system or whether
sprinklers are used should be considered at an early stage because of their impact
on accessibility and the design of the whole site layout.

Structure and services

Strategic planning of structure and services is an integral part of the whole design.
Careful siting of core facilities must take place in order to enable full access to the
school by all pupils. Typically, this may include consideration of siting of stairs, lifts,
service routes and the location of a range of toilet and hygiene facilities around the
school.

The appropriate structural system should be adopted for clear spans wherever
possible and structural elements causing an obstruction (for example, columns in
corridors or teaching spaces) should be avoided.

A suitable whole-school strategy should be developed at an early stage, including
thermal modelling for optimum orientation and good comfort levels. This should
inform the provision of all environmental services such as hot and cold water,
lighting, heating, ventilation, cooling and wired services for electrical and electronic
services, data cabling and installations for wireless ICT.

Buildings and materials

Careful consideration and selection of materials and finishes is necessary, so as to
enable effective accessibility and inclusion. The appropriate use of materials and
finishes can enhance access and inclusion, creating a barrier-free learning
environment, but pupils may be significantly adversely affected if these are poorly
specified and installed. Provision required to meet pupils needs may exceed
regulations (see References).

Design quality

The design of the school and its site reflects:

school image and the presentation of its relationship to the community and its
surroundings
school as an easily identifiable attractive feature with accessible approach,
welcoming entrance and sheltered waiting areas
the environmental and architectural relationship to existing buildings, site and
local context in terms of scale, form and materials

Being mindful of these principles, it will be possible to design inclusive school
environments which:

improve the design of all buildings and their sites for everyone
support inclusivity and cultural diversity
emphasise the role of the school building as a learning tool and sensory
experience
create a multi-sensory environment which can have a positive and creative
influence on the learning experience
enhance experience and enjoyment of life for everyone at school

To assist in devising the brief and putting principles into practice, an elemental
approach to design is recommended. This is reflected in the following sections.


4.3 Arrival, departure and circulation

All schools should be designed, as far as possible, to be fully accessible and
inclusive for a wide range of pupils needs, in order to promote equality of opportunity
for everybody.

The brief should contain a description of the LEA and school strategy for accessibility
and inclusion.

The outcomes of access statements and audits in relation to the needs and
participation of all users may require that a high standard of provision be made,
exceeding that which is currently required under statutory regulations and guidance,
such as the DfES Constructional Standards, Building Regulations Approved
Document M (ADM): Access to and use of buildings and BS8300: Design of buildings
and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people.

Designers need to decide how to provide for a wide range of needs in an inclusive
design, whilst resolving any potential for conflicting issues. The following general
guidance notes summarise some of the main considerations to be made for the
access and inclusion of all users.

Organisation

There will be many different people using the site for different reasons at different
times of the day. Safe access, egress and circulation is essential for all users, whilst
maintaining security and allowing means of escape. The type and range of users are
described below, along with the various issues which may have to be addressed.

Users

Most pupils with SEN and disabilities (including pupils with BESD) will be transported
to their schools, or resourced provision, either by taxi, by school bus, by their
parents, or by private arrangement. These various modes of transport will have a
significant impact on site design and layout.

Many adults will also visit the school site, including parents, transport escorts,
permanent full-time and part-time staff, and visiting professionals. There will also be
visits from the school-building manager, kitchen and maintenance staff as well as
deliveries from outside agencies.

With large numbers of visiting staff, parents, visitors and community users at different
times of the day, there is a high need for short- and long-term car parking.

Adults may also have SEN and disabilities which will have to be considered early on
in the design stage.

Some users will have no other contact with the school, and will therefore need to be
given clear directions about how to access and use designated facilities in a
responsible manner.

Thus, the design of the physical environment of the school and its site needs a
carefully thought-out approach in order to create a supportive environment for all
users.

The school day

Each school will have its own timetable and routine for the whole school day which
will reflect its individual educational ethos.

Generally, however, pupils will arrive in the morning at between 8 and 9 a.m. and
leave at between 3 and 4 p.m. There may also be extended school use, for example,
for pre-school breakfast clubs or after-school groups.

Pupils will generally undertake different activities during the morning and afternoon,
with breaks for refreshments and play in the morning and afternoon, and with lunch
around midday.

The exact details of the typical school day should be ascertained by the designers
from the LEA and the school. All other users throughout the school day and out of
hours should be considered use, as should their roles.

It should be borne in mind, however, that such arrangements and school-
management issues will also vary during the life of the school building, with different
head teachers over time, and should not be too personalised to one approach only.


4.3.1 External circulation

Access and approach

The first impressions of the school are important for attracting pupils, parents and
staff. The visual impact of the school, its buildings and site should be discussed and
expressed in a design statement. There should be an accessible approach and an
entrance which is safe and secure, easily identifiable, attractive, welcoming and
which has a positive presence in the community.

Generally, an easily accessible level or ramped approach and access should be
provided. Similarly, well-designed access should be provided around the school
grounds to enable participation in all school activities. There should be a simple,
clear, well-organised and easily understood layout, with clear signage giving
directions to the relevant locations, so that users of the school site can find their way
easily.

Wayfinding

This is a term used to describe how people intuitively find their way in the
environment, orientating themselves, and planning and making journeys.

It is an essential life skill and the design of external and internal circulation spaces,
as well as the overall design, must help this learning process.

Wayfinding schemes can enable inclusion for all pupils, by creating trails or using
cues of colour, texture and sound. Where these are adopted, they should:

be planned according to the anticipated type and range of SEN and
disabilities
be reviewed in relation to changing needs, the long-term use of the building
and the permanence of such installations
provide continuity throughout the whole school building and site

Wayfinding can be significantly enhanced by appropriately sited and well-designed
signage.

Signage

Clear, easily understood signage can assist with route-finding and orientation, and
give identity or focus. Signage should have appropriately sized lettering, with visual
contrast to the background, installed at an appropriate height and distance where it is
clearly visible to all users.

Suitable signage may assist those with sensory impairments and those with
communication and language difficulties, and should assist the development of
independence skills by:

using easily understood signs, symbols and objects of references
incorporating Braille or tactile elements
being voice-activated or including speech directions

Safety

It is essential to ensure safe external access and circulation for pedestrians of all
ages in relation to the overall volume of vehicular use. Therefore, a clear strategy is
essential to minimise the risk of accidents and should cover:

site capacity, allowing for sufficient space for the planned number of vehicles
arriving and departing simultaneously in the morning and afternoon, in
variable circumstances
safe separation of pedestrians, wheelchair users and vehicles
giving pedestrians precedence over vehicles within the school site
pupils who are less mobile, less aware of risk and danger, or who are
wheelchair-users with independent or assisted access
safe arrangements for pupils being transported by bus or arriving on foot or
by bicycle, wheelchair or buggy
avoidance of projections and obstructions which could cause a hazard
clear identification of hazards for the visually and hearing-impaired where
these are unavoidable, such as vehicles

Vehicular circulation

Safe circulation, provision for parking, appropriate pedestrian/vehicular segregation
and associated activities for all users should be considered early on in the design.
Transport provision where assistance is required should be established at the outset,
because this will have a significant impact on the site layout. The main points to
consider are:
the provision of adequate and safe car parking for staff and visitors, including
designated larger parking spaces for those with disabilities, with guidance from
the Planning Authority about the acceptable numbers of car spaces and the
production of a Green Travel Plan
that transport provision will need to be made for assisted pupil arrival and drop-
off by coach, bus, mini-bus, taxi and car. There should be sufficient safe space
for disembarking to the pavement directly outside and on the same side as the
appropriate entrance. Vehicles should also be able to arrive, draw-up and wait
in turn
vehicle circulation and flow for set-down and drop-off, avoiding congestion by
using one-way, inout, or roundabout traffic-flow systems as appropriate
the use of clearly marked crossings and speed-reducing measures for vehicles,
in consultation with the local highways department and as appropriate for
accessibility
provision for access by bicycle and alternative forms of travel or transport, and
bicycle storage
access for fire engines, and the application of the fire-fighting strategy for the
whole site, including access to water supplies with the required pressure
access for emergency services, such as ambulances, allowing for ease of
movement to appropriate areas of the school buildings and sites, such as first
aid, medical-inspection or sports areas
access for large vehicles for collection of waste and refuse and transport to safe
storage areas, or for infection and vermin control, should be arranged with the
local authoritys environmental-health and refuse-removal departments
access for large vehicles for unloading bulk supplies, especially for kitchen and
maintenance functions, with safe, approved approach, entry, parking and
turning areas. These should, as far as possible, be positioned away from the
main entrance so as to ensure safety and avoid negative impact

The impact of the providing for the functional aspects of transport and external
circulation should be carefully integrated with the design of soft and hard landscaping
to give the school an attractive welcoming appearance. Appropriate planting can
soften some of the harder aspects of roads, footpaths, fencing, car parking and street
lighting so that, for example, the hard landscape for car parking does not dominate
over the school site and arrival/departure routes are attractive.

Arrival and departure

The beginning and end of the day, when all pupils are arriving or leaving school, can
be stressful for both pupils and staff. Creating an appropriate place with sufficient
space for the required number of people to gather and wait can help to settle or calm
pupils and can assist with this process, allowing for the safe grouping and
appropriate dispersal of pupils. Some points to consider are set out below:

Arrival and departure processes take time and resources which require
operational planning to guarantee pupils health and safety.
Where there is a possibility that children may try to run out of school it will be
necessary to provide appropriate safe and secure environments.
The transfer of pupils in wheelchairs with assistance from the rear or side of a
vehicle is a slow process and takes place in all weathers, so is best done
under cover.
Pupils with disabilities are encouraged to develop independent skills for
access, orientation and wayfinding as part of their education, as this enables
them to access the wider community.
Providing an over-protective environment can be a dull and unstimulating, so
it will be necessary to balance safety alongside allowing suitable challenges
to prepare pupils for the uncertainties of everyday living.
When designing for co-located schools it is necessary avoid conflict of pupil
routes, especially at peak times.

Pupils may access the school through the main entrance, or alternative separate
pupil entrances according to age and Key Stages. Access will depend on the
schools individual approach, its site, management and staffing arrangements.
Likewise, the handover of responsibility for pupils between transport escorts and the
school will vary. Whatever the individual school circumstances, the design of these
entrances should be, age-appropriate and give a sense of identity.

Older pupils may make their own way, with passive supervision, whereas younger
pupils need more supervision. For younger pupils there may need to be access
through gated or low-fenced areas, sheltered access and waiting areas and sufficient
space to receive parents with siblings, buggies and wheelchairs. An equipment store
near the early-years or reception entrance spaces may be needed.

Typically, these entrances may have accessible manually operated doors (with a
hold-open facility, if required) or automatically operated sliding doors. Security
controls and/or an accessible security and draught lobby with outer and inner doors
to suit may also be provided, but entrances should always be welcoming and
convenient to use.

Approach and entrances

There should be some form of covered or sheltered access to the entrance in order
to provide:

waiting spaces for parents with other children, if appropriate
weather protection for pupils transferring to or from buses or taxis
weather protection for an entrance with a level threshold

Provision of an attractive canopy or covered access to the pavement for pupils
arrival is recommended. It can be problematic, however, if there are a large number
of vehicles arriving together or if the site is constricted.


4.3.3 Internal circulation

Main entrance and reception

The main entrance and reception space should be easily identifiable, attractive, user-
friendly and welcoming.

There should also be a readily accessible, well-lit and visible means for obtaining
assistance, if required, communicating with reception and/or for door operation. An
integrated design, using clear visual and tactile signage, intercom or telephone,
sounder bell, or voice-activated messaging, is needed.

The main entrance and reception have several important functions characterised by:

pupil arrival and departure
arrival and departure of staff if there is no separate entrance
arrival of visiting staff, therapists and outreach workers
visitors arrival and booking-in
parents arrival for appointments and enquiries

There should be ramped and/or level access and main entrance doors with automatic
operation for ease of access.

It is recommended that a secure lobby be provided at the entrance to give reception
staff greater control over access and egress. This can also act as a draught lobby.
Typically, it may have automatic sliding doors on the outside and on the inside,
controlled by reception (or with a swipe card or other facility for approved card-
holders).

The security function should not detract from the character and quality of the school
entrance. It is often advantageous for the reception office to have a window
overlooking the entrance and approach for passive supervision (in addition to CCTV
cameras which are provided).

Where doors to the main and all other entrances have a large area of glazing, then
manifestations should be used to make them visible to those with visual impairment.

The reception area should have a counter facing onto the secure lobby with a sliding
window or glazed screen, at an accessible height with a lowered-height counter
section and a knee recess on both sides for use by a wheelchair user, if required, on
either side (refer to BS8300). It may also be necessary to provide tactile signage
and/or a wall or floor wayfinding trail for those who have a visual impairment.

There should be good-quality natural and artificial lighting, avoiding down-lighting
which casts shadows on the face of the receptionist and makes lip reading difficult.
An induction loop should be provided for those who have hearing impairments.

Once a person has passed through the secure lobby, there may be another larger,
open and accessible reception counter (with suitable provision, as above, for
wheelchair-users, and those with visual or hearing impairment). A tactile map of the
school site and layout can also be provided.

There should be a welcoming seating area for visitors, allowing space for those in
wheelchairs or with buggies. There may be a display area and the parents room will
often be located nearby.

There may also need to be an easily accessible storage space for mobility equipment
in a discreet, unobtrusive place nearby, with provision for battery charging.

Design quality of circulation spaces

Every effort should be made to introduce daylight wherever possible, in order to
create pleasant spaces, reduce energy consumption and allow borrowed light from
other spaces (provided there is solar and glare control). Good-quality lighting is
essential for accessibility, and artificially lit circulation areas must not be dull and
oppressive.

The design quality of circulation spaces makes a significant contribution to the
ambience of the school as a whole. It can affect the morale of all users, as these
spaces link the teaching and learning spaces together with all other spaces.

Internal circulation

Circulation spaces should be both pleasant and practical to use, affording a means of
moving around the building with ease, convenience and efficiency.

There should be a simple, clear, easily understood internal layout with signage and
wayfinding for both visitors and pupils, as appropriate. All circulation spaces should
be given detailed consideration during the briefing and design process.

Circulation spaces should be designed to support the effective functional
arrangement and management of the school for teaching and learning, and so as not
to cause interference or conflict. For example, a layout with one classroom opening
off another without a separate corridor will cause disruption of lessons and is not
acceptable. For this reason, spaces are usually divided into class bases or specialist
spaces for teaching and learning, and corridors or other separate spaces for
circulation.

If there are to be any open-plan teaching and learning spaces in or adjacent to
circulation spaces, these should be designed with great care and caution. This is
especially important for pupils with SEN and disabilities, many of whom are easily
distracted.

For pupils with SEN and disabilities, it is essential that the arrangement of circulation
space is both effective and efficient, because of the impact of travel time and its
potential for erosion of curriculum access.

The design of the school can influence social behaviour in a positive way.
The opportunity to design circulation spaces as social spaces which minimise
confusion, congestion and disruption should always be taken.

Layout and room relationships

The design approach can be assisted by generating a schematic diagram showing
the desired links between teaching and non-teaching spaces, and preferred room
relationships.

Relationships between rooms should be designed bearing in mind arrival and
departure, routes to class bases, access to specialist spaces, egress to and acess
from external areas and relationships to the entrance. From this diagram, it should be
possible to establish the important links between teaching and other spaces, and to
identify the priorities which determine their proximity.

Thinking through the whole school day is an important element of the design process
as this will highlight issues of day-to-day school life and management.

Function and size

Corridors will serve different functions and will vary according to type and frequency
of use, occupancy and volume of traffic. All designs should, as far as possible, allow
sufficient space for wheelchair accessibility for pupils, staff and visitors.

A hierarchy of circulation spaces exists, each with its own function and character.
Typically, these are the main entrance, major and minor corridors, other social
spaces, service corridors and maintenance access.

Generally, it is recommended that approximately 25% of the total internal floor area
will be given over to circulation. The circulation space for a school should be of
sufficient area to serve its purpose. The layout of the floor plan and width of corridors
will dictate the overall area given to circulation.

An assessment of the size of the corridors can be carried out in relation to the
occupancy of the school, and the following factors should be considered in each
location:

the number of pupils, along with their age and their type and range of SEN
the number of staff
volume of traffic at peak times
the different functions it serves
frequency of use

Circulation spaces should be sufficient and fit for their purpose in terms of size,
number and type. Such spaces should be of a suitable shape in relation to their
width, length and height, and care must be taken in their layout and detail.

Occupancy

In mainstream schools, there may be a large population (7002000) of able-bodied
pupils (2530 per class) in large groups, and possibly a small number of pupils who
may be independent wheelchair users with self-propelled or motorised wheelchairs or
mobility aids.

If there is a resourced provision or co-located school, there may be a percentage of
pupils who need assisted access and have support workers. For integrated or
inclusive or co-located mainstream-school situations, the organisation of the
circulation may be assisted by planning for noisier and busier, and quieter and less
occupied routes and spaces, in order to allow for the co-existence of different pupils
and their different behaviours.

In special schools, there will be a higher proportion of pupils who may use
independent self-propelled or motorised wheelchairs, or who may be assisted by
support workers, and so ease of movement and corridor widths are more critical.

Pupils will be learning how to move and manoeuvre equipment or use mobility aids.
Some may need a member of staff to walk beside them, such as a pupil who has
visual impairment supported by a sighted guide, or a pupil who has a physical
disability requiring assisted mobility. Some pupils may move along the floor or may
need the support of a handrail.

The movement and travel of pupils from their class base to other areas is a learning
process for many pupils who are developing independence skills, and some pupils
may need a high level of support and assistance in this setting. Other pupils may
need space to express themselves. For example, pupils who have hearing
impairment sign and gesticulate while walking. Other pupils may be more lively and
narrow corridors have a funnelling effect, causing congestion which can encourage
poor behaviour. Such factors should be considered in the design process.


Horizontal circulation

Circulation is usually considered in terms of its horizontal and vertical elements.

For horizontal circulation (i.e. circulation on a single level in the building), the
following points should be considered:

The shape of circulation spaces should vary in width along their length, to
allow for volume of traffic and confluence at the most important and frequently
used parts of the school. The width should increase so as to avoid
congestion, confusion and disruption, especially at arrival and departure
areas, and it is essential to avoid pinch-points.
Corridors should be of sufficient width, length and height, and of suitable
layout and shape to fulfil all of the varied functions which they serve.
The clear width for means of escape should be maintained at all times.
There should be good sight lines for passive supervision spaces, and re-
entrant areas should be avoided.
A simple logical and legible manner which relates to the movement patterns
dictated by the curriculum activities is essential.
Travel distance should be minimised: it can result in loss of curriculum time
and make supervision more difficult.
Opening up the corridors can create social spaces and incidental places for
respite or calming.
Very wide corridors can appear institutional or be confusing to some pupils,
as well as being inefficient to heat and maintain.
Seating should be provided at intervals in circulation spaces to allow users
who get tired to rest.
Light, airy spaces give a generous feeling of volume and are important for
creating an appropriate ambience for a school (if ceilings are too low it will
feel oppressive). High-pitched ceilings may allow natural light and ventilation.
Long, narrow, monotonous corridors tend to funnel pupils, encouraging
running and poor behaviour and are to be avoided, however, regulations
governing means of escape will also limit travel distances and dead ends.
Ensure accessibility by avoiding columns that cause an obstruction or hazard.
A services strategy that ensures that the positioning of radiators does not
obstruct the clear width required in corridors should be adopted.
Direct access to outdoors from the corridors should be ensured, taking into
account the range and type of SEN, the need for active and passive
supervision, safety, security and the means of escape.
Mobility equipment and aids are often stored in bays or stores sited off
circulation areas.
Pupils belongings should be stored in lockers located to avoid congestion in
corridors, as well as to be convenient for the classroom (fire prevention may
require fire-resistant materials to be used).
Displays of pupils work can enliven the reception area and other circulation
spaces, giving a sense of place and showing pupil achievements. However,
this must be well organised to avoid visual clutter and not pose a hazard or
fire risk.














A summary of recommendations for the width of corridors is given in the Table 7
below.


Table 7: Corridors - minimum or preferred width
(structural dimension mm)

Corridor minimum width for where
there are two people in wheelchairs
passing and with handrails on both
sides of the corridor.
(e.g. broad range special school or
PD resourced provision )

2400mm preferred


2200mm
minimum

Corridor minimum width for where
there are few pupils, if any, with
physical disabilities and use
wheelchairs
(e.g. special school for pupils with
BESD)
2000 mm
minimum

2200 mm
preferred including
for wall protection
at dado or corners
Building Regulations ADM 2005
minimum standard (for reference)
in mainstream schools

Corridor minimum width where there
are lockers
(lockers may need to be fire resisting
construction)

2700mm preferred
Corridor minimum width in
mainstream schools
1800 mm minimum
2000mm preferred
Corridor where a toilet door opens
out
1800 mm
minimum
General purpose corridor minimum
width
1200 mm with
1800mm passing
bays at regular
intervals















Doors

The correct selection and specification of all doors in circulation spaces is critical.

The following points should be considered for the current and anticipated occupants
of schools in relation to the clear width of corridors and door openings in horizontal
circulation routes.

Doors should be easy to identify and user-friendly to operate, with good visibility
maintained on both sides of the door.
Designs should allow for full wheelchair accessibility, with space for approach and
operation of the doors, with at least one single door leaf to be wide enough to allow
access for wheelchair users and their assistants, if required.

Manoeuvring heavy doors and the use of door closers can often be problematic,
especially for those with disabilities and support workers. These are best avoided if at
all possible.
It is recommended that designers plan for the minimum number of doors and limit the
need for door closers on doors throughout the school but this must be supported with
the with the appropriate fire strategy.
It is best if fire doors are held open on electro-magnetic door releases connected to
the fire alarm system, as part of an agreed fire strategy, (i.e.only to close in the event
of a fire). This will assist greatly in enabling free movement and accessibility for
everyone, but especially for those with disabilities.
Doors should have an effective clear opening width to suit all relevant users
and must be easily operable, especially by those in wheelchairs, independently, or
with assistance by their support workers. This will depend upon the type of school,
its occupancy and anticipated visitor use, and public access.

Designers will need to be aware that it is very difficult for pupils in some self
propelled or electrically propelled wheelchairs to get through a clear opening width of
775 or 800mm, (requiring a door leaf of 800mm or 826mm wide with a self closer)
and damage to the door or frame occurs.

Generally, for use of wheelchairs, trolleys or frames, even for small children of early
years, a clear opening width of 900mm is needed. Therefore, the door leaf 926mm
wide will be required. For further information on spaces required for wheelchair users
and the space required for their movement refer to FF&E 5.1 - Equipment 5.1.5.

Designers will need to ascertain the current and anticipated school population and
likely public access and visitor/community use in relation to the LEA accessibility
strategy and school accessibility plan. The likelihood of people with physical
disabilities attending the school now and in the future will determine the need for a
larger requirement.

The specification of doors in mainstream schools, for instance, should provide so that
either all doors or a number of doors can be 926mm door leaf (or alternatively, a one
and a half door leaf with 800mmm clear width to the main leaf). These doors can,
then, be strategically located to larger teaching spaces for the range of curriculum
delivery from a suitable number and location teaching spaces.


Where there is a cohort of pupils with physical disabilities, such as in a resourced
provision for pupils with physical difficulties or, especially, in a broad range special
schools, it is essential that all doors must have a clear opening width of 900mm as a
functional minimum and a door leaf of 926mm wide. All such doors will be heavier
and the correct selection and maintenance of self closing devices is critical.

An assessment should also be made for larger requirements in relation to extra large
wheelchairs such as sports wheelchairs.

Table 8 sets out information on clear openings for doors:

Table 8: Door openings - minimum clear opening width
(structural dimension in mm)

Guidance minimum clear opening
width
Door leaf
width
Sport England
advice for
1100 mm
sports wheelchairs
1126
BB77 1000mm

where an assessment is
made for stated reasons that
this is required to meet
individual pupil needs
1026
BB77 900 mm

suitable for most situations in
a broad range special school
for most types of
wheelchairs and mobility
equipment

926
Building Regulations
ADM after
May 2004
800 mm

(accessible for some
wheelchair users only)

826
ADM up to
May 2004
Under the
regulations
the door does
not require
altering if built
within last 10
years
775mm

(BB77 recommends
opening width increased
for accessibility for pupils
with physical disabilities
for access to physical
environment and
curriculum
under DDA ).
800





Vertical Circulation
Site levels and multi storey schools

Special schools and resource provision on more than one level will be a more
common building solution for where sites are small, split level and for reasons of
energy efficiency. Two-storey buildings can offer learning opportunities for pupils
moving around the building. They can work well provided that sufficient care is taken
to deal with the relevant issues for such arrangements. A school with many levels
will require extra effort from the designer to satisfy all requirements. Staff are also
encouraged to make site visits to familiarise themselves with any issues that may
affect the brief for their school design.

The following points should be considered:

the opportunity to use movement via stairs and lifts can be seen as a positive
learning experience in a multi storey school
it may be sensible to group class bases by age or key stage on different
levels e.g. specialist subjects, secondary, or post 16 on an upper level
good space planning to minimise travel distance and time
where there are stairs and lifts these must be planned with great care to avoid
congestion, conflict and unnecessary travel and waiting times.
a clear fire strategy is imperative from the outset and detailed discussion with
the fire authority should be held to give early confidence in the solutions
proposed
the correct siting of large evacuation lifts and accessible stairs provided with
refuges and safe emergency evacuation procedures agreed with the local fire
authority is essential
a split level site can be advantageous by giving access to an external ground
level from both the upper and lower floors
double height open spaces need careful design so that large changes in level
have the appropriate guardings and safety installations, especially in relation
to pupils who have special educational needs.
the outcome of health and safety risk assessments should be incorporated
into both the brief and the design.

Provision of suitable design in relation to vertical circulation is essential.

The following are examples for consideration in relation to all users:

ramps - as part of the general circulation

handrails - at two heights for smaller and larger pupils

balustrades - raised to higher level than normal, such as 1200mm

guardings or protective screening - of appropriate design

These should be attractive, easy-to-use by everyone and enhance the school design.
It is essential that an assessment should be made for the current and anticipated
school population, levels of occupancy and pupils, staff or visitors needs.



Ramps, stairs and lifts

Ramps, stairs and lifts must be planned with great care to avoid congestion, conflict
and unnecessary travel and waiting times. All stairs must be designed to the
appropriate current regulations.

For all school premises, ramps and stairs should have shallower gradients and pitch,
respectively, which are more suitable for children. (see DfES Constructional
Standards for Schools 1997).

Pupils with physical disabilities often tire easily and the number of risers should be
limited to 12, with landings provided as places to rest. Many disabled pupils are
anxious about how they exit a building safely in an emergency and about being left
behind or put at risk. It is essential that a suitable means of escape strategy is
developed at the outset in consultation with the school, LEA and local fire authority.

All stairs must be designed to the appropriate current regulations. The outcome of
health and safety risk assessments should be incorporated, as required.

DfES Constructional Standards for Schools 1997 exist for all school premises and
are subsumed into Approved document M of the Building regulations. Ramps and
stairs should have a shallower gradients and pitch, respectively, which are more
suitable for children. Steps and stairs should have contrasting nosings and risers
(ADM 2004). Provision of suitable handrails, guarding and balustrades should be
attractive and easy to use by everyone. Provision of safe refuges and evacuation
procedures are essential.

A summary of information o vertical circulation is set out in Table 9.

Table 9: Summary information for vertical circulation
Ramps: BB77 recommendation

Where there is a cohort of pupils with physical disabilities a ramp with a gradient of 1 in
20 is preferred, especially for younger pupils.

A ramp with a 1 in 20 gradient is accessible for all self propelled wheelchair users

A ramp with a 1 in 15 or 1 in 12 gradient is accessible for a electrically propelled
wheelchair user

* Ref: Muscular Dystrophy Association
Preferred standard in schools*

1 in 12 2 m going
1 in 14 4 m going
1 in 15 5 m going
1 in 16 9 m going
1 in 20 10 m going
* Ref: BS8300 ramps recommended gradients interpolated as appropriate

Minimum standard for all schools**

1 in 12 3m going
1 in 16 6m going
1 in 20 10m going
* *Ref: DfES Constructional Standards for Schools override Part K ramps steps & handrails and
are subsumed into Part M of the Building Regulations.
Steps:
Location Maximum
rise
Minimum going
External steps 150 mm 280 mm
Internal steps 170 mm 280 mm preferred250 mm min
Refuges:
In multi-storey buildings refuges should be provided at all stairways, on each upper level,
and the width of the stairway should allow for wheelchair evacuation unless a special lift
for evacuating disabled people is provided. Refer also to BS5588 and Building Bulletin 7
(to be BB101 2005)
Handrails:
In schools with pupils aged 12 years and younger, consideration should be given to the
provision of a second handrail at a lower level. For infants the lower handrail height
should be 600mm.



Lifts

Provision of evacuation lifts is both desirable and necessary for multi-level schools.
An assessment should be made for the anticipated population, density and needs of
people with disabilities in the school.

An assessment should be made for the anticipated population, occupancy, frequency
of use including for peak times of use for the needs of pupils, staff and visitors with
disabilities.

Where there are a number of users with physical disabilities, lifts should have
sufficiently large lift car sizes. Significantly larger size lifts are essential for groups of
pupils in wheelchairs moving around alongside their peers. There should be a
sufficient number of lifts with wide doors, sufficiently large lift-car sizes, accessible
controls and speech announcements.

There should be sufficient number of lifts to allow for maintenance work or a policy to
deal with the eventuality of breakdowns.

Lifts which are used as a means of escape should be fire hardened and have a
separate electrical supply.

Lifts should be user friendly with accessible controls at the correct height. BS8300 or
with swipe card or key operated access, visual contrast, speech announcements.
Larger doors will be required with a 900-1100mm mm clear width.

Lifts should be designed to meet designed to meet current British Standards and
European Norm. Regulations (ADM & BS8300 & BS5588).
Table 10 sets on summary information on lifts.

Table 10 : Summary information on lifts

ADM:
Minimum
lift size to
all storeys
must be
evacuation
standard
1100 x 1400 mm
900 mm wide
door
suitable for
primary school

access for a wheelchair user
and a support worker
BS8300 1400 x 2000 mm
1100mmm wide
door suitable for
Wheelchair user can turn 180
degrees and can include
another wheelchair user or
secondary school
wheelchair
person with mobility aids

Refer to BS558 Pt 5&8: suggests one evacuation lift for each
designated evacuation stair

* Refer to ADM and BS8300 for accessible controls and tactile signs
and symbols

Platform lifts:

These can be used if no other suitable alternative means
available but they should not reduce the effective width of
corridors or stairs. Refer to BS6440


























4.4 Teaching and learning spaces

This section sets out overarching principal considerations which apply to all teaching
and learning spaces used by pupils with SEN and disabilities.

The main priority for a school design is to ensure that pupils full entitlement to a
broad, balanced and relevant curriculum is met, under the law and in line with
Government policies and guidance.

Current Government policy requires an inclusive approach to design to ensure that,
as far as possible, pupils with a range of needs can join in school activities and
participate in school life along with their peers.

This requirement will inform briefs for special schools, resourced provision or any
other educational setting which supports provision for SEN and disabilities.

The main focus of the guidance is therefore, initially, on spaces for:

general teaching
practical specialist subjects

Examples of teaching and learning in other settings include:

learning-resource areas such as small-group rooms, libraries and ICT areas
therapy spaces for hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and sensory stimulation
large spaces for assembly, physical education, sport, music, drama and
movement, and performance
dining spaces for health and well-being, the development of social skills and
progress to independence

Procedure

A definitive or prescriptive approach to design is not considered appropriate, because
of the constantly changing and emerging special educational needs of pupils, the
evolution of educational provision for the twenty-first century and the varying local
needs throughout the country.

Thus, this guidance constitutes a working method which, along with reference to the
earlier sections, can be used to prepare a brief for school accommodation.

Teaching and learning spaces and their use must be considered carefully so that
they satisfy the demands made on them now and in the future. Planning for flexibility
and adaptability is essential as set out below.

When designing teaching and learning spaces, it is recommended that consideration
be given to the following attributes:

1 Provision for SEN
2 The number and type of teaching spaces
3 The size of teaching spaces
4 The shape of teaching spaces
5 Relationship with the outside
6 Links with other teaching spaces
7 Links with non-teaching spaces
8 Storage
9 Fittings, furniture and equipment
10 ICT
11 Environmental services and technical support
12. Building Materials
13 Design Quality

These attributes can be considered in detail in relation to all teaching and learning
spaces (for ease of reading, these are henceforth referred to as teaching spaces).


4.4.1 Provision for SEN

It is important to ensure that a range of special educational needs can be met in all
teaching spaces for access to curriculum. The design approach will involve
consideration of the aspects below.

Changing trends for the future

LEAs and schools should plan to meet the needs of all pupils, including those with
SEN and disabilities. Local authorities and schools will provide information about
current needs, changing trends and the anticipated intake of pupils in the locality and
how their needs will be met.

This information will inform and guide the type of provision required in a school and
the accommodation should support this. A strategy for flexibility and adaptability for
the future can be developed simultaneously. For example:

A broad-range special school may now have pupils with complex needs
(MLD/SLD) or autism but the likely future intake may include increasing
numbers of pupils with PMLD or severe ASD, or with behaviour that
challenges.
A special school for pupils with behaviour difficulties may now have pupils
with BESD but the likely future intake may include increasing numbers of
pupils who also have medical or mental-health needs.

Age-appropriate accommodation

All accommodation should be appropriate for the age of the pupils, their curriculum
and phase of education (early years, primary, secondary and/or post-16).

Designers should provide school accommodation which is age-appropriate in order
that the space:

has a size, scale and fitness for purpose appropriate for each phase
provides the most suitable context for age, culture, behaviour and the range
of activities which will occur
creates a setting which supports the nature and character of teaching and
learning at each stage
assists in engaging pupils in learning and promotes their interest in the
subjects offered
encourages development of appropriate social behaviour
enables pupils to enjoy using the space and prepares them to use similar
spaces appropriately in the wider community

A brief description of each phase of education is given below for information (see
also Appendix B).

Early years

In early years, children are grouped together in one larger class base for full-time or
part-time sessions. The Foundation Curriculum supports learning through play and
practical activities, both of which require sufficient space.

Specialist facilities for pupils with SEN and for early intervention may be required and
advice from SEN, healthcare and social-services specialists should be obtained
accordingly.

Primary

In primary special schools, children are taught most of their subjects by one teacher
in one teaching space, with teaching assistants and support workers. Therefore,
there must be sufficient space for the delivery of all subjects and activities, some of
which will occur concurrently. The design of these spaces should reflect the needs of
pupils and staff and be sufficient for the specialist equipment, teaching resources and
subject display required for the subjects offered.

Practical specialist subjects, such as food technology and practical work, are usually
taught in small groups of pupils with one or two staff, according to pupils needs. For
these, separate specially equipped spaces are now recommended, in separate bays
or enclosed spaces. These are then available for shared timetabled use by all class
groups

In the event that the above is not possible for established or stated reasons, then,
such activities may take place in the general teaching class base, provided that all
relevant health and safety requirements are to be met.

Secondary

In secondary special schools, pupils will have their own tutor bases for registration
and for their tutor-group work. These spaces will also serve as general-teaching
spaces (e.g. for English or Mathematics) or specialist-subject teaching spaces (for
example, for Geography, History or Modern Foreign Languages). The design of
these spaces will reflect the needs of pupils and staff and be sufficient for specialist
equipment, teaching resources and subject display for the subjects offered.

A range of specialist provision is essential. Teaching of practical specialist subjects
takes place in separate, specially equipped and designed accessible spaces.
Usually, accommodation is provided for Science, Design and Technology (including
food technology), Art, Music, Drama and Physical Education (including movement
and sport). Practical specialist spaces should not be used for tutor groups.

As far as possible, though, pupils should move around different teaching spaces for
all subjects, as this assists with the development of social learning and independence
skills. This is a general characteristic at secondary phase, compatible with similar
practice in mainstream schools; it thus enables inclusion in the local school and wider
school community.
Post-16

Accommodation for post-16 provision should be significantly different and separate
from that for statutory years. It should allow for activities which reflect the students
approaching adult status and their preparation for access into the wider community.

Access to practical specialist subjects will usually include vocational options for which
there may be provision at a local sixth-form college or FE college. For this reason,
such specialist provision is rarely made in the special school.

Co-located or off-site facilities can be used if this is part of the LEAs inclusive
strategy. For example, where post-16 accommodation is co-located with an inclusive
sixth form or an FE college, then fully accessible facilities and access for learning
must be ensured in all cases.

How provision for SEN is met and integrated within the school

Consultation with the LEA and the school is essential as it is important that designers
learn to understand the needs of the pupils and staff for whom they are designing. It
is also necessary to have a holistic view, encompassing both the main types of SEN
as well as any other associated needs, so that their impact on design is understood.
This will ensure that the appropriate provision is made. Planning for flexibility and
adaptability for the future should also be part of the design process.

It is imperative that sufficient space is provided in terms of floor area to adequately
support and meet the needs of the age, type and range of pupils concerned, as well
as any groupings which will need to be accommodated within a single space.

Teaching, learning and the curriculum

LEAs and schools will be able to give the design team further information about:

the age of the children
their particular educational requirements
the type and range of subjects to be offered
the type of curriculum which will be taught, the mode of its delivery and the
degree of differentiation involved
the type and range of activities which take place in each space
teaching and learning resources
the various teaching methods used
the range of activities undertaken
advances in the design and use of technology

The requirements for all teaching spaces should be described in detail in the brief for
the designer so as to ensure that the accommodation provided is fit for purpose.

Such information will form the basis of the schedule of accommodation and will affect
decisions which are made about the fitness for purpose and functional layout of the
teaching spaces, and the provision of fittings, furnishings and equipment.

The type of curriculum offered will be differentiated to meet a range of pupil needs,
providing access to a wide range of learning opportunities. The degree of curriculum
differentiation will vary and its impact on the accommodation should be set out in
detail.

In some instances, it may help the briefing process to consider how the activities take
place and what provision may be additional to or different from mainstream schools
(many spaces may differ significantly from a traditional mainstream model).

Typically, pupils who have BESD, HI, VI, MLD, SpLD, SLCN and mild ASD
(Aspergers Syndrome) will have a wide range of ability. At secondary age, general,
specialist and practical specialist subjects will usually be delivered in a differentiated
age-appropriate way (with similar provision to mainstream spaces but smaller spaces
for practical specialist subjects).

For pupils who have SLD, PMLD and those with severe ASD with cognition and
learning needs, there will need to be a higher degree of curriculum differentiation to
suit pupils needs, which must be reflected in the design.

The teaching methods employed may also impact on accommodation required.
Some pupils may need to be grouped together whilst others may be taught in
separate classes for some of the time. For example, pupils with SLD/PMLD may be
taught for some of the time separately from pupils with ASD.

Designers will need to consider the different specialist activities to be undertaken in
each context, firstly in relation to the pupils needs and then in terms of how the
design can help to promote effective teaching and learning within each teaching
space.

The method of learning support and behaviour management may impact on the
requirements for each teaching space and its room relationships.

Usually support and therapy is provided in the teaching space, however some pupils
may need to have access to specialist resources such as therapy spaces on a
timetabled basis.

If there are conflicting pupil needs, these may require considerable attention in
relation to the design. Awareness of these issues should be raised early on in the
process so such issues can be resolved via the design.

If any additional or modified provision is to be made for a particular type of special
educational need, e.g. BESD or ASD, then the rationale should be shared with the
designer so that any particular learning needs and/or safety or security issues are
considered very early on.


4.4.2 The number and type of teaching spaces

The teaching spaces provided should be sufficient in number and type. Provision will
vary according to the age of pupils, type and range of SEN and the phase of
education. These should all be ascertained to help establish the number and type of
teaching spaces needed.

In order to determine the total number of teaching spaces in a school, the following
factors must be considered.

Current and anticipated numbers on roll

The LEAs plans or strategies for SEN and disabilities, now and in the foreseeable
future, in relation to local needs and consultations, will inform the brief. When needs
are established, a strategy should be developed which describes in detail how the
needs identified will be met.

The number of class groups in each year

Ascertaining the likely number of groups in each year and the number of pupils in
each group is essential in order to assess the requirement for teaching spaces and
tutor bases. Generally, pupil numbers per class are much smaller than in mainstream
provision.

In early years, groups tend to be about 912 children with 35 staff. In some cases,
however, there can be one-to-one working in order to meet individual pupil needs.

In primary and secondary schools, there may be between 510 pupils with one
teacher, with 12 teaching assistants and support workers deployed to meet the
needs of the pupils. Where a higher level of support is needed, there may be fewer
pupils and more staff assistants.

The number of pupils in a group should be based on the current teacher pupilratios
for best practice.


Table 11: Typical occupancy
levels for staff and pupil groups

Type of SEN Pupil
number in a
class for one
teacher
BESD 6 8
PD 6 8
VI 610
HI 610
SLCN 610
MLD/complex needs 610
SLD 68
ASD 18
MSI 57
PMLD 57
Source: DfES Circular 11/90 Staffing for pupils
with special educational needs 13 December 1990

Typically, for a school of about 100 pupils, providing two class bases per year group
will enable flexible teaching and learning arrangements in response to changing
needs.

The number of practical specialist-subject spaces

Generally, it is good practice to have one specially equipped space for each practical
specialist subject in the curriculum. This will avoid conflict between different curricular
activities.

Again, ascertaining the type and range of pupil groupings is essential. Different pupil
groupings are made according to pupil needs, the mode of curriculum delivery and
variations in activity. The use of whole-class, half-class or one-to-one teaching will
affect the number and size of class bases. For example, sometimes two groups join
together for activities such as music, drama or movement, in order to support and
enhance learning experiences. Spaces should be able to accommodate the
maximum number of pupils and staff, now and in the longer term. Reference should
be made to Table 6 for typical pupil groupings.

The number of small groups proposed

In order to accommodate any special educational needs which are identified as
conflicting, separate spaces or specialist resources should be identified at the outset.
For example, the method of flexible use of small-group rooms can assist in meeting
conflicting needs and such requirements will impact on the design and its layout.

4.4.3 The size of teaching spaces

There should be sufficient space to include pupils with a broad range of special
educational needs for all ages and at each phase. It is imperative to accommodate
curricular, physical or resource needs, whilst maintaining health and safety in the
teaching and learning environment. The size of the teaching space will be
determined by the key drivers below.

Level of occupancy of pupils and adults

It will be necessary for the design to:

identify the number and age of pupils in the group to be accommodated (full
or half groups), the type and range of special educational needs and whether
there will be additional pupils joining from other groups or schools
identify the number of adults employed, their roles and deployment, including
visiting specialists or therapists who may work in the teaching space

Refer to Table 11 and the current teacher pupil ratios for best practice (see DfES
Circular 11/90 Staffing for pupils with special educational needs 13 December 1990).

Age, range and type of special educational need for each phase of education

Younger children will need more space to move around and for play activities. They
may have large items of play equipment, so that the area of the space must increase
to reflect this.

Although secondary-age pupils are larger, and some are more sedentary, they may
require more space to move around and for the transfer and use of mobility
equipment. Some may be of adult size and require sufficient space for their physical-
care needs to be managed, as well as for learning and behaviour support.


Typically, there must be sufficient space to accommodate:

pupils who are physically disabled, including some pupils who have profound
and multiple learning difficulties, and who may have three or more items of
mobility equipment, e.g. a wheelchair or wheelchairs, and a standing frame or
side frame. These can be bulky, awkward and take up a great deal of space
when in use
pupils whose needs fall within the range of autistic spectrum disorder who
may require individual screened work stations
pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties who often require
more space to express themselves without causing disturbance to others
pupils with a visual impairment who may use large print, Moon or Braille
learning resources, or need specialist lighting conditions or tactile materials:
these all require additional space
pupils who have hearing impairment and who may need provision for radio
battery (personal FM) or sound-field systems and who may require special
adaptations in specialist subjects

Teaching and learning activities taking place

Sufficient area will be required for:

the number and type of different interactions and activities; their nature and
variety occurring separately or simultaneously; the type, range and variety of
teaching methods for different learning styles
the size, range and complexity of teaching and learning aids. Subject-display
equipment and resources will also require more space, as will fixed or loose
furniture, fittings, equipment and pupil belongings
the maximum number of pupils and adults required, the appropriate number
of pupils viable for certain tasks, the mode of curriculum delivery, and
specialist furniture and equipment, whilst maintaining safe clearances and
adequate circulation for health and safety reasons

Flexibility and adaptability

Consideration of flexible everyday use of the space as well as its adaptability for the
foreseeable future is essential.

Teachers will need to rearrange furniture for groups on a task-by-task or day-to-day
basis. A strategy to accommodate such variety should be developed and agreed as
part of the design approach.

Circulation space

The safe and positive movement of children or adults, especially those with physical,
motor or sensory disabilities, is imperative.

Mobility equipment may also be as large for younger children as it is for some older
pupils, with use of wheelchairs, classroom chairs and mobile frames for standing and
lying prone.

Space for adjustable-height accessible workstations will be required, as well as for
the circulation associated with them, and for a teaching assistant.

Ergonomic space-planning is essential, especially when planning for the use of
portable or ceiling-mounted hoists for the transfer of pupils and safe manual
handling. (See section 5.1 FF&E 5.1.5 equipment Table 21).


There should be adequate space for:

safe access, egress and circulation
safe clearances, allowing room to open doors and move around furniture for
general circulation
safe supervision of all users in all areas for health and safety reasons
safe use of large equipment (fixed) or machinery used in practical specialist-
subject areas, with its associated circulation and clearance distances

Recommended areas for teaching and learning spaces

Taking all of the above factors into account, the recommended areas for general
teaching bases and practical specialist spaces are set out in Tables 12 and 13 below.
These will suit most situations provided that occupancy levels and numbers fall within
the ranges shown in Table 11. (Note that the areas given exclude resource and
mobility equipment storage).

Table 12: Recommended areas for
general-teaching class bases
Phase Pupil
numbers
Area
m
2
Special school (MLD/complex
needs/SLD/ASD PMLD)
Early years varies 75
Primary 68 65
Secondary 68 65
Special school BESD

Primary KS 1 68 65
Primary KS 2 68 55
Secondary 68 55
(Note: in KS 1 there may be a need for play activities due to developmental delay).

Table 13: Recommended sizes for
practical specialist spaces
Subject Pupil
numbers
Area
m
2
Primary
Food Technology up to 6 25
Practical up to 8 25
Music and Drama Varies 65
Physical Education Varies 120180
Secondary
Science 68 65
Food Technology up to 6 65
Design and
Technology
up to 8 65
Music and Drama Varies 6580
Science up to 8 65
Art up to 8 65
Physical Education Varies 140180

Table 14 sets out recommendations for the size of learning-resource areas.
Table 14: Learning-resource areas

Resource area Pupil
numbers
Area m
2
Primary

Group room Varies 12
Social-skills
base
varies 20
Library varies 1530
ICT varies 15
Secondary

Group room varies 15
Social-skills
base
varies 30
Library varies 1530
ICT up to 6 15
Kiln staff only 46
CADCAM 10
Prep./store staff 15
Recording room varies 15
Post-16

Group room varies 15
Common room varies 80


Table 15 sets out Sport England recommended sizes for sports halls

Table 15: Area of sports halls:
Sport England recommendations

w x d x h internal
floor
Area m
2
10 x 10 x 3.5 m 100 m
2
10 x 14 x 4.5 m 140 m
2
10 x 18 x 6.1 m 180 m
2
17 x 18 x 6.17.6 m 306 m
2
33 x 18 x 7.6 m 594 m
2


4.4.4 The shape of teaching spaces

The shape of the teaching space should help to support flexible curriculum
arrangements and the creative configuration of furniture and resources, whilst
maintaining safe supervision and contributing to a comfortable environment for
teaching and learning.

The shape may enhance the effectiveness of curriculum delivery and facilitate
access to improved learning opportunities. It may also help to define the spaces
character and its sense of place, providing cues and associations for wayfinding and
identifying what learning experiences are available. These are all important for pupils
with SEN.

Designers should consider the most appropriate shape in relation to the space.

The type of activities which take place and fitness for purpose

In a teaching space, a variety of teaching and learning styles will need to be
accommodated effectively within the chosen shape. Activities will reflect pupils age,
the type of their needs, interactions and play. They may include individual or group
work (with wet or dry activities), quiet work, one-to-one sessions, projection, or the
use of whiteboards, computers and specialist equipment, some of which is bulky.

The shape should support the use of ICT in learning, so that whatever the layout, the
pupil and teacher should be able to see each other, the visual display or whiteboard
and the demonstration area.

In practical specialist spaces, the balance of practical and theoretical work in one
room, or the provision of different areas for wet or dry activities, may influence the
shape of the space required.

Access to all areas of the teaching and learning space for pupils with physical, motor
or sensory difficulties is imperative. Consequently, the shape of a space must allow
pupils unrestricted movement and access to learning.

Minimising effective circulation routes in the class base will maximise the remaining
space available for flexible teaching and learning arrangements, whilst ensuring
accessibility to all areas.

Providing the maximum unbroken length of wall will enable flexibility for projection
purposes, and for the display of work and resource material.

The shape should allow effective levels of supervision, ensuring safe access and
egress; safety and security for pupils, teachers and assistants must be maintained.
Health and safety requirements for supervision of pupils undertaking specialist
activities necessitate good sight lines, especially if these activities involve risks.
Ensuring clear sight lines for both active and passive supervision is essential.

Room dimensions and proportions

The shape should provide the appropriate scale, volume and proportion, taking into
account the range of activities taking place. To ensure the safest and most
appropriate ergonomic dimensions across the room, a minimum suitable dimension
must be established. This will vary according to the size, proportions and use of the
space. General recommendations are:

for smaller spaces (10 m
2
), a minimum width of 3 m for accessibility
for teaching space of 5565 m
2
, a proportion between 9:7 and square is
preferred as effective for teaching and learning with a minimum width of 6 m,
(an example might be a 63 m
2
class base of 9x7 m with a 2.8 m ceiling)
for larger spaces, for example, of 90 m
2
, a proportion of between 1:0.8 and
1:1.1 with a minimum depth of 8.59.0 m

Some aspects of shape are described below.

Width

A wide frontage and shallow plan will enable better natural-daylight penetration and
passive ventilation. The most suitable minimum dimension across the room should
be determined in relation to the type and range of activities.

Long, narrow longitudinal shapes, which restrict use for curriculum activities, effective
teaching and supervision, should be avoided. This is especially the case for practical
specialist-subject spaces.

Depth

It is best to avoid a narrow frontage and deep plan because these do not function
well for teaching and learning.

Daylight penetration may be effective up to about 56 m depth. Beyond this,
borrowed light, clerestory lights or rooflights may need to be introduced. Otherwise,
deep-plan spaces will suffer from poor natural light and ventilation.

Height

A minimum ceiling height of about 2.73.0 m is recommended for daylight
penetration and passive ventilation. The appropriate height needs to be established
for each teaching space

Detailed investigation may be required in relation to the use of hoists, physiotherapy
equipment, ICT or CCTV projection equipment, clearance around specialist
equipment, provision of ducting services at high level, ceiling fittings, mobiles which
are commonly used, and especially, the use of portable or ceiling-mounted hoists.
(See Part 5 for more information).

Scale

The appropriate scale of space will be needed to suit both the age of the pupil and
the activities to take place. For some, a large volume space can be confusing, whilst
for others it gives a sense of freedom. Scaling down rooms, however, can be
constricting and inflexible.

General aspects

A simple rectangular plan allows for flexibility of layout and enables good
supervision and sight lines.
A square plan or thereabouts may be beneficial and enable effective teacher
pupil relationships and teaching and learning styles to be established.
In a teaching space, bays or alcoves either side of the main rectangular
space can be used for a wet area, or individual workstations.
An L-shaped space may impede or inhibit good observation and supervision
or may allow a discreet independence space for students. Use should be
agreed early on to ensure the design is fit for purpose.
Curved shapes for performance spaces should be considered carefully
because fan shapes may assist acoustics whereas circular spaces create
problems. Curved shapes may result in the need for purpose-built
components or furniture and value for money should be assessedy.
Acute angles, re-entrant corners or hidden spaces which are impractical,
inaccessible, and impede supervision should be avoided.

Room relationships
Spaces should be of complementary shapes, providing a harmonious ambience
across the school and giving a feel of positive room relationships.

Flexibility and adaptability
The shape of the space can facilitate a number of different uses now and in the
future, giving a loose-fit arrangement. Adjacent spaces must be compatible and
inter-relate (allowing, for example, flexible use by means of sliding folding doors).

Sustainable approach
The shape should support a sustainable approach for providing comfortable learning
environments, with technical services supplied and located conveniently.


4.4.5 Relationship with the outside

Maximum benefit from a range of outdoor experiences, and social and learning
opportunities, can be derived by the direct relationship of the teaching space to the
immediate external environment. The need for direct access to external areas will
depend on curriculum activities, as well as on the type and range of special
educational needs.

The outdoor space should therefore be integrated into the whole design.
Consideration should be given to the points below.

The rationale and purpose for direct access to the outside

Experience of the external environment is an essential part of the curriculum. Class
bases opening directly onto an external area are beneficial for pupils in the
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

There is less of a need at secondary phase for direct external access, except as a
specialist resource or to support a practical specialist subject. Where this is required,
an appropriate rationale for the linking of an indoor to outdoor space should be set
out.

Linking with the outside can have a positive impact on learning for a range of
practical specialist subjects. The content of the subject and its delivery may require
direct or indirect access to the outdoor spaces. Reference should be made to the
Practical specialist-subject spaces and Outside spaces sections below with respect
to this. These requirements should be ascertained early on and set out in the brief.

The type of outdoor provision

Enhancing the connection to external spaces, with appropriate views from the inside
to outside, can help to facilitate the delivery of the outdoor curriculum.

A covered outdoor space, 2.5 m deep, can become a positive extension to the class
base. Alternatively, a suitably designed external space of 5565 m
2
will be sufficient
space for a range of curricula and social recreational activities. Outdoor spaces for
physical education, socialising and recreational activities are described in Section
4.9, Outside spaces).


The need to manage behaviour

Direct external access from the teaching space may cause a distraction for some
pupils (e.g. those who have BESD). For other pupils, access to the outside is a
necessity to help them release emotions, calm down and assist staff management of
the teaching situation (e.g. pupils with ASD behaviour that challenges). Access via a
lobby to an appropriately designed safe outdoor space can help these pupils.

Safeguards and security

Safety is paramount for all pupils and all fixtures and landscape elements will need to
be carefully considered and detailed.

Age-appropriate provision

A good-quality design will reflect the most suitable context for age, culture, behaviour
and the range of activities. It can encourage development of appropriate social
behaviour and enable pupils to enjoy using the space, as well as prepare them to use
similar space in the wider community appropriately.

Deliveries and supplies

Appropriate provision and planning for safe delivery access for each practical
specialist subject and for school-maintenance operations should be made.
Consideration of the size, weight, volume and storage location of multi-media
resources for and large bulky materials is essential.

Means of escape

Direct access to the outside may be required for emergency escape from practical
specialist-subject spaces, performance spaces and halls. Having a means of escape
is of great concern to those with SEN and disabilities and these requirements should
be established early on and set out in the brief.


4.4.6 Links between teaching spaces

It is important to maximise access to the curriculum and enhance inter-related
learning opportunities for all pupils. The design should provide optimum links
between spaces for:

the curriculum and its delivery Effective relationships between teaching
spaces can support the inter-relatedness of subjects and the mode of
curriculum delivery. For example, links may be made between Mathematics
and Science, Art and Design and Technology

links between teaching spaces and learning resources Group rooms can
serve two or more teaching spaces to enable flexible use and assist with
learning and behaviour support. The library and ICT resources should be
optimally located so as to benefit the maximum number of pupils

separation of noisy and quiet activities Separation and careful siting of
noisy and quieter activities is critical. Pupils who are more sensitive to
distractions, or who have hearing impairments, should not be disadvantaged
in their learning

the proximity of practical specialist-subject spaces to other teaching
spaces In primary schools, if provision is made in a bay off a circulation
space, then it should be easily identified, accessible from teaching spaces
and sited so as not to impede circulation, distract pupils or enable them to
wander away. If such provision is made in a self-contained room, then it
should be accessible from all teaching spaces. Careful siting can facilitate
good timetable management and minimise travel time. Providing effective
links between specialist-subject and/or general-teaching and/or therapy
spaces (e.g. by means of sensory spaces) can enhance pupils learning
experiences


4.4.7 Links with non-teaching spaces

The designers goal should provide an efficient and effective environment for social
learning and personal care whilst maintaining an age-appropriate ethos, according
dignity, respect, and privacy to individuals, and safeguarding all aspects of health
and safety.

Generating a schematic diagram showing the desired links between teaching spaces
and non-teaching spaces, such as dining or changing areas and toilets, will greatly
assist the design process.
Consulting with the LEA and the school about relevant school-management issues
and priorities is essential. Consideration of the points below should be made.

Optimum room relationships

A rationale for the inter-relationship of teaching spaces, their proximity and
associated travel distances is essential. Age-appropriate independent travel is good
for social learning but is difficult and tiring for some. Reasonable and convenient
travel distances from the teaching spaces to the locations for dining, assembly,
specialist therapy and respite are therefore required.
Ease of access and egress is essential. Teaching spaces should also be positioned
to avoid congestion which can occur during arrival and departure times.

The location of toilet and hygiene facilities

Pupils who have SEN may also have physical disabilities, medical needs or a low
level of immunity to infections. Meeting health and safety requirements is crucial for
infection control and maintaining hygienic procedures and practices. Therefore,
consideration of these needs should be integrated into the design in a way which is
sensitive and appropriate to the needs of all users. This involves:

designing facilities which are age-appropriate, with respect to pupils needs to
ensure that dignity is maintained. Assisting progress towards independence in
this way also supports social learning
providing convenient travel distances from all spaces to facilities for
wheelchair-users for independent access, or for assisted access with support
from staff, for whom the health and safety requirements are as important
ensuring convenient access to toilet, hygiene or changing provisions in close
juxtaposition to all teaching spaces, especially practical specialist spaces,
thereby supporting pupils in their access to learning


4.4.8 Storage

For effective teaching and learning, curriculum delivery and the management of
resources, sufficient suitable storage is essential.

Sufficient storage should be provided in every teaching space for general needs, for
specialist resources, security needs, mobility or specialist equipment and for personal
belongings. The points below should be considered.

The type and range of special educational needs

Storage should be provided for pupils personal belongings and provision for SEN
should be clarified. Sufficient accessible storage should be provided for the
appropriate type and range of special educational needs. For example, pupils
mobility equipment may be stored in the teaching space, in long shallow bays or
stores (see Section 4.13, Storage).

The size of storage

Sufficiently large storage should be provided to suit its purpose. Storage may be
needed for:

large materials, equipment, loose furniture or mobility equipment, play
equipment, manually moveable apparatus and manual handling bulky items
specialist equipment, apparatus, small and large materials for practical
specialist subjects
pupils work in progress

The shape of storage

An appropriate shape for the store is necessary for practicality, safety, fitness for
purpose and accessibility for all staff, some of whom may have disabilities. For
example, long shallow spaces are more effective than narrow deep stores.

Safety and security

Safe,secure storage of vulnerable equipment and resources; or dangerous materials
or chemicals, must be provided in accordance with all current regulations. Safe and
secure storage for large or bulky materials requiring careful manual handling should
be considered.

Location and links

Convenient locations for storage with appropriate linkage to the teaching spaces
which they serve is essential.






4.4.9 Fittings, furniture and equipment

It is essential to ensure that the maximum access to learning and social opportunities
through the appropriate specialist resources, furniture, fittings and equipment is
achieved.

Consultation with the LEA, school and specialists or therapists will greatly assist in
devising a plan which provides maximum benefit for end users.
It is essential to draw up a full schedule of the anticipated loose and fixed fittings,
furniture and equipment. The rationale for their use, location in the space, space
planning and room layouts should be determined. The teaching and learning styles
employed in relation to curriculum delivery of all subjects will also impact on the
choice and layout of fixed or loose furniture and specialist equipment.

The following considerations should be made for furniture and fittings in relation to
the type and range of special educational needs to be catered for:

subject needs in relation to curriculum delivery, teaching and learning styles
the use of learning aids and mobility equipment (their type, size, shape and
manoeuvrability) and their impact
the type, range and size of specialist equipment, learning resources and
subject display for all subjects
the type and location of two- and three-dimensional display
the appropriateness of fixed furniture
where and when loose furniture will be required
the type and location of adjustable-height furniture
the use of adjustable height furniture and accessible workspaces with
sufficient space for circulation and for a teaching assistant, as required
the rationale and impact of providing ceiling mounted or portable hoists
the need for enclosures for sensitive equipment or pupil safety
the need for flexible arrangements of furniture for specialist-subject curriculum
delivery
the provision, quantity, location and safe clearance of specialist equipment
health and safety requirements for specialist equipment
input and advice from specialists and therapists where appropriate
input and advice from suppliers


4.4.10 ICT

The effective use of ICT and advanced technologies can maximise social and
learning opportunities by promoting individual attainment.

Current and future needs in relation to ICT

There is increasing use of ICT in all teaching and learning spaces. Therefore the
requirements for different interfaces, access technology or specialist equipment in
relation to the type and range of special educational needs and disabilities of the
pupils must be established.

The use of ICT should be considered and, as with all subjects, layouts should be
prepared to show that all pupils needs can be accommodated.

Consideration of ergonomics and space requirements should ensure that the use of
computers in relation to adjustable height furniture, and by those who use
wheelchairs and standing frames are all possible.

Position of whiteboards

Whiteboards should be positioned carefully so as to enhance communication and
interaction in relation to the size and shape of class bases. This is of particular
importance for those pupils who may rely more on their visual sense. The pupils and
teacher should be able to see each other and the whiteboard clearly and with ease.

The view of the whiteboard should not be impaired by glare, shadowing or
silhouettes, or obstructed by equipment or building structure.

Environmental services and conditions for ICT

Appropriate good-quality lighting, blinds and positioning are essential. Computers
should all be sited so as to ensure non-glare conditions.

The use and location of ICT should be separated appropriately from water.

The ICT provider should be involved throughout the design process, so that cable-
ways or wireless installations can be anticipated and planned to allow flexibility for
the future.

Services distribution must be planned to allow for flexible use of computers within the
whole space (not just on one wall or at its perimeter). Ensuring that all environmental
conditions are suitable for ICT use is essential.

ICT requirements, likely changes in the future, and requirements for different
interfaces and any specialist equipment should be identified. In some cases,
CADCAM may be used for design and technology. In other cases, video links can be
made to the sensory room to deliver programmes relating to specialist subjects. ICT
links to other parts of the school may also be made. For more detail, see Section 5.2,
Information and communication technology.


4.4.11 Environmental services and technical support

It is essential to provide a comfortable learning environment whilst maintaining a
coherent sustainable whole-school approach designed to meet a range of special
educational needs.

Designers will need to develop strategies in relation to the type and range of special
educational needs and disabilities, which may vary enormously.

The following key issues can act as a checklist for all spaces:

natural daylighting and orientation with glare and solar control preferred
good-quality artificial lighting and the most appropriate type(s) of controls
the means of natural ventilation, its operation and control preferred
the need for and type of mechanical ventilation and controls
the means and type of heating and cooling with adjustable local controls
acoustic quality and the level of sound insulation, absorption or noise control
water supply and drainage services for hot and cold water to sinks, waste
pipes and drainage or sprinkler systems
health and safety, security, means of escape
wired services for electrical or electronic power or data communications and
alarm systems (for telephone, public address, staff alarms, fire alarms,
fire/smoke detection, door alarms and controls, security alarms and
detection), electronic ICT services for delivery of curriculum and for SEN
In addition to the above, the following specific issues should be considered for
practical specialist subjects.
higher levels of illuminance are required for detailed work, with a flexible
range of provision for daylighting, artificial non-glare luminaires and
appropriate task lighting
rapid extract ventilation of unwanted smells, fumes, heat and dust may be
needed, as well as ventilation through opening windows, which should not be
fouled by blackout or dim-out material or blinds
appropriate acoustic quality and sound insulation for specialist spaces, e.g. in
design and technology, music and drama spaces and halls for physical
education (specialist provision for hearing impairment may be required)
technical-support services of hot and cold water, gas and electrical services
with sufficient power outlets, rapid-extract ventilation and rapid access to
emergency power and gas services for cut-off
for health and safety reasons, ease of access and adequate clearance space
for the operation of alarms, fire-prevention and detection devices and for
maintenance and emergency work



4.4.12 Building elements materials and finishes

It is important to provide an appropriate and enriching sensory environment to meet
the type and range of special educational needs in terms of fitness for purpose.

Appropriate specifications, careful use of materials, specialist functional details and
good-quality construction are all essential. Consideration of sustainability, robustness
and durability should be made, as well as of practical maintenance and whole-life
costs.

Designers will need advice from LEA or school SEN specialists in relation to the
outcome of risk assessments for:

security measures to protect particular pupil groups or individual needs
health and safety requirements to be met in practical specialist-subject
spaces

It is essential that building elements are appropriate and fit for purpose. For each
teaching space this will involve decisions about:

window type size, glazing, operation, view out, blinds or blackout
door type size, glazing, operation, ironmongery, protection and signage,
internal fixed or opening, glazed window or screen, type, size, view
glazing and acoustic requirements
general ironmongery handrails, guarding, protection corners


Designing for accessibility and inclusion is essential for all spaces. This involves
careful consideration of materials and finishes as well as of design quality. The
following aspects should be considered in relation to these:

providing well-organised, wide, clear circulation with routes that are easily
identified, understood and accessed, through changes in floor texture and
orientation landmarks, clear signage and wayfinding
allowing sufficient space for circulation for wheelchair users and their support
workers or carers, as well as for people with buggies, pushchairs and prams
avoiding glare from natural and artificial light sources and providing good-
quality lighting and blinds suitable for users
enhancing visual clarity by avoiding visual clutter and using colour and tonal
contrast between surfaces (especially for door openings, doors and door
handles) as well as to warn and define clearly all surfaces at changes in level
or surface, and for equipment, utensils or tools for pupils who have visual
impairment
designing with an awareness of acoustics, and planning for noisy and quiet
spaces. Reducing background noise, and understanding the relative need for
sound insulation and sound-absorbing or reflecting materials
using ceiling or soffit surfaces with good light reflectance, acoustic and
maintenance qualities
using smooth, non-abrasive, impact-,resistant, easily maintained wall finishes
with acoustic absorption at high level and protection corners if required
using floor surfaces which are hard wearing and easy to maintain, and which
have suitable slip resistance and acoustic backing, if required. Avoiding
visually confusing highly polished patterned floors


4.4.13 Design quality

It is important to provide appropriate design so as to promote a positive atmosphere
for teaching and learning and the active participation of all pupils in school life.

The design should reflect an ambience and character for each space, relating to its
purpose and use. A pupils access to the curriculum is enhanced by the design of
buildings. Posing questions such as the following can test whether all criteria are
met:

Does the building help deliver the curriculum or does it get in the way?
How does the design affect the quality of what goes on in the classroom?
Is there a barrier-free environment which gives access to each learning
environment?
How easily can pupils get around the school?
Are there therapy spaces which help to maximise pupils capacity to learn?
Does the design suit a variety of needs?
Does the design give a sensory landscape which feels good and is creative
and effective for teaching and learning?

The designer will need to evaluate how to design to meet a wide range of needs,
giving a good-quality general provision which is flexible and adaptable and which
enables others to adapt and modify the environment if required, to suit their individual
needs.


4.5 General teaching spaces
The design of all general teaching spaces will reflect pupils age-appropriate needs
for the relevant teaching and learning activities. The space will need to be divided up
with moveable screens, shelving or storage units, loose furniture, fittings and
equipment. The choice of these items will convey the appropriate ambience for
teaching and learning activities. Any fixed fittings and furniture should be provided at
the appropriate scale and fixed at the appropriate height for the age and physical size
of the pupils. The teaching space should be accessible for all users including those
who use wheelchairs. Minimising fixed furniture, fittings and equipment will maximise
the available space for flexible use. Typically, there will be:

loose tables and chairs to suit a variety of heights and which can be
rerranged
wall-display boards according to the pupils needs
a fixed or mobile interactive whiteboard may be provided at an appropriate
height, or a whiteboard with overhead or floor-mounted CCTV
at least 2 computers, ideally for use in any location in the room
loose furniture to suit a range of pupil needs of an appropriate scale for
different pupils and staff
a range of worktops at different heights, allowing cupboard storage below
(either fixed, wall mounted or made up of loose tables or fittings)
sheet flooring of suitable slip resistance
sufficient space for temporary and permanent storage of mobility equipment
to suit pupils needs

Primary

The general teaching space should have a clear open area without obstructions. It
will not be dissimilar to mainstream early-years and primary bases. Spaces will be
used in a flexible way by staff for a variety of teaching and learning activities.
Typically there will be:

a bench and a range of coat hooks at the appropriate height near to the door,
as well as a place to store bags and belongings safely
a wet area with one or two sinks at different heights or with at least one
height-adjustable sink, along with suitable slip-resistant sheet flooring locally,
as a minimum
a soft area with carpet, beanbags, cushions and possibly a wall mirror at low
level, etc. (carpet squares, cushions and the like can be placed on sheet
flooring to suit)
ways to hang mobiles or textiles from the ceiling without fouling other
installations such as light fittings or ceiling-mounted hoists


Secondary

General-teaching class bases will reflect both the older status of pupils, and their use
as both tutor bases and specialist-subject teaching spaces for some curricular
subjects. (They should reflect mainstream secondary and not primary class bases.)
In addition to the above, there may be:

specialist-subject teaching resources, two- or three-dimensional display,
specialist equipment, teaching resources and subject display which will be
differentiated to suit the type and mode of curriculum offered
a safe place to store belongings
a worktop range for snack making facilities, if required, with space for a kettle
and small fridge, and storage units with knee space for wheelchair users


4.6 Practical specialist-subject spaces and performance spaces

Provision will vary according to the age of pupils, range of special educational needs
and phase of education. These should all be ascertained because the information
gathered will help to establish the type of practical spaces needed.

LEAs and schools will be able to give the design team further information about:
the age type and range of pupils needs in each context; the type and range of
specialist subjects to be offered and the different specialist activities to be undertaken
in each space.

This information will also help form the basis of the accommodation schedule and will
affect decisions which are made about its fitness for purpose. The functional layout of
the teaching spaces as well as the provision of, fittings, and furnishings and
equipment should be considered. The design can help to promote effective teaching
and learning within each practical specialist-subject space.

All teaching spaces must have adequate circulation space within, appropriate means
of escape, lighting, heating, and ventilation, as well as safe, secure, hygienic
provision for specialist resources. In addition, storage, technicians spaces and
preparation rooms will be provided as part of the overall suite of accommodation.


4.6.1 Science

Science can help pupils increase their experience, knowledge and understanding of
the world around them and, as such, it is a core subject on the curriculum.

The space should be well-organised with a logical room layout enabling methodical
working and avoiding visual clutter. Such an approach will help pupils to develop their
understanding and experience of the nature of the subject, and provide cues for
learning activities and behaviour as well as helping to focus on their tasks and
providing an appropriate ambience.

Science spaces should be equipped and resourced according to the mode of
curriculum being offered. This may range from P scales and Foundation Stage up to
GCSE or equivalent, depending on the type and range of special educational needs.

Pupils may learn to use their senses to explore, experience, observe, reflect,
communicate, and develop an understanding of cause and effect. Science may
include work with plants, analysis of pond life and looking after animals, so external
access to wildlife spaces is desirable for access to sensory planting, vegetable
gardens, a greenhouse and nature trails. Other scientific studies can also be
facilitated in context in the outdoor environment.

Spaces for science should provide for carrying out a variety of age-appropriate, multi-
sensory and developmental activities, as described above. Scientific observation,
investigation and experimentation may take place in the space and, very often, pupils
will carry out practical tasks.

It is important that the design approach for the specialist science space supports the
teaching and learning needs at the appropriate level at each educational phase.



Primary

In primary schools, most science-related work is taught in the class base with some
activities taking place outside. There should be sufficient space allowed for Science
activities which are class based to run simultaneously with other activities.

Some activities may take place in the practical bay or an enclosed space of 25 m
2

which will have storage of 4 m
2
for resources. There should be an adjustable-height
sink with a designated wet area, appropriate floor and wall finishes and sufficient
space for a storage trolley and trays.

Sometimes, a science or practical area is fitted out to allow flexibility of use for
display and for particular themed project work. Therefore, it is good practice to allow
for access to the outside. Direct access to an outside space from the primary
teaching and learning space is, in any case, beneficial. Where it is not possible to
provide immediate external access, the travel distances between the teaching and
learning spaces and the specialist space should be reasonable.

Secondary

In secondary schools, the curriculum may be delivered up to GCSE level or
equivalent, or at any level suited to the type and range of pupils needs. Therefore,
the space must be appropriately matched to support the level of investigation and
experimentation within the curriculum being delivered.

A specially equipped science space of 65 m
2
supported by a preparation room space
of 12 m
2
, which can also be used for storage and preparation of chemicals, will be
adequate provision in most cases. Increasingly, special schools have access to a
technician who may also be involved in preparation of learning resources or ICT
support. Sometimes a separate store may be required to meet specialist needs or a
wider range of technical responsibilities.

The layout of the space should support the teaching and learning activities and some
of these are described below.

Sometimes an area or room is set out for planning, writing or recording work, while
practical work is undertaken in an adjacent space. Sometimes a separate area for
practical activities may be required.

Sufficient space should be provided for pupils and staff to be grouped around an
interactive whiteboard, to circulate with ease and to participate in all activities in
class.

Demonstration may take place, especially if many pupils are visual learners. There
should, therefore, be sufficient space to group pupils and staff around the workspace.
Alternatively, a fully equipped demonstration desk may be provided, but this should
not obstruct access to the interactive whiteboard, if used.

Gas, water and electrical servicing are to be provided to some workspaces. Easily
operable and accessible controls, especially for those with physical or sensory
impairments, are essential. Sometimes these services and controls can be housed in
rise-and-fall units as part of height-adjustable furniture. Such an arrangement will
ensure that services are exposed only when in use, are not easily tampered with and
do not cause a distraction when not required.

Science sinks may be provided with accessible tap controls, and there should be
adequate elbow room and workspace either side. At least one height-adjustable sink
should be provided.

Sufficient accessible workstations should be provided, with adequate work space,
adjustable-height benching, knee-recess space, and carefully positioned, easily
identifiable and operable controls for service outlets as required.

Where provision is based on a traditional science laboratory, as in mainstream
schools, then reference can be made to BB80, subject to adaptations and
modifications being made for the type and range of special educational needs,
including access for wheelchair users. Reference can also be made to BS8300.

Benching with storage provision above and below can be laid out with groups of
desks or worktops arranged around service hubs or bollards.

Typically there will be:

three service hubs which contain gas and power, as appropriate. Some or all
of the hubs should be height-adjustable, as should the adjacent worktops, for
easy access for wheelchair users
three adjustable-height sinks need to be provided in each room, reasonably
close to the hubs but at least a safe distance away from any electrical-power
outlet

Hubs should to be carefully sited so as not to restrict circulation and the practical use
of the room. The same equipment can be arranged in perimeter benching, in
peninsular units forming bays or in fixed pedestal units. Their relative merits can be
reviewed for the type of SEN and curriculum delivery (see also Section 5.1,
Furniture).

All specialist equipment and service requirements should be identified early on. For
example, if a fume cupboard is needed, it should be carefully sited so that pupils
view of the teacher and whiteboard is not obscured (see BB80 Lighting design for
schools. For health and safety reasons overhead servicing may not be desirable, but
this will need to be ascertained early on. In all cases, however, emergency cut-off
points for services are essential.




4.6.2 Design and Technology

Design and technology involves exploring the sensory stimuli and physical properties
of materials, tools, mechanisms or products and, with assistance, designing and
making products. Pupils will use their practical, tactile or manipulative skills, and will
develop their creativity along with their knowledge and understanding of this subject.

A design-workshop space which is light and airy may provide an atmosphere which
helps pupils to acquire skills, promotes pleasure in carrying out practical tasks,
provides well-located display areas for the products made and celebrates pupils
achievements.



Primary

In primary schools, although it is possible for design and technology to be delivered
in the general teaching and learning spaces, using mobile equipment trolleys in a
specially laid out area of the space, due care must be taken to ensure that all health
and safety requirements are met. It is preferred, however, that a separate practical
area is provided, as a bay off a circulation space, or a self-contained room of 25 m
2
,
with a store of 4 m
2
.

Typically, each space should contain low-level work tables or benches for small
children, a worktop for the teacher, some storage units for equipment and tools, a
sink, and any specialist equipment the school may need. Usually, one or more work
tables and the sink should have an adjustable-height facility for use by pupils or
adults of different heights and wheelchair users. Allowing sufficient circulation space
is a necessity

Secondary

In secondary schools, the brief should clarify the specific activities to take place and
the appropriate mode of curriculum delivery in relation to the type and range of
special educational needs. Sufficient space should be provided for all workstations to
allow for flexibility and adaptability of use.

Where the curriculum is highly differentiated for pupils who have more complex
needs (SLD/PMLD/ASD), a brief from the school should be provided. This should
describe the type of subject delivery and activity so that a suitable and appropriate
layout of furniture, fittings and equipment can be made.

It is recommended that reference be made to BB81, Figure 1.1, which describes the
general design and technology activities and the facilities associated with the subject.
It will enable brief writers and designers to clarify the schools requirements (see
Appendix E). The recommended design approach is to prepare a schedule of
equipment which will inform the room size, shape and layout.

Generally, a space of 65 m
2
will be adequate, with storage for resources and holding
pupils work (see schedules in Part 6). Where additional specialist equipment is
required to support the schools design and technology programme of study, the size
may need to increase up to 90 m
2
.

For pupils who have hearing impairment and those who need to see, or be seen, by
the teacher, it may be better to arrange machinery to face into the room so that the
teachers instructions and visual alarms are more readily visible; additional space
may be required for such an arrangement.

Security and safety issues should be considered fully. For example, in a setting for
pupils who have behaviour difficulties, provision for security of materials and tools is
paramount. Thus, a layout which allows for active and passive supervision,
encouraging positive behaviour and its management is imperative.

Safe access and provision for pupils with physical disabilities should be assessed.
Accessible workspaces with adjustable-height furniture and sufficient space for a
teaching assistant should be made available as appropriate.

Separate areas within the space, or as part of a suite, may be needed for:

an interactive whiteboard with space around for group work
design and planning
practical work with benches
dust-free ICT/CADCAM use
a clean area for desktop work for designing and preparation
a technicians room which may contain machinery for staff use only
storage of material and resources
secure storage, as required by COSSH
storage of pupils work in progress

Where pupils will be working towards GCSE, reference can be made to BB81 and
appropriate provision made, subject to adaptations and modifications for the type and
range of special educational needs. In particular, safeguards for pupils who are
identified as a risk or as being at risk should be made.

A typical model layout for a specially equipped practical space may include:

benching with storage for smaller items of equipment underneath
computers with spaces for floor-mounted machinery
two sinks housed in the benching (at least one of which is adjustable height)
access to a vice and workbench for each pupil

Workstations may be set out or grouped together in different arrangements including
perimeter, peninsular or bay and island layouts (see also Section 5.1, Furniture).

The following points should also be considered, as they may result in more space
being required:

larger free-standing equipment, including any hot-works equipment, should be
positioned with some degree of separation for health and safety
heavy machinery which is noisy or creates vibration should be installed and
placed appropriately
there should be margins for machinery which allow clearance for a safe
working area; there should also be appropriate floor markings and signage
access for the delivery of large, heavy materials may mean that siting the
design and technology space on the ground floor is important
electronics equipment kits or benches should be carefully positioned
ICT and CADCAM need to be housed in a dust-free and acoustically separate
space


4.6.3 Food Technology

Food technology supports learning and understanding about physical health, growth,
and the appreciation of making, tasting and eating food, along with developing an
understanding of social interaction and communication. Food technology is
considered a subject essential for those with SEN to assist in development of social,
communication and independence skills.

Curriculum activities may range from observing, tasting and participating in making a
sandwich to preparing a meal independently to share with others. Where life-skills
are taught, additional equipment may be required and this should be specified by the
school and agreed by the LEA.

Specialist spaces should be designed to create a positive atmosphere which
supports these activities and skills. The atmosphere should be inviting, welcoming,
encouraging pupils to enjoy food and to take an interest in their own health and well-
being.

Many of the activities and tasks will reinforce other areas of learning, but a separate
specialist space is considered beneficial. Careful juxtaposition with other teaching
and learning spaces should ensure that there is no infiltration of dust, fumes or noise.
Due consideration of health, safety, security and hygiene issues in the design is
essential.

The school or LEA should give a clear brief to enable the designer to provide an
appropriately equipped space.

Primary

It is recommended, that a separate practical area for cooking and home studies is
provided outside of the class base for Key Stages 1 and 2. There may be one adult
and possibly one assistant for a small group of 24 pupils including, at times, one-to-
one working with children who have PMLD.

Typical provision will include:

worktops (standard-height for demonstration by the teacher, low-level for
small children)
high- and low-level storage units
a sink (adjustable-height)
a mini-oven, or hob on wheels
a kettle and a fridge

Adjustable-height units and cupboards may be also required.

Natural daylight will enhance the quality of the experience, so internal rooms are not
recommended.

In some situations, for example in a school for pupils who have BESD, a social-skills
training base may be provided adjacent to the food-technology space, equipped with
typical family living-room furniture.

In exceptional cases where a separate base is not possible for stated reasons, food
technology can be delivered in the general-teaching space using suitable small-scale
mobile equipment trolleys in a specially laid out corner, provided that all health and
safety requirements are met.

Secondary

A specially equipped room of 65 m
2
with storage for food (4 m
2
) and resources (4 m
2
)
will suit most situations.

This room may be used by half or full groups of pupils (48 maximum), typically with
one teacher and one teaching assistant. However, one-to-one work with pupils with
PMLD may be required.

Pupils may work individually (independently or assisted), in pairs or in small groups,
so sufficient circulation space should be provided for this.
Provision of age-appropriate layouts for scale, height and reach, as well as of
suitable types of fittings is essential.

The layout of the space must support the level at which the curriculum is delivered.
Different workstations or bays can be arranged to suit diverse needs. In particular,
safeguards for security realising the outcomes of risk assessments, and provision for
mobility and sensory needs, will be needed.

Pupils with physical difficulties will have varied needs: some may have upper-body
mobility whilst others may have little independent movement and may, therefore,
require access technology, specialist controls or assistance (for which sufficient
space is a necessity).

Careful specification and appropriate provision of adjustable-height worktops, units
and equipment (whether of manual, electrical or electronic operation) can greatly
assist those with physical and multiple disabilities. Adjustable-height kitchen units
and cupboards may also be required. There should also be sufficient circulation
space for wheelchairs, trolleys or other mobility aids as well as for support staff.

Where pupils are working towards GCSE, the room may be laid out in a similar way
to a mainstream school (reference can be made to BB81). Appropriate provision,
however, will be subject to adaptations and modifications being made for the type
and range of special educational needs.

Generally, each pupil should have access to a workstation which comprises sufficient
worktop space, kitchen-cupboard storage units at high or low level, a refrigerator, an
oven, a hob, a sink and drainer, a kettle, utensil storage and other cooking
equipment. Special adaptations may be necessary.

Workstations can be configured in different layouts, such as straight runs, peninsular
units or bays according to curriculum approach and supervision requirements (see
Section 5.1, Furniture).

Where snack-making facilities are required in a teaching space, social-skills space or
independent-living skills base, or post-16 common room, the school may need to
provide a detailed brief in conjunction with the LEA for these so that the design will
be fit for purpose.


4.6.4 Art

The sensory and expressive nature of art as a subject can benefit many pupils who
can achieve and excel from Foundation Stage through to GCSE.

It is important to have a good-quality space which is light, airy, pleasant, and
provides a relaxed atmosphere which is an uplifting and inspiring setting for creative
activities.

For many pupils who have SEN and disabilities, art offers the opportunity for self-
expression. By exploring colour, texture, shape, form and space, pupils can express
ideas and communicate feelings. They can develop imagination and creativity along
with manual and practical skills through both two- and three-dimensional work.

The school and/or LEA must clarify the specific activities to take place at the
appropriate levels at which the curriculum will be taught. The school should also
describe any other specific requirements: the use of ICT and proximity to the sensory
room are among other factors that may be considered.

A schedule of equipment can be prepared to inform the size, shape and layout of the
space.

Primary

In primary schools, art is usually taught in the general-teaching space, although
practical work along with design and technology can be accommodated in a practical
bay or designated enclosed area.

Secondary

Secondary schools should be provided with a fully equipped specialist art room,
providing for all aspects of two- and three-dimensional art. Generally, a space of 65
m
2
is recommended. Stores should be provided for resources (4 m
2
) and for pupils
work (6 m
2
) both as separate protected spaces off the art room (see schedules for
schools in section on storage and part 6).

Normally, a separate kiln room of 46 m
2
, where requested, will be adequate,
depending on the size of the kiln and provided that there is sufficient safe clearance
for access by an adult. For pupils who have visual impairment there may be greater
importance given to developing tactile skills via three-dimensional art. If this is the
case, provision of a kiln is essential.

The layout of the room should support the activities which will take place, and in
some instances this may also include art therapy, if considered appropriate.

Typically, each pupil will have access to a work table with sufficient working and
layout space. Some work tables will need to be height-adjustable or have sloping
boards. Loose furniture is generally preferred to give the maximum flexibility.

Where furniture is fixed, it may be appropriate for this to be at different heights,
incorporating storage above and below but also allowing knee recesses for
wheelchair users as required.

Generally at least 3 sinks are provided for different functions; 2 sinks and drainers for
paints and associated materials as well as one sink and drainer with a clay trap. At
least one height-adjustable sink will be necessary.

Natural daylight, but with sunlight and glare control, is needed, although traditional
north light is preferred. The relationship of the art space to other spaces should be
considered (for example, proximity to the sensory room for pupils with PMLD may be
appropriate, or to the design and technology space for pupils with BESD).

Providing pupils with opportunities to contribute their own artwork to the school
environment can improve their sense of belonging. Often, pupils can work with an
artist in residence making artwork for their school or contributing as part of a building
project. Suitable space and wall areas can be allowed for this work and should be
planned for if this is a normal approach to teaching the subject.



4.6.5 Music, drama and movement

Pupils can benefit greatly from music, movement and drama as specialist subjects, or
from music therapy, using technology, instruments and tools which encourage
communication and interaction. Through these subjects they can develop self-
expression and creativity, enhanced self-esteem, self-confidence, and social and
interaction skills.

The design of the studio space should reflect the appropriate use of texture and
materials, so creating a harmonious setting for inspiring and supporting pupils
exploration of music and drama.

Pupils will take part in and experience music and drama activities from Foundation
Stage through primary and secondary years at appropriate learning levels, according
to their age and type and range of need.

Music and movement activities may include exploring and experiencing sound,
(vibration rhythm, tempo), singing, and using and playing musical instruments
including percussion. Exploring movement and drama through ideas, imagination,
play, stories, poems or small performances can also take place.

Music therapy for those children with severe or multiple disabilities may be provided.
Sound beam or resonance boards may be used in conjunction with physiotherapy,
movement and drama.

Sound beam is a device which emits an ultrasound beam. When the beam is broken,
the device translates these interruptions into sounds and notes through a midi
keyboard or sound module. Children with limited mobility are able to produce high-
quality sounds through this technology which would not be possible through a
conventional keyboard or musical instrument.
11

Resonance boards are boards on which a child can sit or lie to receive vibratory
information which increases their interest in the activity and their environment.
Sometimes a pillow or blanket is used to dampen the effect. The board produces a
reactive environment where a child has the opportunity for independent interaction
with their surroundings. For example, the childs movements result in immediate
movement and vibration from a toy, through the board. Adults will facilitate or monitor
safe progress.
12

These types of resources and the corresponding activity require space for specialist
equipment and for gross body movement. They can be noisy or highly disruptive to
others, therefore, it is beneficial to have a dedicated specialist space at both primary
and secondary level. Accommodation can range from a separate facility for music
and drama to use of the school hall. As a guide, sizes of accommodation are
recommended in the sections below.

Typically, the specialist space for music, movement and drama will have no fixed
furniture and will allow sufficient clear space for loose furniture and free-standing or
desktop instruments such as piano or drums, keyboards with computer interfaces,
hand-held instruments, and sound beam or resonance boards. Drama activities may
involve the use of props, wardrobe, light and sound equipment and demountable

11
See Michael Medick, Supporting Children with Multiple Disabilities (Questions Publishing,
2002.
12
Ibid.
stage units.

Occupancy may range from one-to-one or small groups through single or double
classes up to school performances, extended-school or community use. In the latter
case, occupancy levels and means of escape should be agreed with the local fire
and building-control authority.

LEAs and schools should brief the designer about the range and type of activities to
take place for the number, age, type and range of special educational needs of the
pupils.

Primary

A separate space of 65 m
2
will usually be sufficient for most of the above activities. A
store of at least 8 m
2
is recommended, with appropriate security provided for
equipment for the different users.

Secondary

A separate, specially designed and equipped space should be provided to support
activities for music and drama at secondary stage. Depending on the arrangement
and the size of the school, a space of 65 m
2
is sufficient in most cases.

In many cases, a music/drama room of 65 m
2
with a recording room of 15 m
2
en suite
will be required. Advice should be obtained from specialist consultants for this room
which should also be accessible to wheelchair users.

A clear height of 2.73.5 m will create a reasonable volume for activities. The floor-
to-ceiling height should be sufficient to introduce some limited stage lighting and
requirements for any ceiling-mounted fittings should be described, as should the
power supplies and services which will be required. Generally, the following provision
and details should be considered:

appropriate natural lighting avoiding glare (sometimes clerestory or high-level
windows with blinds or curtains)
full blackout facilities with curtains, blinds or drapes, electrically or manually
operated, but so as not to foul opening windows and restrict ventilation
good-quality room acoustics, effective sound separation and insulation
parallel and identically dimensioned walls create standing waves and flutter
echoes which reduce sound clarity, so at least one angled wall can be
introduced to avoid this
non-rectangular, curved or fan shapes are natural shapes for performance
spaces and may assist with acoustics; circular shapes may cause problems.
Careful design in relation to acoustics is required and specialist advice should
be obtained accordingly
materials and finishes should be selected and specified for suitable
absorption and reflection at the appropriate frequencies for the appropriate
acoustic quality (see BB93).

Schools may put on performances or host joint events with other schools so that
pupils can take part in drama, movement and music activities as part of the local
schools inclusive-activities community programme. Therefore, a large space should
be provided to accommodate these.

Large spaces for music and drama performance

Generally, where a large specialist space is required for performances, the main
school hall is used. This will avoid disturbance and distraction to and by others (see
Section 4.7 below).

The relationship of other spaces to the main hall should be established at the outset.
For example, if sliding folding doors are used to enable a larger multi-purpose space
to be formed, these should be of the highest acoustic quality.

Where there is a larger school or if the school has a relevant specialism, then a
performance studio of 80120 m
2
may be preferred, but a rationale and resources
must be evident for this (see Section 4.7 below).


4.6.6 Physical Education

Physical Education (PE) is a foundation subject as well as a learning process which
supports healthy living and well-being. It encourages awareness of body and space,
and improves manipulative development and mobility and activity skills, which, along
with social and teamwork skills, can nurture progress to independence, enabling
access to and inclusion in the wider community.

The design should offer an uplifting and energising atmosphere which promotes
pupils interest and motivates them to take part and be actively involved in movement
and sport.

It is important to understand the type and range of special educational needs and to
distinguish between the different needs of pupils, as this will ensure that the design is
fit for purpose and all needs can be met.

Some pupils who have disabilities are independently active and able to be involved in
wheelchair sports. They may or may not have SEN and may attend local mainstream
community schools with or without support. Inclusive programmes of PE can be
provided to meet their needs. A wide range of sports for people who are disabled are
available in the wider community and reference should be made to Sport England for
guidance (see the Sport England publication Access for Disabled People 2002).

Other pupils who have severe or profound and multiple disabilities, including physical
disabilities, will require more support or assistance and specialist activity
programmes. Knowledge of the range of activity for such groups will provide a basis
for planning and designing appropriate PE spaces for their use.

Then there are those pupils who have special educational needs such as behaviour,
emotional and social difficulties or whose needs fall within the autistic spectrum
range, who are not physically disabled and who may have a high need for activity
and space. Overall, the activities undertaken may include active and passive
movement programmes, floor exercise, mobility training, games and outdoor
activities (as appropriate to pupils needs).

A large, self-contained space is therefore required for physical activities, which is
available throughout the whole school day and which should not be restricted in its
use by dining arrangements.

A schedule of equipment to support the full range of activities should be drawn up.
Some schools may have traditional wall-fixed equipment of climbing bars and ropes.
Others may have large, moveable, soft items designed for pupils with particular
disabilities. The requirements of the school must, therefore, be established.
The scale, proportions and height of the hall should permit curricular use by the
school, be age-appropriate and allow for community use as appropriate.

In primary schools, in particular, the large volume of a hall may be uncomfortable for
smaller children. The minimum recommended space, however, to accommodate
curricular use for PE in primary schools is 100 m
2
. (If community use is desired in
addition, then 180 m
2
may be required. See below).

The minimum recommended space to accommodate curricular use in secondary
special schools is 140 m
2
, without dining facilities or community use. Schools may,
however, require more space for wheelchair sports or community use. The latter will
require the size of a badminton court for which a sports hall of 180 m
2
(10 x 8 x 6.1 m
clear height) is recommended by Sport England. Therefore, for flexibility and
adaptability in order to support community use in the future, this is the size of space
which is now recommended for secondary broad-range special schools.

Special schools will often combine their space for PE with the main school hall, and
very careful detailed design is necessary to provide a single multi-functional space
which is successful (see Section 4.7 below).

Such use of the main school hall should be considered at the outset. If community
use for sport is desired, a ceiling height of 6.17.6 m may be proposed for sports.
However, this may conflict with curriculum needs and acoustic requirements, and
some pupils may find large volumes disorientating or confusing.

For a school for pupils with BESD, a larger space for PE and sport should be
available. This is due to the higher activity needs of the pupils and the benefits which
may be gained from sports activities in promoting the development of teamwork and
social skills. Provision of a full-size sports hall of 594 m
2
(33 x 18 x 7.6 m) will enable
pupils, who are often of adult size, to participate in a full range of sports activities
including basketball and five-a-side football.

The size and shape of associated storage should be determined accordingly.
Storage will be needed for large equipment, including trampolines, moveable goals
for football, and nets. Long stores with a shallow depth directly off the hall are often
preferred. A store for equipment of at least 10 m
2
is recommended.

It is recommended that the PE and movement space opens directly on to an external
recreation area, where possible.

Changing rooms should be accessible and be positioned near the hall and close to
external sport or multi-games spaces for ease of access (see also Section 4.14,
Pupils toilets and changing areas). Appropriate space relationships and proximity to
changing rooms is also essential to ensure proper supervision of all pupils.

Wall, floor and ceiling finishes should be carefully selected to balance the practical
need for of durability, impact resistance and protection from projectiles against the
need for appropriate ambience and acoustic requirements.

If specialist wheelchair sports are to be included, a clear opening of 1100 mm to
doors is recommended by Sport England to be wide enough for sports wheelchairs
which are 8701000 mm wide.

Community use for sport

Where halls are also used for community use the following points should be
considered:

Community use will necessitate wall-hung fold-out equipment being recessed
and concealed behind flush door panels.
Additional separate changing facilities may be required.
Additional storage facilities will be needed for community use.
Access to external play/sports areas, changing rooms and other facilities
should be zoned and controlled for community users without the need to enter
or open the whole school.

Sport England recommendations for sports hall sizes are set out on page 000.
Reference can also be made to Sport England guidance (see References) for:

sports halls: sizes and layouts
access for disabled people
village and community halls

Where a space is for sports or performance for community use, refer to Designing for
Sports and Arts (DfEE, 2000).


4.7 Large spaces

A range of large spaces can be provided in a special school which can be for:

single use, such as the specialist curriculum activities already mentioned
above and which may also support specialist status
dual or multi-purpose use, which may also support extended-school or
community use

These functions should be clarified early on in the briefing process, so that spaces
can be provided which are fit for purpose.

The most common functions are for:

school assembly
music/drama performance
physical education and movement
sport
dining
hydrotherapy (see Section 4.10, Medical therapy)

The sections below contain general recommendations regarding the design of large
spaces for different types of use.

Single or dual use

There should be a separate dining space so as to prevent erosion of curriculum time
for PE, performance and assembly.

It may be appropriate for there to be sliding folding doors between a school hall of
100 m
2
and a dining space 80100 m
2
, which could enable community use for sport
or other activities.

In some cases, the dining space may be suitable for extended-school activities, such
as breakfast clubs or after-school clubs, and this should be stated clearly in the brief,
as appropriate (see Section 4.11, Dining and kitchen areas).

Where hydrotherapy is provided, (usually in a broad-range special school), this is in a
separate, specially designed space and is not dual used, except if designated
community use is desired (see Section 4.10.9, Hydrotherapy).

The brief should state all of the functions of the hall, so that design can meet the
needs of the whole school and local community with the resources and priorities
identified and agreed. All associated types of storage should be identified as well as
their suitable locations.

Zoning should be considered in the design, for access and egress of different groups,
and must be incorporated for the security and safety of pupils.

Proximity of the hall to changing rooms should be considered to ensure good
supervision of pupils.



Multi-purpose use

There must be a clear strategy at the outset so that the options are discussed fully,
clarified, agreed and set out in the brief. Only then will designers be able to design a
space which is fit for purpose.

Broad-range special schools will often combine the large space of the main school
assembly hall with provision for physical education and performance as a single
multi-functional space. This may or may not also have community use. (The
community use may not necessarily be for sport but may be for other disability or
special-interest groups.)

Very careful and detailed design for such multi-purpose use will be needed if this is to
be successful and not cause conflict between the needs for assembly, performance
and SEN.
13


Alternatively, there may be a preference for predominant use for either sport or arts.
This may relate to whether the special school is a specialist school for one of these
subjects.

In an all-age broad-range special school, it may be appropriate to have the smaller
primary hall of 100 m
2
as a performance space and the larger secondary hall of 180
m
2
as a physical-education space, while both may also be used for assembly or for
community use.

Where there are co-located special and mainstream schools the joint use of
specialist large facilities may also enable inclusion and the buildings must, therefore,
be fully accessible to all users.

Large spaces can have dual-use or multi-purpose use which also includes assembly.
For example, the sports hall or dining space may be used for assembly, for different
reasons or on different occasions, as appropriate. Designers should discuss the
consequences of such choices fully with the school and the preferred use of large
spaces should be clarified in the brief, so that they can be fit for purpose.


School hall

Assembly is an important time when all pupils come together as a whole school
community. Inclusion in schools now brings together children from the widest
possible backgrounds with a huge range of abilities, far wider than ever before. In a
mainstream setting or where there is a co-located or resourced provision, assembly
facilities will normally exist in the mainstream school which can be dual used by the
local special school. It is important, therefore, that they are suitable for disabled users
in all respects. It is essential to promote positive social interaction which will enhance
inclusion opportunities into adulthood.

Special schools on their own site will often combine their space for physical
education with the main school assembly hall to provide a single multi-functional
space.

The design approach should balance the need for a large multi-purpose facility, used
principally for physical education and assembly, with an ambience which expresses

13
See Designing for Sports and Arts (DfEE, 2000)
the schools public status. Use of a folding acoustic partition to the dining area is
preferred to support extended school and community use.

In addition, some schools assemble at the end of the day before coaches arrive for
departure. This arrangement will affect the location of the hall. It is beneficial to locate
the hall centrally at the heart of the school, especially in an all-age school, in order to
limit travel time for all pupils from their class or specialist bases.

The hall should be available for curriculum activities throughout the whole school day
and not restricted for use by dining. Circulation routes nearby should be sufficiently
wide so as not to cause congestion.

It may be helpful to consider a whole school day, with the need to change between
functions effectively and not to waste time by having to move equipment and
furniture.

The scale, proportions and height of the hall should permit both age-appropriate and
community use, as appropriate.

The level of occupancy of the hall and requirements for means of escape will have to
meet the approval of the fire authority and the local-authority building control.
Reference can be made to BS8300 and the Building Regulations ADM for disabled-
access requirements.

Aspects to consider

Where schools are dual or multi-purpose use, then the following notes apply. They
have been adapted from Designing Space for Sports and Arts (DfEE, 2000). The
guidance should be referred to and applied where relevant.

A raised stage will restrict disabled access for pupils unless a ramp or lift is provided.
Fold away bleacher seating may be desirable to give a good view of the stage for
performances, but again, access for wheelchairs will be restricted particularly when
pupils want to sit with parents at a function.

Wall, floor and ceiling finishes should balance the practical issues of durability,
impact resistance and protection from projectiles with the need for appropriate
ambience and acoustic requirements.

Careful consideration should be made with regard to the suitability of all finishes for
fitness for purpose and for SEN and disabilities.

Building materials and finishes should be carefully selected for their acoustic
absorption and impact resistance according to both location and functional
requirements. The design should reflect the appropriate character for the space, in
relation to its purpose and use, with suitable visual colour and tonal contrast.

Ceiling finishes should be impact-resistant and acoustic-absorbent to give an
appropriate reverberation time (see BB93). A light-coloured or white ceiling finish to
give 90% reflectance will be required. Tiles which can be damaged and displaced by
impact from balls should not be used. Likewise, ledges where balls can rest or which
create cleaning difficulties should also be avoided.

Walls should be of high mass to reduce noise transfer, with flush-faced, smooth and
impact-resistant plastered or fair-faced masonry, or dense particle board, with no
projections (sensors or fire extinguishers should be recessed) and with sound-
absorbent finish at high level. The decorative finish should have a medium to high
light reflectance with visual tonal contrast to the floor.

Doors should be flush with the wall finish, have splayed reveals to avoid risk of injury
(with recessed panic bars for fire-escape doors) and open outwards.

Floors should be warm, durable and non-slip, have low glare and be impact-energy
absorbing (to BS7044). For example, a sprung floor may be costly but is of benefit for
sports and arts and to those with hearing impairment. Strengthening may be needed
where there are runners for bleacher seating. Contrasting floor markings may be
required.

Provision of appropriate natural and artificial lighting to avoid glare and give an even
distribution of light should be made; avoiding end glazing and providing side lighting
at high level is preferred, with appropriate film or tint in glazing. Any glazed areas
should be detailed with safety in mind and have the appropriate safety-performance
glass.

Full blackout facilities will be needed, with curtains, blinds or drapes, electrically or
manually operated, but so as not to foul opening windows and restrict ventilation.
Window and door openings should be airtight

For sport, lighting of 300400 lux with ceiling-mounted fittings either side of
badminton court lines is recommended. Some stage lighting and sound equipment
should be provided for allow flexible use of the space for performance. Performance
lighting requires lighting bars or a lighting grid at 6 m clear height. Auditorium lighting
should be dimmable and supplemented by decorative lighting such as wall washers
and spotlights. Access for maintenance should be planned at the start.

The appropriate heating and ventilation system should be selected for temperatures
from 1223 degrees Centigrade, and 1.53 air changes per hour; and there should
be an even distribution of air without down-draughts or dead-air pockets. If radiators
are used, they should be flush to the wall. If supply and return fans are used, they
should operate together to achieve a balanced system. Heating and ventilation
systems should be selected to avoid unwanted noise and should not impinge on the
use of the space.

Sound equipment should be provided for performance. Provision of sound-field
systems and induction loops should be considered. The space should have effective
sound separation and insulation with good-quality room acoustics. An acoustician
should be consulted at the outset so that the appropriate acoustic design and use of
acoustic-absorbing panels to the ceiling and at high level to the walls is provided as
part of the design if required. Some acoustic absorption, however, will occur due to
the audience, soft furnishings and curtains (refer to BB93, see references).










4.8 Learning-resource areas

Learning-resource spaces are important for optimising cross-curricular learning
opportunities and enhancing life chances for pupils in a range of settings.

The design approach will be to identify the explicit purpose of the learning resource
space which will, in turn, inform the type and range of facilities to be provided and
described in the design brief. These include:

those which relate more closely to general teaching spaces, such as group
rooms, library resource centre, ICT cluster or ICT suite, or post-16 study
areas

those which relate to specialist teaching spaces, similar to mainstream
schools, such as local resources within departments e.g. Design and
Technology, kiln rooms, dark rooms or other ancillary areas, and small
recording rooms

The latter are dealt with under specialist practical subjects.


4.8.1 Group rooms

Group rooms are an essential resource which will meet a range of learning,
behaviour, social and emotional needs for pupils.

Such rooms are smaller rooms which can be used for one-to-one sessions or small
group work, therapy, respite and as an extension to the classroom activities.

The design approach will consider:

how group rooms are to be used
their purpose and function
the rationale for their proximity to general teaching class bases being
essential or desired
the ratio between general teaching class bases and group rooms

An arrangement which is becoming more common in special schools and resource
provision, as well as mainstream schools, is one where a group room is shared
between two general teaching spaces.

For a group room to offer as much flexibility as possible, it should be able to
accommodate up to 4 pupils with 2 adults. Small rooms of varying size may be
appropriate in some cases where a specific function or need prevails over the need
for flexible use. Rooms should allow easy wheelchair access if furniture, typically a
table and chairs, are in place as well as adequate circulation clearance of door
swings.

Size

Areas range from 12 m
2
for primary to 15 m
2
for secondary age with a recommended
minimum width of 3 m for accessibility. For example, a special school with 96 pupils
with pupil groups of 68, will have 12 general teaching spaces and 6 group rooms.

The shape of the room should suit the purpose for which it is being designed and a
clear brief is essential. A multi-purpose focus will maximise its potential for present
and future use.

Regular rectangular or square shapes can fit well between class bases. Alternatively
curved shapes may be more suitable for specifically stated support purposes, such
as tutor groups or specialist subjects (e.g. music and drama).

The room relationship, proximity and links to other teaching and learning spaces will
need to be considered in relation to what is of most value in terms of the use made of
the group room.

Appropriate access and use of group rooms by pupils, staff and by other visiting
professionals, on a flexible basis, should also be considered.

Group rooms between class bases with no access from the corridor allow flexible use
by two pupil groups.

The external wall will contain windows for natural light, ventilation and view out, if
required, but no door to the outside.

There will, however, only be access through the class bases, and supervision of
pupils should ensure that adjacent pupil groups are not disturbed or disrupted. Whilst
this is also related to school management issues, designers should discuss such
arrangements with the school.

Group rooms with access directly from the corridor or circulation space as well as the
class bases, can be used for a range of activities and, in this case, additional spaces
may not be necessary elsewhere in the school.

This arrangement is more appropriate for pupils who have BESD, where supervision
is important and minimal disruption to pupil groups desirable. For internal rooms,
however, the appropriate provision of natural and artificial lighting, ventilation and
appropriate acoustic treatment are essential.

Group rooms at secondary phase may be arranged so that there is one group room
serving a cluster of 2-3 class bases for learning and behaviour support, giving an
age-appropriate rationale for their use, distribution and provision.

Group rooms do not usually have fixed storage, but may have loose cupboards. Any
ICT needs should be specified to suit the purpose, if these are desired.

The choice of building materials and finishes may match the class base adjacent or
reflect a specific purpose. For example, soft or non-abrasive wall finishes (e.g. carpet
or padded cushions) for pupils with challenging behaviour may be safe as well as
soothing.

Although a group room can be designated for a specific purpose, the need for
flexibility and adaptability is paramount. This need will be reflected in the quality of
design which usually will convey a pleasant, calm atmosphere which can facilitate a
variety of functions.




4.8.2 Library

The library can, if appropriately designed, support pupils learning in a range of
stimulating and focussed contexts. A library can be arranged for storage of books
and other written materials, but it is increasingly more usual to provide an
environment which is interactive and enables pupils to use a wide a variety of media.
It may contain computers, as part of an interactive facility, along with access
technology, braille readers, touch screens and audio visual or video display.

The library resources must be able to accommodate age-appropriate independent
learning with appropriate ICT links to other learning areas.
Its size and shape will reflect the specific purpose and activities which will take place
there.

It will be set out in an imaginative but orderly manner, so as to stimulate and engage
pupils interest in learning.

In primary schools, the library can be open to a circulation area if this is felt to be
appropriate. It must however be clearly defined as additional space to circulation,
sited so as to avoid distraction and to permit pupils and adults to sit and read as well
as search for books and other information without constant disruption.

Age-appropriate provision may include formal and informal seating, such as
beanbags, a toy library and accessible storage of objects of reference and
associated resources.

In secondary schools, the requirements are similar, but a space which mirrors
mainstream provision is suggested. Older pupils will need more space and this
should be reflected in the choice of furniture, its layout and the social ambience.

Specialist library furniture, shelving and storage must be provided although care
needs to be taken in briefing for the supplier.

Stock takes of existing resources and visits to other schools with library resources
would help to establish likely quantities of different materials and resources.

In special schools there may be no full-time librarian and openness onto circulation
spaces may be an issue for security, fire prevention or acoustic reasons. Therefore,
the use of specialist glazed screening may need to be considered to maintain
visibility and ensure acoustic control.

A comfortable learning environment with low-glare lighting, good-quality acoustics,
thermal comfort and ventilation should be provided. Specification of materials and
finishes should support the functions above and have low maintenance.

The quality of design will create a sense of place which is light, airy, quiet, calm and
evoke a similar atmosphere to a public library as part of the social learning
experience for the pupils.


4.8.3 ICT

Information and communication technology (ICT) can maximise social and learning
opportunities through effective use of advanced technology which promotes
individual attainment and allows for maximum flexibility of use in the future.

Pupils with special needs will use a range of different access technology or
interfaces; computers will often be larger than the standard provision and have
varying space requirements which must be established early on.

Some pupils may need to experience a wide range of stimulating equipment, such as
bubble tubes, audiotapes, CDs and computers, along with a range of switches and
devices which produce different outcomes, in order to initiate an understanding of
cause and effect.

Through ICT, pupils will be encouraged to show curiosity and interest; experience
and respond consistently to stimuli produced by the program and learn to use the
computer or switching equipment with intent for a desired effect.

Other pupils will be provided with opportunities to explore and use a variety of IT
equipment, as well as a range of computer software and hardware, in order to access
this and other areas of the curriculum, and enhance and extend their creative activity.

There is increasing use of ICT in all teaching and learning spaces, in most cases.
There is a need, however, for a dedicated ICT facility for specialist use.

This can be provided as a separate room, or as a cluster within or adjacent to the
library resources centre, according to curriculum potential to link activities and the
timetabled needs. Provision for flexibility and adaptability should be enhanced
wherever possible.

Size and layout of libraries and ICT resources

At primary stage, the library and ICT resource can be separate spaces of 15 m
2
each
or combined as an interactive space.

For secondary, each space will need 30 m
2
or a combined area of 60 m
2
minimum.

The library, ICT resource, and file server will have an allowance of a minimum of 4
m
2
storage each at each phase.

In primary provision, a practical area for dedicated computer-based studies outside of
the class base is beneficial. It will normally be used on a one-to-one basis or by small
groups. The space should be easily accessible from all class bases. It can be a bay
off a circulation space or a self-contained room. If it is provided as a bay, special
consideration needs to be given to the security of equipment and possible distraction
to pupils through noise, visual distraction or movement of others.

If it is a self-contained room there must be sufficient space for mobility and circulation
needs. The layout should be informed by the type and range of special educational
needs and the mode of curriculum delivery.

In secondary schools, the space may need to accommodate a full class in an ICT
suite or bay. This is often associated with the library, or learning-resource space, and
should be sited to obtain maximum benefit for all pupils across the curriculum.

Typically, provision may include about 6 adjustable-height work stations, including
adjustable-height tables and chairs, if required, with a range of access technology
devices to suit individual learning needs.

A workstation should be available to meet the needs of each pupil, although the
technology may vary to reflect the pupils needs and the schools curriculum
approach.

The choice of IT equipment will greatly affect the shape and size of the room or
space. For example, a flat-screen monitor with a computer under the worktop allows
more efficient use of desk space and requires less overall space. If all pupils in a
group require access to different technologies then space should be available to
ensure effective use.

A flexible approach is imperative both in the selection of furniture, services and space
layout. The space should be provided with variable-height workstations suitable for
wheelchair access. Consideration of ergonomics and space requirements should
ensure that the use of computers in relation to adjustable-height desking,
wheelchairs and standing frames is possible.

Whiteboards should be positioned carefully so as to enhance the communication and
interaction for the type and range of SEN and in relation to the size and shape of
class bases.

It is likely that an interactive whiteboard, or overhead projection facility, will be
needed, and the room shape together with the location of computers will need to
provide clear sight lines to view the teacher and screens. This may be difficult if the
space is designed as a bay.

The layout should enable good communication and interaction for teaching and
learning for individual and small group work. The pupils should be able to see the
teacher and whiteboard as well as their computer screen without turning and
becoming disorientated.

The distribution of services should permit flexible use of computers and suitable
environmental conditions for ICT. A glare-free, well-lit room, with a comfortable
learning environment, should be provided which is suitable for a range of users.

Particular environmental requirements should be considered such as dim-out without
loss of ventilation, local glare conditions, background colour selection and increased
ventilation due to heat-loading from equipment.

Care should be taken to prevent noise of machines or printers and heat generated by
equipment interfering with adjacent associated activities. It may be difficult to meet all
of these requirements if the space is designed as a bay or is too small and
constricted.

Security is a serious concern and measures should be put in place to avoid the theft
of IT equipment. These may include the siting of IT spaces away from vulnerable
external walls, reduced external window areas, window shutters, CCTV monitoring
and alarm systems, fixed or secured computer equipment and secure I desks.

The ICT provider should be involved throughout the design process so that
cableways or wireless installations are anticipated and planned for flexible use of
computers, now and in the future.

The distribution of services needs to be planned to allow for flexible use of computers
within the whole space, not just at its perimeter. Where workstations may be required
away from perimeter walls, the management of cables and need for floor-boxes, or
the use of a wireless system, needs to be carefully assessed.

Other points to note and consider are set out below:

The mainstream model with computers against the wall on perimeter
worktops may often not be appropriate for pupils with SEN and disabilities, for
reasons given previously.

ICT is of particular importance for pupils who have visual impairment and
additional space is often required to meet their needs.

Appropriate use of ICT can support behaviour and encourage learning for
pupils who have BESD.

ICT can be provided effectively in a small bay off a corridor space in a primary
special school.

An ICT suite can effectively offer a joint use in a shared space for both
mainstream and special schools pupils and so support inclusion.

ICT can be stored in lockable tambour cupboard units and still be both secure
and accessible in a class base, if required for protection of equipment.


4.8.4 Post-16 learning resources

It is important to allow pupils who have SEN and disabilities to develop their full
potential and be recognised as part of the student body.

Where a special school has post-16 provision this should be significantly different
and separate from that being provided for statutory years. An age-appropriate
environment to reflect the young adult work place, like an office or college
environment, is therefore desirable.

The number of students may vary, however, so it is essential to determine the scope
and use of study rooms and areas so as to ensure their fitness for purpose.

Some students will undertake work placements with work-based training providers
(LSC-funded).

Where provided, learning resources should include access to vocational training, on
or off site, at FE colleges. As supporting accommodation to the post-16 tutor bases,
additional learning resources should include separate small group room(s), a snack-
making area and a common/social room.

If appropriate, students may have access to multi-purpose use of training or meeting
rooms available at the special school. The learning resources should ideally serve as
a base from which students go out into the wider community as part of their progress
to independence.

Sometimes, provision is made for specific specialist vocational subjects ranging from
business and office skills to hairdressing, care work, horticulture, motor vehicle
maintenance, or building.

A clear brief for this is required identifying the source of funding (DfES or LSC), the
appropriate type, range and location of provision in relation to progress to adulthood
and to accessing such facilities in the wider community.

Post-16 social area/common room

The post-16 tutor bases are often grouped around a social space to give the older
students a group identity of their own. Younger pupils can also look forward to a
progression through the school if this acknowledgement of maturity is recognised in
the building layout.

The space can be used for drinks, lunch, games, socialising during breaks, and a
place to meet on arrival and before leaving school. Its size should be relative to the
numbers of students.

It may be appropriate for snack-making facilities to be located in this space in which
case health, safety and hygiene issues must be considered.

The post-16 base should have robust materials, non-slip sheet flooring for kitchen
and snack-making areas with hard-wearing soft furnishings for common room areas.

There should be areas for display of their achievements and space to allow the
students to display their own contributions, and so promote a sense of ownership of
their environment.

For post-16, typical provision may include two group rooms at 15 m
2
and a social
area of 80 m
2
with 4 m
2
storage.

4.9 Outside spaces

School grounds can provide a valuable range of experiences for learning as well as
for recreation. Imaginative planning and design of these areas can greatly enrich the
learning environment as well as improve the external appearance of the school and
the way it is perceived by visitors and the community.

For pupils with SEN, school grounds can support and enhance all aspects of their
curriculum by extending the range of practical activities, providing sensory stimulation
and opening up opportunities for developing mobility and independence.

Most outdoor learning is experiential which can be very different from the work inside
the classroom. The more school grounds are developed, the greater the opportunity
for children to learn and play there.


4.9.1 Curriculum

It is important to ensure pupils entitlement to a broad, balanced and relevant
curriculum. Therefore, a whole-school approach is needed when planning the
outdoor curriculum spaces. Consultation with the school will assist in developing well-
planned outdoor spaces which enrich the teaching and learning experiences for all
pupils. Good-quality design and management of the school environment are, as a
result, essential. It is recommended that the designer draws up a comprehensive
plan of the school, its site and considers the following:

the location, configuration, layout and servicing of the school buildings
the creative, effective use of outdoor space
the interrelationship of indoor and outdoor spaces
the effect of different building locations
the changing pattern of demands through the seasons
the long-term development plan for the future of the school

Flexibility of use and layout enables the school to accommodate these needs in
multi-purpose spaces so that the same outdoor facilities will often serve for both
lessons and play.

The design and layout of the school site should aim to meet the demands of:

the formal curriculum providing explicit provision during lesson time for
National Curriculum subjects including PE

the informal curriculum creating a wide range of opportunities for play,
recreation and social activities, before and after school, and during break and
lunchtimes

the hidden curriculum designing the appearance and layout of the school
grounds to convey positive messages about the school and its ethos which
influence the pupils, staff and visitors who read them

The formal curriculum

The rationale for teaching in school grounds has been provided by the National
Curriculum (HMSO, 1995).

School grounds can provide habitat areas, informal social areas and outdoor playing
fields which support learning for the various subjects, as outlined below.

English

Working outdoors can help to the develop oral and language skills, imagination,
reading, writing and learning through stories, poetry or drama. Natural slopes and
semi circular arenas or amphitheatre of 1020 m diameter can be used for
performances.

Mathematics

Tasks involving numbers, space, shape, scale measurements and data in the school
grounds give a real context for developing mathematical skills. Pupils enjoy and
benefit from this practical application. Playground markings used for games can also
improve such skills.

Science

Outdoor Science offers multi-sensory experiences in a reactive environment for
studying topics such as growth, materials, forces, body, plant and animal life.
Features such as ponds, vegetable plots, orchards, copses, herb gardens, wild-
flower meadows, bird tables, animal enclosures and compost heaps all give learning
opportunities.

History

Exploring the schools past through the grounds can help pupils understand their
heritage, by constructing timelines in the grounds depicting key moments of history.

Geography

Following directions, mapping and fieldwork out of doors provide real contexts for
learning. Maps marked on the ground or on walls, signposts, orienteering courses,
weather stations, ponds, streams, earth mounds, gardens, heath land and trees all
assist study.

Art and Design

Art offers an exciting way of surveying the grounds in a visual way. Opportunities for
stimulus for creative work and experiment with different artistic techniques outdoors
are all valuable.

Music

Awareness of different sounds can be developed in the external environment. Music
can be played out of doors as part of movement, play and recreation or as a sensory
stimulus, for example, with musical sensory gardens.

Design and Technology

Outdoor projects can be developed using a range of materials, making different
structures as well as providing scope for pupils and staff to work with landscape
designers.

Environmental education

Pupils can learn first-hand about the environment and sustainable development.
Features, such as ponds, mazes and trees can serve different aspects of
environmental study.

Physical Education

Pupils may have few opportunities to engage in physical activities near to
where they live. A range of outdoor activities can develop physical
competence, social and personal skills.

Outdoor playing fields and hard courts can provide for team games, whilst habitat
areas such as nature trails can help to develop independent movement.

The informal curriculum

The generic term informal curriculum is now widely used to describe both the times
of day when children are not being taught, i.e. play and break times, and what they
do at those times.

School grounds form a significant part of pupils experience and the informal
curriculum can make a significant contribution to social learning. Children today have
less freedom and independent mobility than previous generations. They can,
however, have regular access to school grounds, which can be a safe haven and
offer a range of opportunities, experiences and activities.

It is common to find that the informal curriculum may absorb one-third of the day for
nursery-aged children and infants, one-quarter of the day for juniors and one-fifth of
the day for secondary pupils.

A clear rationale should be developed by the school which guides the development of
informal spaces. In all schools, the pupils should be provided with age-appropriate
areas, but it is equally important to be mindful of the range and type of environment
which will support the schools learning objectives.

The design should indicate a variety of areas for different types of play and so enable
pupils to make choices and engage in different activities at break times. This may
include places to move, run, gather or sit, and so spaces for these activities should
be designed and integrated into any landscaping.

For example, terraces in hard-surfaced materials or wide steps beside hard play
areas can encourage social groups and spectators but can also serve for curriculum
use.

Social areas can be provided in spaces around the building. Carefully positioned
furniture in the school garden or outdoor classroom can assist the development of
social skills. A quiet sitting area, with or without shade, can be valuable for those
pupils needing peace and solitude, for example.

Strategies for encouraging good behaviour and discouraging unacceptable behaviour
may need to be considered with the school during the design process.
Any potentially conflicting needs, where one activity can inconvenience others,
should be discussed early on in the planning stage so that they can be resolved
through the design.

There may be an additional need to allow for separation of the more vulnerable from
those pursuing boisterous activities. Boisterous activities may conflict with the need
for quiet places, for personal space, for solitude and reflection. Providing quiet bays,
however, beside the large area for more boisterous play can enable separate
activities to take place without isolation.

Safe, contained social spaces may be essential as situations arise when pupils need
time to calm down without being a risk to themselves or others. The space
immediately outside of the classroom can be useful in these circumstances though it
would probably need to be enclosed with higher fencing. Such enclosures, however,
would need to be designed with care and sensitive landscaping to avoid the feeling of
caging and containment.

The hidden curriculum

School grounds, through their design and by the way they are managed,
communicate messages and meanings which influence childrens behaviour and
attitude in a variety of ways. The design quality of the external areas will reflect the
schools aims and ethos, which should encourage engagement in learning as an
enjoyable activity.
14



4.9.2 Provision for the range of SEN

Pupils with SEN and disabilities, whether in mainstream or special schools, should be
offered the same opportunities as their peers, not only to practise their mobility,
social and independence skills, but to take part in school life and the wider
community by way of supported, self-motivated, self-directed learning opportunities,
as part of healthy development.

All areas must be accessible to all pupils. Access for those with disabilities should
enable them to engage in all group activities in the grounds, using the same routes
as others. Space should also be provided around activity areas for wheelchairs to
manoeuvre. This includes the design of threshold paving to suit wheelchairs, the
textures of different areas and the spaces between equipment. Particular aspects to
consider are the height of equipment and such features as garden boxes, raised
planting beds or ponds.

Providing safe simulations of hazards that pupils might meet outside school can be
beneficial to encourage them to develop greater independence. (Grounds for Sharing:
a guide to developing school sites LTL). It should also be considered that electrically
powered wheelchairs can be a hazard if pupils are still learning to manoeuvre them
and they can be driven at speeds which may be dangerous to surrounding pupils.
Helping schools plan for such matters will be part of the design process.

Sensory impairment requires greater reliance on the senses unaffected. For those
with visual impairment, colour, texture, smell and sound have increased importance
as they move around the school environment, and so this must always be kept in
mind. In all cases, the use of different materials to touch with hands, feet and head,

14
See BB85, School Grounds and also Special Places; Special People Hidden Curriculum
of School Grounds (WWF, 1994) / LTL.
to see and hear, and the use of contrasting colour, planting, changes in level and
other measures can give signals to those pupils with sensory impairment. They can
act as warnings, where there are hazards, but also provide signs to help with
wayfinding.

Importantly, however, they also bring pleasure and act as a focus for communication
between teacher and pupil, a fundamental element of the curriculum.

The specifics may include the use of tactile paving and chimes for those with visual
impairment and of other sound generators for those with hearing difficulties. Planted
areas and sensory gardens with plants selected for their smell and feel can also be
beneficial.

Whilst it is important for all external areas to maximise the potential for sensory
stimulation, there may be exceptions to this, for example, pupils with severe ASD
where over-stimulation can be a problem. Therefore, some division of spaces or the
creation of smaller courtyards will probably still be required for such pupils.

By contrast, pupils with BESD, who need space for self-expression and activity, may
need large open spaces and sports facilities, as in the mainstream, as a number
excel in physical education.

For some special school populations, appropriate outdoor provision will be similar to
that for pupils of the same age in mainstream schools (for example, pupils who have
BESD, HI or MLD); but, whatever the type of school, most pupils (including pupils
who have SLD or PMLD), will either be able to participate in small team games,
races and boisterous games, whether on foot or in wheelchairs, or participate in
alternative activities such as archery.

The quality of the design process can be improved significantly by involving pupil
participation. This will ensure relevant provision is made to enhance their experience
of the outdoors and help them to gain a sense of belonging and ownership.


4.9.3 Age-appropriate provision

Typically, the following outdoor provision is made for the different pupil age groups at
each phase of education.

Early years

For nursery or early years, a separate outside space with a secure perimeter, of
appropriate scale with low fencing and gates, is required. Provision should be made
for a range of experiences, such as planting schemes, which allow for appropriate
physical and sensory activities to take place. There should be both hard and soft
surfaces, with sufficient space for bulky loose and fixed play equipment. Sand and
water play are common, though hygiene and safety will always be major issues with
permanent sand pits and pools. The design can help overcome safety problems by,
for example, installing safety surfaces, as necessary, under play equipment.

It is important to understand that adult perceptions can easily be out of tune with
those of children, especially for those with SEN and disabilities. Contrasts in scale
and minor changes in level can seem more prominent, a wide-open space can be
intimidating, and objects are perceived differently. Sensitive watching and listening to
children can help to bridge this difference in understanding, through appropriate
design.

Primary

For primary pupils, outdoor activities can be adventurous and can support their skill-
based learning and enjoyment of play activities. At Key Stage 1, the need for play
equipment with safety surfaces for soft landings is essential. At Key Stage 2, the
provision of courts or pitches for mini-games and including simplified versions of
recognised games for developing the basic skills of throwing, catching and jumping,
is invaluable.

In primary special schools, there would normally be direct access from the classroom
to the outside. Such areas would combine play equipment with safety surfaces, fixed
seating and other fixed features. These could be divided into areas by low fencing
and gates, appropriately scaled, to bring variety, though these should not impede
supervision (see Section 4.4, Teaching and learning spaces).

Secondary

In a secondary school, there would be less play equipment and larger, more open
areas. Activities which support and reinforce teaching and learning for National
Curriculum subjects offered will benefit from landscaping which reinforces learning
objectives. For example, PE should be taught through the six possible programmes
of study: games, swimming, gymnastics, dance, athletics, and outdoor and
adventurous activities. As such, access to outdoors is required.

Social and recreational spaces should suitable for the pupils age and should be
appropriate in layout and appearance. A range of different spaces supporting a range
of needs and types of activity should be provided.


4.9.4 Number, type, size and shape of spaces

The LEA and school should ensure that there is sufficient size, suitable shape and
layout of space overall to meet the outdoor curriculum and to provide adequately for
the requirements of developing the objectives of the social informal curriculum.

The curriculum, social and special educational needs described above can be
provided for by a combination of different types of outdoor space. These are
classified and are set out below:

The net site area, known as playing fields area in some cases*, is the total of the
following six categories of space:

sports pitches
hard-surfaced games courts
marginal areas
informal and social areas hard surface
informal and social areas soft surface
habitat areas

There will also be space for buildings and access areas, and supplementary site
area (for more details, refer to BB98 and BB99).


Outdoor PE facilities

These spaces comprise the following:

sports pitches of grass or with artificial surfaces (part of team-game playing
fields)
hard-surfaced games courts such as multi-games, tennis courts, non-team
and skill-practice areas
marginal areas or the area around pitch or court edges for run-off

Generally, these combined will comprise at least:

1 hard-surfaced games court
1 grass pitch or area for games.

Approximate sizes are included below, however, these are for guidance for initial
planning only. Reference to Sport England guidance is essential for court sizes.

Primary broad-range special schools

1 hard court of 7001400 m
2
for netball or basketball or multi-games
1 grass pitch of 10002000 m
2
for various sport or games activities

An all-weather pitch may be a better option for accessibility all year.

Primary BESD special schools

1 hard court of 7001400 m
2
for basketball or multi-games
1 grass pitch of 40187344 m
2
for medium (82 x 49 m) to large (108 x 68 m)
football pitches including margins

Larger spaces are preferred for higher activity needs where site area allows.

Secondary broad-range special schools

1 hard court 7001400 m
2

1 grass pitch 12004018 m
2
for various sport or games activities

An all-weather pitch may be a better option for accessibility all year.

Secondary BESD special schools

1 hard court 10001400 m
2

1 grass court 46986016 m
2
for medium (87 x 54 m) to large (94 x 64 m) size
football pitches including margins

Whatever the special educational needs or phase of education, there should be
sufficient hard-court and grassed areas to meet the Education (School Premises)
Regulation 1999 (SPRs). See Appendix C for further details. It is important to ensure
that these have safety margins around them. Overall 2 m, with an additional 2 m for
spectators, should be considered as a minimum.

Health and safety risk assessments for the specific locations and for the surfaces of
courts and pitches will be necessary.


Table 16: Minimum areas for team-game playing fields for all
schools (m
2
)

Source: The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999
Total number of
pupils aged 8 or over
Schools with pupils
under 11
Schools with no pupils
under 11
100 or fewer 2500 5000
101 to 200 5000 10000
201 to 300 10000 15000
Note: Where special schools are built on restricted sites which cannot comply with the above, access to
the curriculum must be ensured by partnership arrangements with other schools and centres.

Playing fields can be tarmac or all-weather surfaces as well as grass, provided that
both are suitable, and laid-out for the playing of team games.

If the team-game playing field is grass, however, the grass should be capable of
sustaining 7 hours a week, per school, during term time (rotation allowing grass to
recover may be needed).

Many pupils are able to take part in team games and other activities similar to
mainstream schools. For other pupils both hard and soft play areas may be adapted
to suit their needs, for example, wheelchair users may find access to grassed pitches
more difficult.

As part of planning to meet the required learning goals, it will be necessary to decide
what activities will be undertaken, including pupils who have physical disabilities and
wheelchair sports. These decisions will impact on the brief and design of the school.
For example, all-weather courts may offer more extensive use or safety surfaces may
be required for a wide range of SEN.

Habitat and landscaped areas

Habitat areas are essential to support:

the outdoor curriculum
physical and sensory needs
social learning and independence skills

It is essential that designs for these spaces are age-appropriate.

The total habitat area should be developed to encourage a wide range of activities
which support the formal and informal curriculum, with areas for wildlife, nature trails,
gardens, horticulture, ponds and mounds and banks (see above).

Many schools, particularly secondary schools, will want to grow plants and
vegetables as part of a curriculum or learning activity. Where this is the case, a
greenhouse and allotment area should be provided for horticulture in secure areas, to
avoid damage from play areas and vandalism. These are all an invaluable resource
and are particularly important in special schools where pupils can derive increased
sensory awareness and pleasure from the outside elements and the touch, smell,
sound and feel that plants, earth and water can bring.

In many schools, the development of the habitat and landscaped areas, after initial
installation, will involve students, staff and parents, whether as part of curriculum
activity or as voluntary support for the school.

Informal and social areas

Provision should be made to help develop pupils informal and social skills. This can
be achieved in the design of mixed-use social spaces for recreation and play, with
soft surfaces (grassed areas) and hard surfaces (paved or tarmac), playgrounds,
paths and outdoor seating.

For typical areas for habitat, social and recreational purposes, refer to BB99 and
BB98 Part D as a guide. These should be adapted for the type and range of special
educational needs and the mode of curriculum delivery, as appropriate.

A patio or paved area close to the building for teaching and learning and as a social
area with play areas just beyond is one possible solution. Typically, providing a patio
2.5 m wide or an area of 5565 m
2
outside of the class base is recommended for
early years, Key Stages 1 and 2 and some specialist resource bases at secondary
level (see Section 4.4, Teaching and learning spaces).

Different types of outdoor spaces are discussed below.

Covered spaces

Shade can be provided by a roof, tree or canopy to provide a valuable umbrella
against the heat and brightness of the high summer sun.

Extending use of the classroom out of doors can be facilitated by roof overhangs,
awnings and retractable canopies which provide solar protection and shelter (but
must not reduce daylight into the classroom).

Covered spaces and shelters outside with screens and good hard-surfaced access
offer good weather protection and can extend use of the space through the seasons
for all curriculum and social activities. For example, providing covered spaces facing
hard-surface play areas or softer spaces for havens or retreats can work well.

Courtyards

Generally, courtyards need to be of a sufficient size (150300 m
2
) to sustain a range
of curricular and social activities. Typically, a smaller courtyard 80 m
2
(8 x 10 m) can
be used for a sensory garden. A medium-sized courtyard 154 m
2
(11 x 14 m) can
accommodate a good range of activities, if carefully planned. As a guide, the
minimum width of 1012 m is recommended to avoid substantial overshadowing.

These spaces can make a unique contribution to outdoor use, providing spatial and
protective qualities which are particularly necessary for some pupils with SEN. They
can be used to house outdoor furniture, experimental plots and greenhouses, which
are also less likely to be damaged by vandalism within the protected courtyard areas.

Where a space is contained by the building on three sides, it is possible to create a
courtyard. A similar effect can be realised by enclosing with a fence, a temporary
building or planting.

It is important, however, to avoid conflict with other social needs. For example, noisy
activities in the courtyard and reflective hard surfaces may disturb others in their
class bases.

Buildings more than a single storey, or with high roof ridges, will produce more
shade. Courtyards will need to be larger, therefore, if sunlight penetration is
important. The exposure, orientation, sun path and projected shadow should be
assessed accordingly. The security risk of using low-roof eaves should be assessed,
along with the need for light penetration.


4.9.5 Relationships and links

It is important for pupils to be able to get outside at all times of the year as part of a
healthy school approach. The relationship between the inside and outside can be
exploited to maximum effect but must be carefully designed so as not to
disadvantage the use of either.

The design of outdoor spaces must allow for:

effective passive and active supervision and appropriate sight lines over more
than one activity at a time

appropriate security to contain those spaces so as to avoid pupils straying
and to provide protection from unauthorised visitors

adequate safety measures or protective barriers between play areas from
vehicular access areas (where playgrounds are dual-used for controlled
vehicular access, the control, their inspection and maintenance paramount, in
order to avoid spillages of pollutants and dangerous substances)

strategic zoning between teaching and non-teaching areas, considering
proximity of activities in and around the school in relation to their frequency of
use and travel distances

Zoning is very important and strategies which can assist the design process are set
out below:

an inner core of play and social spaces, which can be surrounded by playing
fields and habitat areas, is sensible

space just outside the class base can be used for curriculum activities, as an
extension to the classroom, or by using habitat areas close to or further afield

space next to the school building can be used for social or recreational
purposes, divided by Key Stage and by type of activity (noisy or quiet, active
or passive)

courts and pitches further afield, but within a reasonable travel distance, can
be used for less frequent or occasional activities

location of play and recreation areas in relation to potentially conflicting
requirements will need to be considered (for example, a position near the
building offers ease of access, but at the same time, proximity of ball games
to windows may not be desired, and outward-opening windows could be a
hazard to the play area)


4.9.6 Furniture and play, sports and other equipment

Ascertaining that the type and range of equipment or furniture (fixed or loose) is
suitable, and fit for purpose for the range of special educational needs, is essential.
All such selections should create age-appropriate settings.

Play equipment will vary according to the age group and the pupils disabilities. There
may be pedal carts, tricycles, play mats, sand and water trays, balls, nets or
adventure playground equipment.

Special consideration should be made for wheelchair-accessible design. Appropriate
play equipment is available from specialists.

It is essential that proprietary furniture and equipment be of suitable, safe and sturdy
design; installed with safe foundations, safe supports and play surfaces; and fit for
purpose.

The variety and diversity of provision for seating, shelter, and fixed and loose play
equipment must also be considered, along with careful positioning in the school
grounds. There should also be provision of safety surfaces and safe run-offs to
comply with current regulations.

Storage

A detailed schedule should be prepared to ensure that appropriate external storage
is provided to suit the particular circumstances, and all such needs should be stated
in the brief. As a guide, separate stores will be required for:

sports and play equipment 10 m
2

smaller maintenance equipment 10 m
2


Larger stores may be required for:

bikes, go-carts and large, bulky play equipment
machinery for maintenance, if needed, according to the size of the school
grounds


4.9.7 Environment and services

External services should be provided to support the provision to be made. The
following points should be considered during the design stages:

safe access to water
safe access to electricity
suitable lighting for paths playing fields
provision for playing recorded music
a public address system
providing accessible toilets
suitable heating in outbuildings
ground drainage for grassed areas
surface water drainage so that both paths are safe, usable, well-drained with
no soil or mud runoff and are safe in slippery or icy conditions
avoidance of flash flooding
provision of CCTV for safety and security

Health and safety aspects of the design should be checked for external areas.


4.9.8 Building materials and finishes

Careful specification of gradients, clearances and selection of materials will be
needed in relation to pupils needs.

Impact-absorbing surfaces should be installed where there is risk of falls. This should
be informed by the outcome of risk assessments and the level of vulnerability for
certain types of special educational need. Specialist safety soft surfaces are
preferred in many locations.

Loose-fill safety surfaces such as, bark, pea shingle and sand may be more difficult
for pupils with disabilities to access; they may be difficult to keep clean, hide hazards
such as broken glass; or be scattered over adjacent areas, thrown, swallowed or
used inappropriately by pupils.

Consideration of the following can act as a design checklist:

access and boundaries
pedestrian and vehicular routes
vehicular and bicycle storage
entrances and boundaries
microclimate
providing shade, air and noise pollution
design of shelter belts
earthworks and levels
soil, shelter and energy conservation
hard and soft landscape
planting around activity areas
the indooroutdoor relationship
location of recreation and social areas
site furniture and shelter
safety barriers
playground markings
rebound walls
hard-surface treatments


4.10 Medical, therapy and multi-agency facilities

The promotion of pupils health and therapeutic needs whilst ensuring access to a
broad and balanced curriculum and equality of opportunity is paramount.

For many pupils with physical, learning, emotional and sensory difficulties, there is a
need for specialist facilities to help stimulate and develop positive social, physical
and learning, interaction and development.

It is also important to ensure reasonable standards of safety.

Consultations with the relevant professionals in the multi-disciplinary team as well as
the local NHS Trust will be needed. (For example a consultation with the local NHS
Infection Control director may be appropriate at an early stage.)

The level and type of facilities required to meet the pupils needs will vary. The main
types of provision are:

a medical-care room (a medical inspection room is required in the SPRs)

a first-aid room or school nurses office, in addition, if appropriate

a sick bay is required in a residential setting with associated facilities for both
sexes (see SPRs)

therapy rooms which support healthcare and promote the pupils access to
education

multi-agency bases for other visiting professionals and case conferences

These are described further below.

The amount of external, size and nature of support can vary from school to school
whether a specialist facility, resourced provision or a special school.

The requirements set out in the pupils statement of SEN will be the main
determinants for the amount and type of external support provided.

The extent of the accommodation varies according to each pupils needs and the
number and type of therapists.

The range and type of external support can include the school nurse or visiting
doctor, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists,
psychiatric support and social workers, educational psychologists, specialists for
hearing and visual impairment including mobility officers and, where appropriate,
trained staff from the counselling service.

The multi-disciplinary team of staff mentioned above may be deployed on a full-time
or a sessional basis. Where a suite of rooms is provided, these should be entered off
a lobby or corridor. It is best to avoid rooms off other rooms because this causes
disturbance and disruption to both the professional and the pupil.

An assessment needs to be made of the number and nature of sessions each
service provides in order to ascertain the number and type of spaces required.
A careful analysis of the potential for multi-purpose use of shared or individual
spaces should be made.

Some medical and therapeutic tasks and activities need to be carried out away from
the class group. Others can take place within the class base. Both of these are
described below.

Different types of therapeutic activities can take place in a class base, small group
rooms and in specialist therapy bases; such as offices, sensory interactive bases,
soft play areas or hydrotherapy spaces.

The timetabling and use of such rooms will be dependent upon the level of
therapeutic input as well as the need for privacy and quiet.


4.10.1 Medical facilities

A designated medical room should always be provided for the treatment and care of
pupils and for visiting medical staff, to undertake their prescribed tasks.

The SPRs require a medical-Inspection room 10 m
2
, but 1520 m
2
is recommended,
depending on type of special school and the needs of the pupils (see also BB94).

The rationale for siting the medical-inspection room needs careful consideration in
relation to proximity to other therapy facilities, ease of access for emergency services
and the need for close supervision of a sick pupil by a responsible member of staff.

There must be a clinical wash-hand basin and associated accessible toilet. It may be
appropriate for the medical-care room to be in close proximity to a hygiene room, or
separate medical-treatment room or school nurses office, or in a suite of related
accommodation. Which of these is most appropriate must be ascertained early on.

In some instances, a lobby entrance to the facility may be required, however, it will
be expected that this facility is welcoming and has user-friendly access.

The general ambience should be clean, hygienic, light, airy and pleasant. All wall and
floor surfaces need to be easily maintained, with non-abrasive, non-slip, cleanable
washable surfaces.

The room must be fit for purpose and of sufficient size. The room dimensions should
allow for mobility and access of larger wheelchairs and trolleys. There must be both
visual and auditory privacy for general medical examination, and provision for resting
and respite or recovery after seizure. (Space requirements should be assessed, if
there is a need, for resuscitation and equipment).

Suitable space for vision testing should also be provided (6 m on the diagonal).
If hearing testing is to take place, good sound insulation and specialist acoustic
treatment may be required. The provision of ceiling-mounted or mobile hoists should
be considered (see Hoists in Section 5.1.5). All of the above may impact upon the
design and layout of the space.

The medical-care room should have secure storage for confidential records.
Provision for ICT and the secure backing-up of confidential records will have to be
made.

Rooms in which drugs are kept should not be accessible to pupils. Lockable storage
should be provided for drugs, within which there should be lockable storage for
dangerous drugs. The current protocols and procedures for safety will inform the
provision to be made. Security of windows and doors should be considered. Use of a
locking and alarmed drug cabinet may be appropriate (refer to COSHH).

There must be an identified means of safe disposal of contaminated material, clinical
waste and sharps (injection-syringe needles). The local NHS Trust will be able to
offer advice, liaison and cooperation for the use of a yellow-bag system and sharps
containers.

All medical treatments have to take place in visual and auditory privacy and so the
provision of portable screens, blinds or curtains are essential. Access must be
ensured in the event of an incident.

The room should be suitably furnished, with a desk and chairs, a soft chair, an
adjustable couch, a treatment trolley, a filing cabinet and perhaps some soft
furnishings and a toy box or book shelves.

Good-quality natural and artificial lighting is required for general and detailed work,
with dimmable local controls. A small-task light or medical lamp may be required for
examinations. Rapid-extract ventilation may be needed to eliminate unwanted smells.
Appropriate levels of heating and cooling should be available with adjustable local
controls.

A separate facility, space or room may be required for preparing gastro-tube feed is
required, and a worktop with a sink unit and low- and high-level cupboards may be
required. Spur shelving and electrical power outlets to support the provision of small
individual pump/battery units must also be discussed. A separate wash-hand basin
should also be provided.

Food storage may require refrigeration as well as thermostatic heating facilities.

Central bulk storage of supplies and separate local storage for medical supplies,
ventilator packs and the like is needed. Oxygen cylinder storage will be provided to
the current regulations (see 5.4 NHSE guidance on medical-gas supply HTM 2002).


4.10.2 Physiotherapy

The role of physiotherapists is to encourage and develop motor skills and to inhibit
any abnormal responses. They use their skills of assessment and knowledge of any
underlying medical condition to devise therapeutic programmes and to maintain and
develop pupils motor skills.

The physiotherapist may carry out assessments and devise a treatment plan,
working with teaching and support assistants, to instruct them on how to deliver
programmes to meet the needs of pupils on an individual basis, or in small groups. A
pupils treatment plan is reviewed and evaluated to ensure that it is both effective and
relevant to the individuals changing circumstances and health status.

A number of children will not achieve progress to independent functional skills
(sitting, standing, walking). In general, though, a treatment cycle may include:

good positioning for functional daily-living skills, which are meaningful to the
child, and help the learning and development of more attainable functional
skills for independence

exercise for muscle stretching, prevention of deformity or abnormal
movement, relaxation or release of tight muscles and to help with easing
restraint and fatigue through the use of equipment, such as wheelchairs,
standing frames, and fully supported seating

Although some physiotherapy may take place in a class base, or a large group room,
it is recommended that a proper therapy room be provided for this purpose which can
also be used by other therapists, as appropriate, on a timetabled basis.

In a class base, the provision of adequate floor space (65 m
2
) will accommodate
simple equipment, such as full-height mirrors, floor mats, or resonance boards (see
Section 4.6.5).

A corner of a class base can be set out with matting, mirrors (which should be
shrouded and protected), as well as mobiles and other stimuli for specific sensory or
physiotherapy input for younger pupils with PMLD.

Alternatively, group work with movement, light and sound can take place in a large
group room (6080 m
2
) or the hall (100180 m
2
), as can related activity associated
with drama, music, movement and physical education.

A physiotherapy room of 25 m
2
with a clear space of 15 m
2
for the use of floor mats,
inflatables and other large items, is recommended.

The room(s) should have natural light and a pleasant outlook. The wall and floor
finishes should be robust, functional and easily maintained with visual colour/tonal
contrast and a pleasing appearance. Floor space for the storage of mobility
equipment, wheelchairs and standing frames will be needed, both within the space,
and just outside of it.

There must be space for an adjustable-height electrically operated therapy couch
(space for approximately 900 x 1800 mm minimum), with adequate clear space
around for the therapist to work and for pupil access, transferring from wheelchair via
a hoist, where appropriate. Ceiling-mounted hoists take up less space for transfer,
but sufficient space (1500x 3000 mm) for transfer via mobile hoists must be allowed.

Wall space is required for display, full-height mirrors and parallel bars.

A clinical wash-hand basin should be available for the purposes of hygiene.

Adequate storage should be provided for inflatables, physical aids and large
equipment, and an accessible cupboard of 4 m
2
with outward-opening doors is
recommended.

The therapy room should be adjacent to an accessible toilet and/or hygiene area and
within reasonable travel distance from class bases to avoid loss of curriculum time.

The physiotherapist may need a space with a desk for suitable for ICT and
administration, and a lockable filing cabinet for records, although access to a shared
facility nearby may be preferable for centralising records and for separation of
therapy and administrative functions.

The most suitable wall and ceiling height should be considered, as well as the most
appropriate construction in terms of strength, stability and appropriate fixing capacity
for the fixing of specialist equipment and installation of hoist tracking.

The ceiling construction may require strengthening locally in order to provide the
appropriate ceiling mounting or fixing to enable the use of specialist equipment from
which a pupil can pull with force or use their bodyweight for physical exercises.

A visiting professionals office of 15 m
2
is recommended where there are a number of
therapists working at a special school, with desks suitable for ICT (see below).

Where a suite of rooms is provided, these should be entered from a lobby off a
corridor. It is best to avoid rooms off other rooms.


4.10.3 Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy involves the use of purposeful physical activity and play aimed
at helping pupils to attain the maximum levels of functional performance, whilst
enabling the development of self-confidence, self-esteem and independence. It is
especially important for pupils with physical disabilities and gross or fine motor or
coordination difficulties.

Occupational therapists assess a pupils functional abilities, such as motor, sensory,
perceptual, social, emotional and self-care skills, in many areas. These include:

gross motor skills for postural control, mobility, balance and coordination

fine motor skills for eye-hand coordination, writing, using scissors or a
computer keyboard

sensory and perceptual skils for bodily and spatial awareness, e.g. visual
tasks

cognitive skills for attention and concentration, organisation and sequencing
and for memory

personal-care skills for eating or drinking, dressing and for use of the toilet

social and emotional skills for self-esteem, relating to others and interpreting
social cues

It is important to recognise that deficits in these areas can have a significant impact
on the pupils learning across the curriculum. The contribution that occupational
therapists make can enable pupils to learn successfully at school.

Working with the pupil, the parents and the staff, occupational therapists advise on
learning aids, ICT requirements, furniture, equipment and environmental adaptations
for the schools and home, as appropriate, in order to improve access to the
curriculum and the physical environment.

Normally, this will take place either in the class base, group room, specialist-teaching
space or shared-therapy base. For older pupils developing independent living skills,
the post-16 tutorial or social base may be used. In addition, some storage facilities
for rehabilitation equipment may be needed.

Associated administrative work will require the shared use of an office.


4.10.4 Speech and language therapy

Speech and language therapy is often an essential part of the provision, enabling
pupils to access the curriculum in many special schools and some resourced
provisions in mainstream settings.

Speech and language therapy is, in the main, a healthcare provision, where the role
and aim of the therapist is to enable children and young people with speech,
language and communication difficulties (and associated difficulties with eating and
swallowing) to reach their maximum communication potential and achieve
independence in all aspects of life.

The speech therapist will make assessments, plan and prepare programmes which
may be undertaken by themselves, by trained teaching assistants or other trained
adults.

Generally a quiet room with good acoustic separation is required, and sound
insulation may be needed to avoid disturbance from other activities. An induction
loop or hearing-aid facilities may also be required. This should be considered in the
detailed specification of group rooms and shared-therapy spaces. An administration
space can be provided in the shared therapy office, with ICT and networking.

Where support is available from speech and language therapists, much of the work
takes place in the class base, or the therapist and pupil may withdraw to a group
room or other shared therapy room.

Sometimes a soft-play or sensory room is used, where sensory stimulus encourages
communication and interaction.

In some instances, speech therapists will need a specialist base from which to work,
to store records and in which work can be carried out with some individuals or small
groups.

Typically, a speech-therapy room of 1215 m
2
may have a desk, chairs, lockable
filing cabinet and double full-height storage cupboard. There should be free wall
space for visual display, with a mirror and good lighting for speech-articulation work.
Blinds at the window will control glare and a wash-hand basin ensures good hygienic
practices.

Storage will be required for equipment such as cards, books, games, objects of
reference, sensory equipment, voice-output boxes with buttons and sounds, and
electrical or electronic equipment. Sufficient electrical points, data- and battery-
charging outlets should be provided for equipment such as, radio-cassettes, CD
players, televisions, videos or DVDs, computers, portable ICT touch-screens or wall-
mounted whiteboards. (As a guide, approximately six electrical points are
recommended)

There may also be a need for local ICT and networking. The ability to video or film
pupils and to play back the results can assist in tuition and training. Suitable safety
measures for electrical and data power, such as covered outlets, should be
considered.

Sometimes there are specialist facilities in schools for pupils with hearing impairment
or speech, language and communication difficulties. These spaces will have a high
degree of sound insulation from adjacent spaces and the criteria for reverberation
time and sound absorption will depend on the equipment used. Provision of triple-
glazed windows, acoustic-lined walls ceiling and floor may need to be made along
with appropriate heating and cooling ventilation. Typically, an audiology suite may
have dual use for speech and language therapy and can also be combined with an
observation room with a one-way window for training purposes (see Appendix G and
refer to the National Deaf Childrens Society for specialist audiology advice).


4.10.5 Educational psychology

An educational psychologist will be consulted about the particular needs of a child
and will, where appropriate, undertake specialised assessments, provide advice for
managing behaviour, suggest problem-solving strategies and evaluate individual
pupil progress.

Where support is available from visiting psychologists, this will take place either in
the class base, group room, the shared-therapy room, or the parents/interview room.
The shared office can also be used for administration and for record-keeping.


4.10.6 Other therapies

Schools may have other visiting specialist therapists including, doctors or
psychiatrists. This will also relate to arrangements with the local NHS Trust, which
will vary from area to area.

Their activities need to be ascertained to establish whether one shared-therapy
space is required for work that cannot take place in classrooms, group rooms or
other spaces. The therapy or medical room may also be used by other practitioners
or therapists, though sometimes therapists or psychiatrists prefer to use a quiet room
or small-group room with soft furnishings rather than a clinical setting for working with
pupils.

Sometimes complementary therapies are provided by visiting professionals or staff
who have obtained appropriate training in areas such as massage, reflexology or
aromatherapy. These treatments and interventions may assist some children in their
access to the curriculum, by improving their time on task, communication and
interaction, or by providing appropriate sensory stimulation or calming effects.

Where aromatherapy is used, consideration should be given to the need and means
for rapid-extract ventilation (due to the volatile nature of the oils and their effect
through smell on the brain). Essential oils should be kept safely in a lockable cabinet
(under COSHH).

The numbers of therapists needed overall should not be underestimated. For
example, a complex needs school with 90100 pupils could have up to 10 part-time
therapists, most of whom will require office space. A shared office of 15 m
2
cabinets
and a small store of 2 m
2
can be used for 4 visiting therapists. This arrangement
allows for greater flexibility than individual office space in each therapy room.
Typically, the office will be furnished with desks, suitable for ICT, personal storage
and chairs. There should be also space for filing. ICT will need appropriate
networking and consideration should be given to confidentiality and the security of
records.


4.10.7 Soft play rooms

These rooms would normally be provided for early-years and primary-aged children
with sensory and physical difficulties and a room of 24 m
2
is generally suitable.

The room must be designed appropriately to be fit for purpose and to allow for lively,
robust play by pupils so that they can move without inhibition and fear of injury.
Therefore the design should avoid sharp corners and breakable fittings.

Consequently, both the floor and walls of the play area are lined with specially
designed soft-padded cushions or mattresses with non-abrasive, non-absorbent,
cleanable, resilient materials, e.g. plastic-coated foam, often in bright, stimulating
colours.

Hygienic precautions for strict cleaning procedures and regimes should be employed,
so siting of water supply nearby may be an issue. The use of appropriately fire-rated
foam products should be checked with suppliers and the fire authority for health and
safety requirements.

The play area may also contain covered foam shapes or toys, punchbags, or a ball-
pool area.

An area is required inside the door which is clear and has a firm, resilient and easily
cleaned floor covering.

There should be adequate space for pupils to remove shoes and hang up items of
clothing to allow them to play freely and safely.

There should be a clear area for circulation to allow wheelchair access, safe
supported transfer and using an overhead hoist from a firm base into the soft play
area.

An adequate ceiling height should be allowed for hoists, preferably for both directions
(XY type see Hoists in Section 5.1.5), to allow access to all parts of the play
area. Careful consideration is required if ceiling lights, decoration or mobiles are also
planned in this area.

Although natural light and ventilation is preferred from high-level windows these
should open outwards to avoid dangerous projections into the space (in some cases,
internal rooms are used, with artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation).

Suitable, safe, low-glare artificial lighting can be used along with uplighters, spotlights
and specialist lighting systems. In addition, music and special effects may be
deployed. Thermal comfort will require adjustable controls for heating and ventilation
requirements to meet of a wide range of needs (but avoiding the need for air
conditioning, if at all possible). The ambience should reflect fun and enjoyment whilst
maintaining health and safety considerations.



4.10.8 Sensory / interactive rooms

White rooms are often linked to the philosophy of Snoezelen (from the Dutch words
snifflen, to smell and doozelen, to sleep or doze). They focus on leisure, pleasure,
enjoyment and relaxation, through gentle stimulations which are recuperative and
non-threatening.
15

Such white or sensory rooms are used to encourage sensory stimulation; offering a
range of experiences, including those associated with sight, sound, smell and touch.
Alternatively, dark rooms can be used, as described below.

The popularity and effective use of sensory rooms mean that many mainstream
primary schools also now have sensory rooms for nurture groups, or to provide
therapeutic quiet areas and an alternative means of learning and developing
positive behaviour.

Sensory rooms are highly resourced spaces, often entirely white, which use a broad
range of equipment to create different light, sound and other sensory stimuli. Mirror
balls, bubble tubes, mirrors, fibre optics are often installed. Interactive switch
equipment may also be used. Specialist design to facilitate a specific range of
therapy and learning activities as well as age-appropriate environments is
recommended.

The equipment available is changing and becoming more sophisticated, and should
therefore be researched as part of establishing the detailed design of these spaces.

Sensory rooms may be used by a single pupil with a teacher or sometimes by a small
group. If there are too many children, stimuli or activities, then sensory overload,
distraction and confusion will limit the effective use of the room. The space should be
of sufficient size for the pupil/teacher occupancy and the range and type of
equipment and its use.

The size of sensory rooms is recommended as either one large white room of 24 m
2

or two small rooms of 12 m
2
to provide separate light or white and dark rooms.

The appropriate ceiling height and construction should be considered for provision of
overhead hoisting. The use of any mobiles or suspended decorations should be
carefully planned to be compatible with a broad range of activity.

Generally, white ceilings and walls with cushioned plastic coating, foam-padded to
half height, are provided.

Clear wall space is needed to mount specialist equipment. Suitable
wall construction with fixing capacity to support coated foam cushions, high-level
shelving or mounting and various items of specialist equipment is needed.

A firm floor, with safe, soft floor finish, usually carpet or foam-backed sheet flooring,
can be provided to the whole space. Sufficient clear space should be allowed for
pupils to remove footwear or to be transferred from wheelchairs by hoists, whether
overhead of portable, to the main platform area(s) of soft play.

Here, the child can to be supported safely, promoting a more relaxed body

15
M. Mednick, Supporting Children with Multiple Difficulties in Mainstream Schools
(Questions, 2002).
positioning, with additional support from beanbags, wedges and rolls made of
appropriate materials. The child must feel both safe and comfortable in order to
enable effective therapy work to take place.

All furnishings and equipment must be safe, durable, cleanable and easily
maintained. If colour is used, it should be of a soothing hue, e.g. light blue.

The room usually has blackout facilities, including door seals. Alternatively, an
internal room can be used but issues relating to extraction must be addressed.
Dimmer switches to allow for gradual adjustment of light levels to suit the needs of
the pupil, and the purposeful programme of activity, should be provided.

The heat and other emissions may be high so, as stated above, attention must be
given to providing appropriate levels of ventilation, heating and cooling (in preference
to air-conditioning which is best avoided for sustainability reasons (see Part 5 for
details).

Plentiful power supplies will be needed for the equipment. Usually high-level ranges
of 13 amp power sockets and a switch control panel are used and positioned to be
used by a responsible adult only. There must be no trailing leads or health and safety
hazards.

Dark rooms, from which daylight can be excluded, support light-stimulation work.
Children with very poor vision are encouraged to use whatever residual vision they
have to develop skills in light awareness, scanning, tracking and fixation. Focusing
on different stimuli for the development of visual tracking of moving lights as the main
activity can encourage coordination skills, which will eventually enable pupils to
improve their own physical and sensory coordination, or to operate switches and
computer-access technology.

Requirements are similar to white rooms except that dark colours, black walls (and
sometimes ceilings), and black or a heavy draped black curtaining can be provided to
the perimeter of an existing multi-purpose use. Use of television, programmed
computer projectors and different lighting effects is the focus for most of the work.


4.10.9 Hydrotherapy/warm water pools

Hydrotherapy is increasingly included in special schools. Its use is principally for
medical treatment and exercise for those with physical disabilities, because
movement can be achieved with less physical effort. For these reasons,
hydrotherapy may be specified in the statement of SEN for some pupils.

Work is usually undertaken on a one-to-one basis with a physiotherapist or
responsible adult delivering the therapy programme with constant careful supervision
provided by an out-of-water adult.

Warm water is an effective medium for promoting muscle relaxation and therapy
treatment. It can also offer a pleasurable and therapeutic experience for pupils. This,
in turn, may encourage the development of communication and interaction skills.
Increasingly, sensory equipment, lighting and sound is installed along with
underwater lighting features.

Warm water pools, which are larger, are sometimes installed to support the above
and accommodate small-group activity, including social and recreational appreciation
and enjoyment. In addition, smaller trainer pools are installed adjacent to the warm
water pool in order to teach pupils how to swim. Wet changing areas must be
provided adjacent to the pool.

In some cases, a larger combined facility will be provided which will support the
schools physical education programme, as well as be used by designated groups,
such as neighbouring schools, disability or health charities and similar associations
within the community.

High air and water temperatures may not be suitable for all groups and careful
consideration of appropriate users should be made.

Where community use is agreed, appropriate zoning of the school and public
accommodation should be made from the start. It is essential to establish that
funding is available for the high cost of installation and maintenance of such facilities.
The designer will need to ascertain these functions required so that a pool fit for
purpose is installed. It is also recommended that there is also a rationale stated for
the use of spas, jacuzzi and splash pools.

It is essential that there are clear sight lines for satisfactory supervision and
maintenance of pupil safety at all times. Likewise, health and safety considerations
and infection control are paramount. Specialist technical advice must be obtained to
ensure such requirements are met (see Part 5)

All pools are usually designed and installed by specialists, who should be carefully
selected for their previous reliable performance and the guarantees or warranties
available.

Pools are costly to install and maintain, and budgets should reflect this from the
outset. Specialist advice must always be sought in the design of pools for reasons of
health and safety, for energy efficiency and to minimise running costs.

The most appropriate size for space for hydrotherapy is 85 m
2
with a pool of 24 m
2

and a surround of 22.5 m wide. Wet changing areas for pupils will be 30 m
2
each for
boys and girls separately. Staff changing will be 4 m
2
each for male and female
separately. The areas required for pool plant and pool storage will be about 20 m
2

and 6 m
2
respectively.

For community use, a space of up to 144 m
2
may be required with a pool size will be
72 m
2
.

The following considerations should also be made:

The pool surround should be wide enough to accommodate a hoist for
transfer to the water and for safe circulation. The rationale for whether the
pools is to be raised, level-deck or sunken, should be established, and ease
of access and supervision requirements should be considered for reasons of
health and safety.

In schools for physical or profound and multiple learning difficulties,
particularly those of secondary-age pupils, hoists should be provided for lifting
pupils into and out of the water. In view of the increasingly complex difficulties
and disabilities of pupils, in many such schools, these may be needed in all
pools.

Provision of a ramp and shallow steps with handrails into the water should be
made as appropriate. One or two hoists should be provided for independent
or assisted access to the pool. Sometimes a ceiling-mounted hoist direct from
the changing areas can be provided. The length of travel, however, must not
compromise treating individuals with dignity and respect.

It will need to be established whether the water level is to be at or below floor
level or, alternatively, above and contained within a raised surround. In the
latter case, the surround can be broad enough to support a physically
disabled pupil transferring, or being transferred, into the water by staff,
whether from a wheelchair or not. In this way a pupil may be floated into or
out of the water without having to be lifted. Where the water surface is at or
below floor level, a ramped access may be provided. In both cases steps will
also be needed. It should also be considered that low walls or upstands may
obstruct the clear view of the pool and its surround. In all cases, maintaining
good sightlines is essential and there should be a sufficient number of
responsible adults for supervision as part of the school management.

The means of water purification needs particular consideration, not only
because certain physical problems require that it be especially efficient, but
also because certain skin conditions may be aggravated by certain chemicals.
Automatic, rather than manual administration of the necessary chemicals and
the requirements of the Environmental Health Officer will need to be met.

The profile of the floor of the pool should allow for any change of water depth
to be gradual. In small swimming pools this can be difficult to achieve.

Lighting, both natural and artificial, should be carefully considered and located
to avoid problems which can be created by flickering, reflections or glare
across the water surface. Vandalism is a factor to consider in deciding upon
appropriate fenestration, as broken glass in a pool involves considerable
inconvenience and loss of facility during the time taken to empty, clear and
refill the pool.

All pools need associated changing, toilet and showering facilities (including
both pool-side showers and changing-room showers) which should have
provision for physically disabled on non-ambulant pupils and ambulant pupils
who are independent or require assistance.

Specialist advice should be sought on the specification of finishes and
detailed design of the pool areas.

The provision and siting of an alarm system should be considered so that
staff can, if necessary, summon assistance if a pupil gets into difficulties in
the pool.
4.11 Dining and kitchen

Dining should be an enjoyable and important social occasion for all types of pupils
with SEN. Schools may request different layouts to support the development of social
skills and to ensure good behaviour management and supervision.

Dining spaces should allow an enjoyable, relaxed atmosphere and so encourage a
positive attitude to food, heath, well-being and socialising. They should not be
constricted or cause stress.

In a special school with a broad range of special educational needs, some pupils may
be tube-fed which will require assistance and, perhaps, a more sheltered
environment. (Tube feeds can be prepared in hygienic conditions, such as in the
medical room. See Section 4.10).

Some pupils may need assistance at mealtimes and need to focus on this activity
during progress to independence. Therefore, an appropriate space may be needed.
Generally, most teachers or assistants will help during lunch and this has to be
reflected in the space provided.

Children in early years usually eat in their own class base and food is prepared to
suit their needs. Designers may need to clarify this and consider hygiene and the
layout for dual use.

As part of age-appropriate progression and social training, different styles of dining
may be adopted, such as family services around a table, or choosing and ordering
food from the servery hatch (which should be low enough to enable pupils to see and
choose their food). The style may affect the design so it is sensible to ascertain what
it will be from the outset.

At secondary schools, different layouts of dining spaces with caf-bar styles, or more
formal dining tables and chairs can be made to encourage a pleasant social
ambience for everyone to share.

In a school for pupils who have BESD, social learning may result in a more
disciplined style of dining. Pupils may sit around large round tables with staff and eat
together, with assigned duties for pupils as a means of managing potential conflict.

Each school is likely to be different and consultation and full briefing is therefore
essential to understand the issues.

The number of pupils and adults should be established. The size of the space will
depend on whether all pupils have to sit and eat together at the same time, or
whether there are phased dining arrangements.

Sufficient space should be allowed for:

those pupils with physical disabilities, their mobility equipment and the
support staff who assist them
those pupils who have behaviour needs
the high number of staff to assist children with dining, as it can be a busy time

Sometimes, younger pupils who need more assistance may dine first whilst older
pupils who are more independent may dine later on. Generally, multiple sittings for
dining are not practical for special schools due to the limited time available for dining
in the school day.

An all-age school may prefer separate age-appropriate dining spaces or phased
dining arrangements for their primary and secondary cohorts to show age
progression.

Pupil numbers will also depend on whether post-16 pupils eat off-site at sixth-form
college or in their common room.

Where special schools are co-located, inclusive dining with mainstream pupils is
advantageous, provided that appropriately designed seating areas and suitable
acoustics are in place.

Typically, pupils from the special school will be invited to dine first, being joined later
on by mainstream pupils. This is so as to allow the longer time required to develop
their social skills and, in some instances, to accommodate the longer time it takes to
eat. The following sizes are for guidance only.


Table 17: Dining spaces

Pupils Area (m
2
)
Primary

Broad-range
SLD PMLD
ASD
96 80
BESD

48 80
Secondary

Broad-range
SLD PMLD
ASD
80 80
BESD 65 80


The following points should also be considered:

Where there is a high percentage of pupils with PMLD at primary or
secondary school, then the area may need to increase to 100 m
2
.

Where post-16 students eat in the dining space, the area may need to
increase to 126 m
2
.

In an all-age school, dining spaces may be separate and age-appropriate, or
combined at 160 m
2
, and dining phased with separate sittings.

If there is a high percentage of adult-size KS 4 pupils in a BESD school, then
areas may need to increase to 100 m
2
.

The size of dining space will depend upon all of the above. Tables and chairs will
need to suit the ages of pupils and adequate storage is necessary. Chair storage of 8
m
2
should be sufficient.

It is sensible to place the dining area adjacent to the main hall with acoustic sliding
folding door separation. This enables combined use before and after lunch, after-
school use and extended and community use at weekends.

Similar dimensions and specifications should be considered so that the best use of
large spaces is made, otherwise they may be underused.

Appropriate lighting, heating, ventilation and acoustics are essential for such large
spaces, and consideration of any multi-purpose use must be made.

Floor finishes must be non-abrasive, non-slip, and easily and hygienically cleaned
because food is likely to be spilt during lunch.


4.11.1 Kitchens and catering facilities

The type of catering will determine the size and specification of the kitchen. Specialist
advice must be obtained from the LEA and specialist commercial kitchen designers,
especially to ensure compliance with health, safety and food hygiene requirements,
which is critical.

Pupils with SEN and disabilities may have special dietary needs. Some schools will
prepare food on site, others will only heat and serve food. Preparation of fresh food
may be preferred for pupils with many varied needs. This may not be available from
the servery facilities and the food may be provided from a neighbouring school or
delivered from off-site. It should be borne in mind that whatever the current
arrangements, they may change in the future and so flexibility should be designed
into the brief from the outset.

The serving arrangements need to reflect the pupils ages and height and must
permit all pupils and staff, including wheelchair users, to collect their food and drink,
where self-service is required. This will mean incorporating counters of various
heights with a wheelchair knee space.

All establishments must comply with current food safety requirements in the Food
Safety Act 1990, and with food-hygiene and health and safety regulations. The
design layout and specification of materials should comply accordingly.

For a school of about 100 pupils, a kitchen area of 50 m
2
should be allowed for a
kitchen preparing meals on site for about 100 pupils and staff. An office of 6 m
2
, food
store of 6 m
2
, refuse store of 6 m
2
,

cleaners store of 2 m
2
and staff toilet/changing
area of 4 m
2
should also be provided.

Specialist catering advice should be obtained for schools with larger numbers,
because modern methods of catering do not necessarily require large increases in
area. The space required will relate more to the type and method of catering chosen.
Planning to allow for changes for future use and for different types of use, such as
extended school or community use, should also be considered. For example, use of
a servery facility for breakfast clubs, after school clubs or community groups may
often be desired.

Design notes and considerations for maintaining high standards of infection control,
health and hygiene are set out below:

Appropriate storage for food and other supplies is essential, as is the safe
disposal of refuse.

Suitable staff changing and toilet accommodation should also be provided as
well as a staff office.

The facility must be large enough to cater for the number of meals and type of
food production.

The location and position should allow for regular deliveries from outside
suppliers.

It is essential that delivery vehicles can gain easy access and catering staff
are able to monitor delivery temperature, unpack and store food quickly.

There must be prompt distribution of food trolleys form the kitchen area to
serving areas.

The layout, design and construction must enable high standards of cleaning
and disinfection to be maintained. All finishes must be able to withstand
regular cleaning and the impact of mechanically cleaning equipment, if used.

The design should allow for the separation and handling of raw and cooked
food and separation of clean and dirty activities, such as food preparation and
dishwashing.

Food preparation areas must be physically separate from the store for
cleaning equipment and from sanitary facilities.

There should be adequate facilities for safe storage (at the correct
temperature) of raw, fresh and cooked frozen food with cool rooms, larders,
chilled stores, refrigerators and freezers, as appropriate.

There must be an adequate number of wash-hand basins provided with hot
and cold water.

A water supply and drainage are required to deal with spillages. There must
be adequate drains for the purpose (including accessible gullies and fat traps
etc. outside of the kitchen area, if required).

Ventilation must be sufficient providing a comfortable environment for staff
and preventing overheating. Artificial ventilation should permit cleaning and
maintenance.

Precautions must be made to prevent ingress of insects, rodents and other
pests into any food area.

Disposal of food waste must be separate from food preparation and be
rodent/pest proof.

Storage of crockery and cutlery in a safe, clean environment is critical.

Dishwashers should be positioned to be accessible and capable of having the
temperature checked (for thermostatic disinfection) if required.

Linen storage should be in a hygienic location. Disposal of dirty linen and its
laundry should be separate from kitchen food-preparation areas.
4.12 Staff areas including outreach

It is important that staff needs are met and provided for in the appropriate
accommodation so as to ensure the effective and efficient running of the school. All
staff will require appropriate accommodation to enable them to carry out their
prescribed duties in a pleasant effective working environment, and with the minimum
of additional stress.

Good designs can promote and enhance better staff working conditions, which
directly affect staff performance, as well as their recruitment and retention.

Designers will need to acquaint themselves with the National Agreement on school-
workforce remodelling, Raising Standards and Tackling Workload (see Appendix F
available online at www.teachernet.gov.uk/remodelling).

Staff who have disabilities should be provided for under DDA 1995, as amended.
LEAs and schools have an anticipatory duty to provide for such needs.

Special schools now also have a very important role in the local schools and wider
communities. Provision will also be covered here for outreach and for parents who
have a positive role liaising and working in partnership with staff.

When planning accommodation layouts, designers should be aware of school and
staff-management procedures, as well as any related issues, including their duty of
care and supervision of pupils.

To assist in the design process it is necessary to understand what each group of
adults does. Staff have different roles and responsibilities which may, as a
consequence, require purpose-designed spaces in order to carry out their roles
effectively. This will be compromised if space requirements are underestimated, so
requirements must be addressed properly at the briefing stage.

Therefore, it essential to consider the number and type of staff, their roles and
responsibilities so that the design can effectively meet their accommodation needs
and enhance their working environment and their performance.

The size of each space will be dependent upon the activity. Generally, each should
be generously sized to give flexibility. Such accommodation needs are outlined below
and reference can be made to Table 18 giving guidance for the recommended
minimum areas for feasibility stage, although larger spaces may be required to
support local needs. Thereafter, briefing and design notes give further information to
be considered. As a guide, for feasibility study purposes, typical areas are as follows:


Table 18: Staff and outreach areas

Space Area
(m
2)
General office 25
Meeting/training room
(outreach)
25
Head teachers office 15
Deputy head teachers office 10
Staff preparation room (SLD) 25
Staff preparation room (BESD) 20
Staff room (SLD and BESD)
(except BESD primary)
50
(40)
Visiting professional office 15
Site managers office 10
Cleaners
Staff changing room and
lockers (BESD)
(separate male and female)
10
Staff changing room near pool
(SLD)
(separate male and female)
8
Staff changing room near hall
(separate male and female)
8
Disabled toilets
(number varies)
4
Parents room 15
Staff toilets
(separate male and female)
8


Number and type of staff

Increasingly, there are greater numbers of all staff required to support pupils who
have SEN and disabilities in schools. Staff numbers in a special school or resource
provision in mainstream school will vary enormously according to the type and range
of pupil needs.


4.12.1 Staff structure

Typically, the staffing structure comprises:

teaching assistants who assist in the class base, under the supervision of the
teacher, with learning support for pupils in one-to-one situations or in small
groups

non-teaching support staff who provide for pupils care needs, assist with
toileting, changing and hygiene, and support in delivery of other programmes
including some which are class-based

visiting staff such as peripatetic specialists, therapists, medical and
healthcare and other multi-agency staff, staff from other schools have a range
of responsibilities which may entail working with individual pupils or alongside
a class teacher, some require specialists

supervisory meal assistants are part-time staff who are often available for
lunchtime supervision for dining or meal-time programmes and play activities,
but a number may also have non-teaching roles

administrative and site management staff have a range of duties which are
essential for effective school management

support staff in catering, cleaning and maintenance, are similarly essential for
effective school management and have their own specific requirements

It should be remembered that some staff may also have disabilities and have rights
under Part 2 of the DDA 1995.

A school should be designed to allow for disabled people to be employed, as
appropriate. Usually, if such considerations have been incorporated in the design,
then most aspects of access to services for disabled people will also have achieved
compliance (Part 3 DDA).


4.12.2 Communications

Staff will need to communicate and exchange information (sometimes, of a sensitive
or confidential nature) with each other by different means, and by using various
systems. These can range from pigeonholes in the staff room, to staff meetings,
internal and external telephone systems, paging or panic alarm systems, CCTV , ICT
and video conferencing. In addition, arrangements for shared or discreet access to
information, as well as its filing and storage, will also have to be considered.

Generally, for the design of all spaces, the need for visual and acoustic confidentiality
will have to be balanced with the need for openness, transparency and accountability
(i.e. the need to see and be seen to act, and behave appropriately, and for audit trails
for procedures and decisions).

Many of these factors will also have an impact on the design of the school.

The needs described above should be carefully considered in relation to each space,
as set out below, as should the relevant staff functions which occur. This will allow for
any requirements to be identified in the brief and for installations to be provided
which enable staff to carry out their roles both more appropriately and more
effectively (see also Section 5.2, Information and communication technology).


4.12.3 The number and type of staff spaces

Inreach and outreach areas

Special schools are becoming an essential resource for the wider educational
community. It is likely that the Special School of the Future will have many more
visitors than previously who will come to either learn, or use, its resources. Resource
areas will therefore need to reflect this likelihood and be sufficiently generous in size
to permit use by other teachers, therapists and visitors.

A separate teaching/meeting room will also be a likely requirement for lectures,
tutoring, discussion groups and specific training courses. During the school day,
teachers and support assistants must have unlimited access to their own meeting
room. It should be possible to furnish it with tables and chairs and have audio -visual
facilities including blackout facilities. It will afford more flexible use if such rooms are
suited and located with other staff rooms.

Parents rooms

An area set aside for parents in which they can meet informally should be
considered. A minimum size of 15 m
2
is acceptable but there may need to be more
space in a larger school. Usually, this should be sited near the reception area
opening directly off a circulation space. It should have a small worktop, sink, fridge
and storage. There should be several soft chairs and a low table together with
display spaces, book/magazine shelves and notice boards.

Staff social/meeting room

Teaching staff need adequate space for planning and preparation of work, meetings
and for designated breaks during the day. These areas should be away from general
classrooms so as to be fit for purpose, also offering a quiet space to socialise and
relax in good suitable conditions.

The room size will be determined by considering the total number of full-time staff,
frequency of use and number of meetings. Large meetings will take place in a
separate designated space.

In general, the staff room should be separate from the meeting room, as each serves
a different purpose.

The staff room will need hard and soft chairs, low tables, notice boards and display
spaces, book/magazine shelves and audio-visual facilities with blackout. A small food
and drinks area should be provided with sink, microwave or small cooker, fridge,
dishwasher, worktop and high- and low- evel storage units.

The space should have good natural lighting, a pleasant outlook and relaxing
atmosphere. The careful selection of soft furnishings and the use of colour can help
to provide the type of ambience required.

Staff resource and preparation area

In addition to the staff room and meeting area, there should be separate resource
and preparation area for teaching, and support staff, to plan and prepare
programmes of work for pupils. It should be located with other staff rooms. It should
have shelving for reference materials and other central resources, benching or desks
for preparation and computer use and wall surfaces for display.

It is good practice for reprographics equipment to be located in these rooms so
sufficient space must be made available photocopiers, audio-visual equipment and
storage, specialist equipment such as Braille printers, print enlargers and lamination
machines to name a few.

The sizes of rooms will depend on the number of teaching staff and the need for
visiting teachers to store equipment and resources associated with their professional
roles.

Where there is a mixed use of reading/reference and the use of computers, daylight
and artificial light need to be carefully controlled to minimise eye strain and to
produce comfortable working conditions.

Senior staff offices

The head teacher will require an office which should be able to accommodate a desk,
chairs, storage cabinets and a meeting table to seat at least 8 people.

Most heads prefer to be near the school entrance, so maintaining an overview of
school activities. The location of this room should be discussed early on, however, to
ensure that it can fulfil the functions described by the head teacher or the schools
brief.

If the school has one or more deputy head teachers, they will also need an office for
administration and small meetings. There should be space to seat 34 people as well
as room for a desk, chairs, storage cabinets and a low table. These offices can be
sited near reception and near the head teacher, but their location will be strategically
important for the day-to-day managing of the school, so care must be taken to locate
each space where they will be most effective.

Heads and deputies will hold confidential meetings, and so any glazed screens and
windows will need adjustable blinds for privacy. Good acoustic insulation is required
for confidentiality and also in order to minimise disturbance to those using the rooms.

Reception and administration

Administrative and reception spaces will be at the school entrance. A secure lobby
arrangement with a screen and a dual-height counter and knee recess in the
reception area is preferred. A combined space for reception and administration is
usual, and an area for at least three members of staff will usually be needed, though
staff numbers may exceed five.

It is important that the space is bright, open and welcoming and reflects the schools
image. Waiting areas for visitors and parents must be visible and remote door-control
systems need to be well thought through, and simple to operate, so as to avoid
excessive disruption to administrative staff.

A reception office of sufficient size should be provided but this will need to be
reviewed in each case.

The flexibility of roles and responsibilities of administrative staff can change quite
rapidly. Increasing use of electronic systems require that appropriate support and
sufficient space is provided, and this should be stated in the brief.

The office space needs to be equipped with a desk suitable for computer use,
adjustable chairs and storage cabinets.

The central photocopier would also be located in this room or in the adjacent alcove
or circulation space, fire strategy permitting. A materials/stationary store and a
secure store for records will be required. Safe storage of any flammable or toxic
materials kept in this area should also be considered.

The main communications network, security, CCTV and alarm systems would
normally be controlled from this area and so adequate space should be allowed for to
be set out in a suitable with ergonomic arrangement and with adequate circulation
clearances.

Technicians

Secondary special schools increasingly will have technical support for a range of
subjects. With the increasing use of ICT and the need for specialist mobility, auditory
and visual aids, a part-time or full-time technician are now employed to manage such
equipment and services. Such areas should be considered at the briefing stage. In
general, there should be a room to provide a workbench and appropriate storage to
ensure that they are fit for purpose, and of a size that will enable appropriate defined
support to be provided. There must be sufficient space to work on large items.

Site management staff

Most schools will have a full-time site manager, or caretaker, who will require an
office and workshop facilities for undertaking small repair items. It should have direct
access to the outside, good daylight, a workbench, appropriate storage, including
secure storage where stated, and space for a desk and chairs.

With the growing need for and reliance upon technology, a centrally electronically
controlled environmental services system are used, such as Building Management
Systems (BMS).The provision required for this will need to be reviewed in each case.

Catering staff

Kitchen staff will require a separate hygienic toilet and changing rooms adjacent to
the kitchen, as well as a small space for administration. These should all be provided
as a part of the whole suite of catering accommodation.

Cleaning staff

In addition to providing cleaners stores, staff who carry out cleaning should have
access to and use of school facilities for lockers, changing and toilet facilities, social
meeting/staff room for breaks and refreshments, as appropriate.

Visiting professional staff

Visiting professional staff will need a base from which to carry out work on a flexible
basis. An office with desks suitable for computers, tables, adjustable chairs and filing
cabinets for shared use, should be provided, with an area of 15 m
2
minimum.

Staff and visitor changing rooms and toilets

The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 (SPRs) set out the minimum
requirement for staff washrooms which should be adequate for the number of staff.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 as amended and the
Code of Practice L24 also cover staff toilet provision in schools.

The staff spaces required will vary in size according to the numbers of staff and the
male/female ratio.

Separate staff male and female changing rooms with lockers, a shower and toilet
should be considered as these allow secure storage of personal belongings and will
provide an area for wet clothes storage to enable staff to change for PE lessons (see
SPRs).

These facilities may be located centrally, however, proximity to the hall, PE and
drama accommodation should be considered as a multi- use design may prevent
duplication.

Provision for disabled toilets in accordance with Building Regulations Approved
Document M should be made so that no wheelchair user has to travel more than
40 m.

Unisex staff and visitors disabled toilets, can also be provided throughout the school
for staff convenience and in order to avoid supervision problems arising in the
classroom from an adults absence.

Although some multi-purpose use of such facilities by staff, visitors and pupils is
permitted, it is best if there is separate provision made for pupils. Local
circumstances, however, do not always allow this and, in such cases, school
management procedures should ensure proper use and supervision of the facilities at
all times.

Toilet provision associated with public functions in the hall and any community use
should be considered in relation to their particular requirements as well as those set
out under the Building Regulations and Sport England Guidance. Accessible facilities
should also be provided. It should not be necessary to open large parts of the school
during these events just for sufficient toilet provision.
4.13 Storage

Every area requires storage which must be fit for purpose. It is important to provide
sufficient storage for general needs and for specialist resources, for mobility or
specialist equipment and for personal belongings.

A full consultation is required with the school/LEA at the design stage to understand
the particular needs of the school, to identify all of the different types of storage and
to ascertain the many different items which are to be stored.

It is essential that the storage be of the right size and in the correct location for any
school to function efficiently and effectively. Storage must not be sacrificed to provide
more area in other spaces. It is very important, therefore, to allow sufficient space in
the gross area calculations at the feasibility stage.

For every area which requires storage, consideration of the number, type, size
shape, location and accessibility of stores should be made. It is also necessary to
ascertain who will be the users and whether the store is for resources used daily or
only periodically

The key issues to be considered are covered in the rest of this section.


4.13.1 Storage in relation to type and range of SEN

Provision for SEN should be understood from the outset.

Some pupils, whose need fall within the autistic spectrum disorder, may require
flexible individual storage as part of a teaching strategy. The use of mobile base
units, or baskets on shelves, may be essential for realising effective teaching
strategies for this group.

Storage can help to minimise distractions in the class base or minimise movement of
pupils or furniture, which are of particular importance for certain groups of pupils. For
example, pupils with hearing impairment, or pupils who have behaviour, emotional
and social difficulty or pupils who have severe autism all have different needs and
are affected in different ways by movement and/or inability to access resources when
the need arises.

Pupils with visual or multi-sensory impairments may require considerable storage for
artefacts, tactile and visual materials, in braille, moon or large print. Those assisting
pupils who have visual impairment will require space for the production and storage
of bulky specialist resources.

The storage of mobility aids is often underestimated and it is important that sufficient
space is allowed for this. There can be up to three items of equipment for each pupil.
It is best to avoid narrow deep spaces. Instead, for temporary or permanent storage
of mobility aids, wheelchairs or frames, long shallow parking bays off corridors, which
are in or adjacent to the class base, should be provided. Some schools will prefer
that these are enclosed. In addition, a central equipment store will also be required.

Pupils who have multiple disabilities may need space for temporary storage for their
personal, medical and communication aids as well as their personal learning
resources wherever they go in the school. These can include objects of reference or
learning packs which can be bulky, (often these may be attached to or carried on
their wheelchair or class chair).


4.13.2 The number and type of stores

The number and type of storage for each area should be defined in the brief. The
following types of storage are set out below for consideration.

Storage for pupils belongings

Storage of pupils outer clothing and their belongings is required by the Education
(School Premises) Regulations 1999.

The storage of personal clothing and possessions for staff and pupils is an important
matter.

The type of provision required for the storage of pupils personal belongings, its
accessibility and its security should be considered in relation to the phase of
education, age-appropriateness and type of special educational need.

In mainstream schools, pupils who have SEN and disabilities may need additional
storage provision for personal, communication, and learning aids as well as for
mobility equipment.

In early years and primary provision, most of pupils personal belongings will be
stored in the class base, so places for hat and coat hooks and shoe boxes should be
provided.

Lockable cupboards will be provided where security is essential. If required, spare
clothes are normally kept within the toilet/changing areas.

Secondary pupils and post-16 students would normally have lockers in bays in
circulation spaces. Where security is required CCTV monitoring can be installed.

Storage for staff belongings

All staff members should have their own secure locker in a staff changing area and a
coat hook in the class store.

Teaching and learning resources storage

Teaching and learning strategies, as well as the management of resources, are
greatly improved with proper provision of storage. These should, therefore, be
considered in detail as part of the design to ensure that the teaching needs are fully
met. Compromise will often result in the loss of teaching space, which could
adversely affect curriculum delivery.

Plentiful storage of teaching and learning resources for general and specialist
subjects will, therefore, be needed.

General and specialist subjects in special schools and resourced provision have
different storage needs to those of mainstream school curriculum and these
requirements should be established in the briefing.

The multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning can use more artefacts and
tactile and visual materials than those used in mainstream classes. Allowance must
be made for this fact.

Practical specialist subjects may have health and safety requirements for storage
(see practical specialist subjects). All stores which contain wet materials should be
ventilated.

Storage dangerous or chemicals

If dangerous chemicals are used to support, for example, science, then storage
should be provided in a laboratory preparation room. These should be stored
according to the current COSSH regulations.

Dangerous substances may also be used in Art, Design and Technology, or for
school-grounds maintenance.

Stores which may contain these harmful materials should be identified, and health
and safety risk assessments made.

Special ventilation and fire protection detection measures may also be required (see
COSSH).

Storage for confidential papers documents and records

Confidential papers or records and historical records or documents may need to be
retained in a safe place for a given number of years. In some cases, archive storage
to retain records in paper format for up to 18 years is required.

Secure stores with pupils/staff records may be required, with particular locking and
fire protection requirements. Fire-resistant cabinets, or cupboards or store rooms
may be required for such purposes.

Storage of medical goods, medicines and dangerous drugs or chemicals

Medicines and drugs should be stored securely and signed according to Health and
Safety requirements.

For example, a fridge with a lock and a double-locked drug cupboard may be
required in the medical inspection room.

Specific requirements must be considered early on for the storage of oxygen in
cylinders in a ventilated, secure internal or external store, with access and egress for
delivery and collection. (See NHSE Medical-gas Supply for background).

Storage for loose furniture

Storage for loose furniture, such as a chair store for dining or for the assembly hall,
will be required directly off or adjacent to the dining or hall space

Storage of equipment

Storage of equipment, for example, for physical education, movement, music and
drama will be required adjacent to the relevant activity area (i.e. hall or large group
room).

Storage for extended-school and community use

If there is community or extended-school use, the allowance for storage should be
reviewed in relation to this.

Bulk storage

These will be required for stationery and administrative supplies, general teaching
supplies and the storage of dry goods.

Kitchen stores

Hygienic storage will be required for food (perishable or dry goods or refrigerated or
frozen goods) which should be separate from refuse, waste and dirty goods and from
storage for recycling of materials.

External stores

This will be required for the following functions:

storage of bikes, play and sports equipment
maintenance of the school grounds and landscaping
technicians work or a caretakers base for repairs/maintenance for the school
buildings
storage of large, self-contained wheeled refuse bins or paladins, accessible
for collection but screened off, as appropriate
storage of material for recycling in appropriate containers to ensure that there
is no fire hazard


4.13.3 Size of storage

Storage should be of a sufficient size to be fit for purpose, ensuring that the
appropriate provision is made in relation to space, accessibility and safety.
Reference should be made to Tables 19 and 20 below.

Typically, an accessible self-contained store of sufficient size should be provided in
all teaching spaces in class bases. This will have perimeter shelving, and floor space
for large items should be provided. It will be used for resource materials as well as
specialist equipment.

Additionally, space for the appropriate storage for large materials and equipment, for
play equipment and for moveable apparatus will be necessary. Storage space for
protection of pupils work may also be needed.

The following table gives typical requirements for stores in a whole school. There
may be local circumstances that require an increased number, or size, of stores, but
it is recommended that these areas are not reduced without good reason.

Table 19: Typical storage requirements for a broad-range special
school with 100 pupils

Spaces Number
and type
Area (m
2
)


Primary

Secondary
Mobility/locker
bays in circulation
space
8 per school 10 per bay

10 per bay
General teaching
spaces
1 per class
base
6 6
Food Technology 1 general +1
food
4 +4 4 +4
Design and
Technology
1 resource +
1work in
progress
4

8 +6
ICT 1 general +1
server
4 +4 4 +4
Library 1 general store 4

4
Art 1 resource
+1work in
progress
n/a 4

+6
Science 1 prep n/a 12
Music and drama 1 8

8

Physical Education 1 10

10

Dining 1 8

10

Community 1 10

10

Common room 1 store n/a 4

Kitchen 1 food+
1 refuse
6 +6

6 +6
Therapy 1 4

4

Hydrotherapy 1 6

6

Professional office 1 2

2

Administration stationery
+secure
records
4

+4

4 +4

Teaching resource 1 20

20

Meeting/training
room
1 resource 2

2

Laundry 4 clean+4
dirty
1

1

Cleaner 2 2

2

Technician/
premises
1 10

15

General stores 2 bulk items 10

10

External stores 1 PE/play+
1maintenance
10

10





Table 20: Typical storage requirements for a BESD special school
with 5060 pupils

Spaces Number
and type
Area (m
2
)

Primary

Secondary
Coats 1 1.5 in class n/a
Lockers 8 n/a 4 in corridor
General teaching 1 per class
base
5 KS1
4 KS2

4

Food Technology 1 general +1
food
3 +3 4 +4

Design and
Technology
1 resource +
1work in
progress
3

7

+6
ICT 1 general +1
server
4 +4 4 +4
Library 1 general store 4

4

Art 1 resource
+1 work in
progress
n/a 7 +6
Science 1 prep n/a 15
Music and drama 1 8

8

Physical
Education

1 10

10

Dining chairs 1 8

8

Community 1 10

10

Social-skills base 2 2

2

Kitchen 1 food+
1 refuse
6 +6

6 +6
Professional
office
1 2

2

Administration stationery
+secure
records
4

+4

4 +4

Teaching
resource
1 15

15

Meeting/
Training room
1 resource 2

2

Laundry 1 clean
+1 dirty
1 +1

1

+1

Cleaner 2 2

2

Technician/
premises
1 10

15

General stores 2 bulk items 10

10

External stores 1 PE/play +1
maintenance
10

10



4.13.4 Shape of storage

The shape of storage should reflect its purpose so as to ensure that appropriate
provision is made in relation to the most effective space, accessibility and safety.
It is recommended that narrow deep stores, which are inefficient and awkward, are
avoided.

Shallow stores behind multiple sliding doors can restrict usable wall areas, but where
used, will require high-quality door gear to work well.


4.13.5 The location, links and appropriate accessibility

The appropriate location and accessibility of teaching resources storage should be
considered for each space.

Store rooms or cupboards should be secure (i.e.lockable) yet accessible to all
appropriate users. The needs of staff or pupils with disabilities, including wheelchair
users, should be carefully considered.

The type and specification of doors, their operation and the impact on the space
should be thought through. The ease of use of the doors is important, (whether they
should be outward-opening, sliding, or sliding-folding will need to be considered). The
doors will need to suit the purpose required and be appropriate to meet the needs of
all users.
4.14 Pupils toilets, hygiene and changing areas

This section covers toilet provision, hygiene areas, and changing rooms. The
guidance will be equally applicable wherever pupils with SEN and disabilities are
educated.

Proper toilet, hygiene and changing accommodation, in age-appropriate effective
environments is vital for supporting health- and social-care strategies, promoting and
improving personal-care standards, with dignity, respect and privacy for individuals
safeguarded.

Toilet, hygiene and changing areas should be designed to be fit for purpose and
located within clean, healthy and safe environments. By using light and colour
appropriately, a light airy atmosphere and pleasant ambience can be created for
pupils. These can help to promote a sense of self-respect and a feeling of well-being.
Staff should also have an efficient, effective, convenient and attractive environment in
which to work.

It is essential for the designer to understand the schools approach to managing
toileting and hygiene arrangements, in order to establish the correct balance of the
different types of provision in relation to the needs for which the school is catering.

Appropriate types of toilet and changing provision should be made for the pupils age,
range and type of SEN and disabilities and the supervision requirements which will
vary widely.

A careful analysis of the range and type of current and anticipated needs will have to
be made, and provision planned as required under the planning duties prescribed in
the DDA.

It will be necessary to plan flexibly to meet such needs. For example, in mainstream
schools, planning a store next to a wheelchair-accessible toilet may enable it to be
converted into hygiene room in the future, if required.

These should be ascertained by the LEA, the school and the architect and
established in the brief.

Careful briefing is therefore needed to determine the extent of provision which will be
required to assist pupils progress towards independence, wayfinding and social
awareness. It is recommended that designers and clients visit other schools to
assess the impact and usefulness of different layouts. The information gathered will
help the team decide what would best to suit their purpose

Detailed plans and elevations of each toilet and changing space will need to be
drawn up, showing all items accurately and indicating that from all angles they are
accessible. These drawings will need to be thoroughly checked by all parties,
including those with responsibility for accessibility. Designers cannot get it right on
their own, and specialist advice should be obtained, as appropriate.

As a checklist, the design for the whole school layout will be informed by considering
the following factors:

conveniently located, accessible and safe toilet and hygiene areas which
minimise travel distances and loss of curriculum time

clean, hygienic, well-ventilated facilities designed to contribute significantly to
infection control

appropriate range of facilities to meet the type and age of those with SEN
and/or disabilities

effective configuration of the facilities within the space

space and layout suitable to ensure that supervision and support by staff is
possible

appropriate accessible arrangements covering independent to fully assisted
facilities

ambience of the design, which should encourage positive behaviour and
promote pupils well-being

wayfinding to meet the needs of all pupils

how the environment can assist as a cue to communicate and prepare pupils
for the appropriate activities which take place in the space

models to encourage independence skills and social learning in the wider
community

The main issues discussed below should be considered as part of the design
approach.


4.14.1 Provision for SEN
It is good practice for both mainstream and special schools to provide different types
of general facility, informed by the schools accessibility plan, to cater for pupils, staff
and visitors with a wide range of needs,.
The needs of the following individuals and groups of pupils should be considered
when designing toileting and hygiene or changing facilities:
pupils who have SEN or disabilities but who are ambulant and require
independent access but may need passive supervision




pupils who are non-ambulant and disabled, including wheelchair users, who
are independent but may need passive supervision or occasional assistance
from trained support workers

pupils with more severe physical disabilities, or those with profound and
multiple disabilities, who are entirely dependent upon assistance by trained
support workers

Generally, provision of facilities for independent and assisted disabled users should
be available, grouped alongside other toilet facilities for all pupils, staff and visitors
wherever they may be. These will include toilets, changing rooms, showers and
hygiene rooms for pupils, as well as separate toilets, changing rooms and showers
for staff and/or visitors (in certain circumstances, there is dual use of facilities for
pupils and adults with disabilities, however, the appropriate management of such
facilities are a school responsibility).

Pupils who are ambulant and have SEN (SpLD, HI, VI SLCN, ASD, MLD/complex
needs, SLD and BESD) can normally access the same type of facilities as their
peers. Modifications, adaptations and specially designed facilities will be required for
pupils who have SLD/mobility impairment, PD, PMLD, MSI and in some instances VI
(see Section 3.2, Different types of provision).

There may be pupils, with medical needs across the range, who will require access
to a facility for changing appliances. This may be located within a part of a medical
treatment area, where adequate privacy can be provided together with assistance
and training. For pupils able to care for themselves, facilities can be conveniently
provided in larger wheelchair-accessible wc compartments, or as part of a changing
area. The essential requirements are for drainage, sterilisation, storage of tubes and
bags and the storage of dressings and toiletries. These requirements for the above
should be described in the brief to be provided in the design.

Pupils who have physical, or profound and multiple disabilities (PD/PMLD), will
require assisted toileting and changing areas in hygiene rooms.

In such cases, it is essential that sufficient space is allowed to ensure the appropriate
manual handling and moving procedures can be made, using mobile aids such as
portable or ceiling-mounted hoists.

Good ergonomic design is essential to allow for sequences of activities and manual
handling and for varied appropriate transfer arrangements. Reference should be
made to HSEs Health and Safety Matters for SEN: Moving and Handling, to be
published in 2005.



The balance between the sexes of pupils varies in individual special schools, with a
predominance of boys in most cases. Careful consideration of the location and type
of provision for girls should be made, especially where they may be in a minority. In
special schools for BESD, a minority of girls may be of particular significance.

Careful consideration will need to be given to separation of boys and girls, provision
with clear sight lines which enhance supervision without reducing privacy, and
adequate layout and space to avoid the perception of confinement. Re-entrant
spaces off lobbies, where inappropriate behaviour can occur, must be avoided.

The specification and use of robust materials is essential for this type of special
educational need.


4.14.2 The age of the pupils

It is essential to design an environment which is age-appropriate, suitable for the
phase of education and allows progress towards independence. This should be
reflected in scale, layout, choice of fittings, fixtures, furnishings and dcor.
The type of facilities, their location and links to other spaces will reflect the age and
type of pupil needs.
Early-years class bases will have toilets and changing areas directly off the
classroom, regardless of the type of special needs of the pupils.

Thereafter, for primary and secondary accommodation it is recommended that toilet
and hygiene accommodation should not be situated so it can be accessed directly off
the class base. This is because hygiene, infection control and the potential risk of
cross-contamination is a concern, especially if pupils have medical needs or
compromised immune system. Additionally, social skills and progress to
independence are facilitated by toilets and hygiene accommodation sited to develop
these skills and encourage social learning for inclusion in the wider community.

Generally, therefore, access to facilities should be from circulation spaces outside of
the class base, nearby, across or along the corridor. Where high levels of assistance
and/or supervision are required for the pupils, then toilets and changing areas should
not be remote from, but nearby, the teaching spaces.

Wherever a pupil is in the school there must be toilet and hygiene provision within a
reasonable travel distance to avoid loss of curriculum time in the class base.

In a special school or resourced provision, the length of travel distance that is
reasonable will depend on the type and range of SEN and/or disabilities of the pupils.

Routes should be easy to navigate and barrier free. Pupils should not have to
navigate long distances and make awkward journeys if at all possible. The latter is
especially important as support staff may have to guide wheelchairs and trolleys, as
well as negotiate doors and changes in direction or level.

Generally, the Building Regulations ADM 2004 recommends that any wheelchair
user should not have to travel a distance of more than 40 metres (clause 5.10 ).

For those with severe physical difficulties, however, a travel distance of not more
than 20 metres is suggested, as a guide, with clear lines of sight from the classroom
door to the toilet although, preferably, the accommodation will be as close as
reasonably possible.

Usually, toilet cubicles and changing and hygiene areas for younger pupils are a part
of a planned suite: they are directly off the nursery or early years class base area,
with an external circulation corridor regardless of the type of special needs of the
pupils. Sometimes, shared provision between two class bases is efficient and makes
supervision easier. It is essential, however, to ensure that good hygienic practices
are in place and that these are supported in the design of the physical environment.


4.14.3 The phase of education

An assessment of the impact on design of the above proposals should be made early
on in the design process.

Early Years

For early years, boys and girls may share toilet and changing provision.

For younger pupils, a difference in WC heights is desirable. Smaller-scale childrens
cubicles with half-height doors allow privacy and passive supervision. Space for toilet
training aids, potties and chairs is needed either side of the WC pan, as well as
space for one adult and a hoist, if required. It should be noted that the space needed
for a portable mobile hoist is significantly greater (2300 mm turning circle) than that
for a ceiling-mounted hoist.

Where there is need for hoisting, sufficient space should be allowed for both the
support worker with a child on a changing bed and the hoist when it is not in use.
This is of particular importance where portable mobile hoists are used, due to their
size. If outward-opening wide cubicle doors to cubicles are used, these must not
cause an obstruction in the circulation space. In some cases, consideration of use of
plastic-coated coloured curtains across an open doorway to the cubicle for
changing/hygiene may enable both privacy and ease of accessibility.

There should be a large enough area in the centre of the suite of accommodation to
allow for transfer from wheelchairs to portable or overhead hoists. It is also essential
to avoid conflict between cubicle doors, framework, curtains and overhead hoists.
An assessment should be made on the suitability of these in relation to both the
needs of the child and those of staff to ensure that health and safety requirements
are met.

A larger cubicle, or a screened space or curtained area can contain a small
adjustable-height changing bed in the corner against a wall for nappy-changing. A
disposal bin and, if required, a wash-hand basin should be provided. Sometimes a
changing bed, shower tray and hose attachment is also provided.

In addition, readily accessible storage for personal belongings, clean clothes, plastic
gloves, proprietary wipes, creams or lotions and bulky items such as nappies, should
also be provided in convenient places within the suite of accommodation.

Other hygiene fittings may be required for changing and cleaning younger children,
such as a height-adjustable fixed or folding table with a guard rail, wall-mounted
drop-down shower table or a smaller-scale height-adjustable shower beds and sluice.
These must be ascertained early on.


For hygiene for younger children, a deep cleaning sink which is connected to foul
drainage can be provided.

Deep sinks should be sited suitably. It would be inappropriate for a deep sink
intended for washing soiled children, however young, to be in a classroom or any
other communal area. The bodies responsible should decide what degree of privacy
is appropriate.

Arrangements for transfer of soiled clothes (for example, in plastic bags) to laundry
should also be considered. A clinical wash-hand basin with lever taps for support
staff should be provided.

Primary

Boys and girls may share toilet and changing provision up to the age of 8 years old
(see below - The Education School Premises Regulations 1999).

There will be some features for primary provision which will be the same as for early
years. For younger pupils, however, toilet and hygiene accommodation is generally
sited close to the class base. For example, provision between two class bases with
access from just outside of the class base is sometimes efficient and makes
supervision easier. Alternatively, access to toilets just across the corridor or a short
distance along a corridor, may provide progression in the development of mobility
independence skills.

Some pupils are uncomfortable and have experienced discomfort being enclosed in a
large room (i.e. a feeling of being shut in). Smaller, scaled-down cubicles with half-
height doors and lower, smaller WC pans can be provided as these will allow for
privacy, as well as passive supervision. Standard packages of fittings for wheelchair-
accessible toilets are available, but where these are for smaller children, their needs
should be made clear when specifying these products.
Nevertheless, sufficient space should be retained for toilet-training aids, mobile
equipment and assistance by the support worker (see above).
Where a high percentage of the school population requires assistance, such as in
special schools, the location, layout and design of hygiene rooms is crucial to support
the inclusion of pupils with PD and PMLD with their age-related peers. As a result of
this, such hygiene, care or changing facilities will be required at more frequent
intervals.

4.14.4 Numbers of toilets and changing areas
For the health, safety and well-being of all pupils, there must be enough sanitary
facilities, hygiene, shower and changing areas to ensure easy access, convenience
and independence, wherever possible.


At junior level, some schools may want a mixture of child- and adult-sized sanitary
ware, also to serve as part of a life-skills-learning programme. Provision of showers
for pupils under 11 is also often desirable.

Secondary

It is essential that pupils are trained to progress with independence and social
awareness and to adopt patterns of behaviour which will encourage inclusion in the
wider community. For older pupils, the location of the provision will be much more
dependent on the particular special needs of the pupils.

Inclusion will always require disabled and assisted provision, with change facilities to
be available close to the class base but grouped with other toilet and changing
accommodation.

If there is a specialist resource base, for example, for pupils who have PMLD, then
proximity to hygiene facilities will be very important.


For pupils in special schools for BESD, the design and layout of the toilets and
changing accommodation should be conveniently located, not remote and clear sight
lines should ensure good supervision. The layout and design should be attractive,
robust, safe and secure to encourage positive, responsible behaviour and also allow
good passive supervision.

Clear lines of sight from the class base door to the toilet door can assist with
supervision for those gaining independence skills, or those who may wander away.

The number and type of facilities required is described in more detail, as set out
below.



The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 set out the basic minimum
statutory standards for local-education-authority-maintained mainstream, special
schools, boarding schools and independent schools.

Changing accommodation, including showers, should be provided for pupils
who have attained the age of 11 years and who are in receipt of physical
education, and that accommodation shall be readily accessible from school
grounds and from any other accommodation for PE within the school
buildings.
Compliance with the Building Regulations ADM 2004 will also need to be considered
and will affect the numbers of toilets and the intervals of 40 m at which they should
be provided.
4.14.5 Sizes of toilet, hygiene and changing spaces

In addition, Guidance Note Standards for School Premises (DfEE 0029/2000)
clarifies these requirements with additional guidance. These are summarised below:

Washrooms for pupils must have a basic number of sanitary fittings. For mainstream
chools, the number should be equivalent to 10% of the number of pupils who are
under 5, plus the number equivalent to 5% of the number of pupils who are 5 and
over. For special schools, the number should be equivalent to 10% of the number of
pupils whatever their ages
In all cases, the result of these calculations should be rounded up to the nearest
whole even number. The basic number of sanitary fittings may include those
contained in a washroom provided for persons using the premises who are disabled,
if they are also provided for pupils.

The Guidance Note also requires that:

In the case of pupils who have not attained 5 years, at least one shower, bath
or deep sink shall be provided for every 40 pupils

For all children of 8 years and older there must be separate male and female
accommodation



Additional provision for pupils with disabilities will often be necessary in order to meet
pupil needs, however, as the health, safety and well-being of the pupils are
paramount. Further details are set out below in order to assist designers in making
the appropriate provision. The numbers of toilets will need to be worked out, with the
school taking all of the above factors into account.



In all cases, there should be sufficient space for the individual users, support staff, all
necessary fittings, equipment, hygiene materials and disposal bins.

Reference can be made to the Building Regulations ADM 2004 and BS8300 for
standard layouts for accessible toilet cubicles. These are designed based on survey
study information of mainly adults and very few children, therefore, they will be
appropriate for secondary-school pupils and staff. It is not recommended to scale
down the ADM 2004 standard WC layout for primary-school-age children because
they may be larger than the average for their age due to their medical condition or
disability.

Consideration should also be made that the use of standard-sized rooms for some
compartments may assist with long-term flexibility and adaptability in the life of the
building.
Well-proportioned spaces will improve functional operations and performance for
staff and enable pupils to feel comfortable and contribute to a positive ambience.
Long, narrow spaces with awkward inaccessible corners or shapes may be difficult
not only for supervision but also for keeping clean and so these should be avoided.
The choice of ceiling height will be critical for the installation of hoists (generally 2.6
2.8 m is preferred and 2.4 m is a minimum, however it is imperative to check with
individual manufacturers for their requirements). Regular, compatible shapes will
enable adaptability and flexibility for the future


The appropriate range of toilet and changing facilities should be provided to meet the
needs of all pupils. Therefore, the designer should establish, with the LEA and
school, each relevant group of pupils and the type and range of accommodation
required to meet their needs.

a range of different individual cubicles, for use by a group of pupils as part of
a suite of accommodation, directly off a circulation area





4.14.6 Shape of toilet and hygiene spaces

The shape of the toilet and hygiene and changing accommodation should be large
enough to enable all activities to take place, incorporating suitable accessibility and
functional layouts for adequate supervision.

Space-planning layouts should be developed so that the ergonomic arrangement of
spaces to carry out individual tasks and sequences of tasks can be assured.



4.14.7 The different types of toilet and changing provision

Overall, the types of provision include toilet facilities, hygiene rooms and changing
areas directly off a circulation area. These can be accommodated by using any, or
all, of the following:
single rooms, for individual use, directly off a circulation area
a designated room for that purpose directly off a circulation area
4.14.8 Toilet facilities: WC fittings, cubicles and compartments

The spatial and functional requirements for the fixtures and fittings for these facilities
will be quite different, depending upon the different user needs, which fall into the
following three categories and are discussed in more detail below:

independent use by ambulant pupils standard toilet cubicles, as for
mainstream schools, are appropriate for independent ambulant pupils with
SEN and disabilities.

ambulant disabled pupils who need independent access with passive
supervision. Typically, a compartment with door opening outwards is 800 mm
wide and 1500 mm long, with grab rails internally and a door opening
outwards ( see BS8300, Figure 55).
non-ambulant people with disabilities who are wheelchair users need
independent access to facilities (although space for assistance is required, for
example in the event that the panic alarm is used). Typically, a compartment
for a unisex accessible corner WC layout is 1500 x 2200 mm with alternative
left-hand and right-hand layouts provided allowing different directions of
approach by the user (see ADM 2004, Figure 55).





Assisted access will be needed by some pupils, both ambulant and
wheelchair users, including young children. Staff assisting will need sufficient
space for full access around the toilet pan and space should be allowed and
provision for a ceiling-mounted or mobile hoist which may be needed.
Typically, unisex, accessible and self-contained rooms with a peninsular WC
pan for assisted use can be provided in a space 2400 x 2200 mm (see
BS8300, Figure 59).
Alternatively, a toilet cubicle 2000 x 2000 mm, with a centrally positioned WC
pan, will provide sufficient space for assistance in most cases.
In other cases, side-transfer arrangements from the wheelchair requires there
to be a space between the back of the WC pan and the wall behind. Some
pupils with poor head and trunk control may need additional proprietary
support aids or chair commodes. These should be located to ensure privacy
and beadjacent to changing/disposal facilities.

For all of the above, however, accommodation modifications and adaptations may be
provided, which include:

wider, outward-opening doors and larger cubicles for those needing
assistance
visual contrast, tactile signs or cues and mobility training facilities for those
who have sensory impairment
adequate lighting and light fittings
floor and other surfaces which are glare-free, non-slip and easy to clean


4.14.9 Hygiene rooms

Such provision can be made in a designated room, or as part of a hygiene room or
changing room. An assessment should be made for the required level of provision for
the appropriate facilities around the school, within reasonable travel distances, so as
to ensure accessibility of the whole school.

In all cases, the location, size, layout and fixtures of facilities to meet special needs
demands careful and detailed consideration. Hygiene and changing rooms for older
pupils and adults will vary from those described above.

Hygiene provision can be classified by type for all phases of education:

General facility for users with disabilities

This facility for users with disabilities may be provided for staff, visitors or pupils, for
example in a mainstream school where no other facilities are provided. It will cater for
use by only one person using the facility at any a time, although adult helpers may be
in attendance.



Typically, this may be 2.5 m x 2.4 m (see ADM 2004, Diagram 24) or 2500 mm x
3100 mm (BS8300) for independent use with a ceiling-mounted hoist. A hygiene
room with a space of 3400 mm x 3400 mm will facilitate a variety of layouts for either
a corner WC and shower layout for assisted layout peninsular WC and shower
layouts with a ceiling-mounted hoist and space for a changing bed.
16




It must lock from the inside, and open onto a circulation space other than the stairs. It
will have an accessible toilet, a wash-hand basin with lever taps and a shower with a
seat.
The space must be designed for the needs of the person who is disabled. Needs
should be anticipated as far as is practicable and reasonable, but the requirement for
assistance and provision of hoisting may vary. For example, sometimes a deep sink
is provided in such a room instead of a shower or sluice. For this type of facility, the
standard that washrooms for staff and visitors must be separate from those of pupils
does not apply, however the appropriate management of such facilities are the
responsibility of the school.
Hygiene room for wheelchair users
This provision is required for pupils who are wheelchair users and need access to a
shower bed connected to a sluice directly to foul drainage. For this type of provision
there will be a ceiling-mounted or mobile hoist and a clinical wash-hand basin with
lever taps. There should be space for one or two adult support workers. The school
may need a mobile heightadjustable trolley in which a pupil may sit for showering
and which allows helpers to assist from both sides. Allowing room for more than one
adult helper and bulky lifting equipment pays dividends. Mobile height-adjustable
trolleys suitable for both showering and changing can be safer for both pupils and
staff than fixed-height changing tables and can discharge directly over a sluice into
the foul drainage system.

Typically, a space of 3.5 m x 3.5 m, or 4 m x 4 m will suffice.

Hygiene rooms for wheelchair users with disabilities

This type of room is required for pupils who are wheelchair users and who require a
provision which is a combination of the two examples described above. This will
comprise a self-contained suite of accommodation, with a corner or assisted WC
pan, a wash-hand basin, a mobile changing shower bed with sluice and a changing
bed. Such spaces would be suited to a variety of provision for independent and
assisted use, learning and training. It also provides an environment which reflects a
similar model to domestic or general public facilities, as opposed to hospital clinical
areas.

A separate, lockable, enclosed hygiene room of sufficient size is the preferred
arrangement. In other cases, where hygiene and toilet accommodation is part of a

16
Hampshire County Council School Inclusion Brief, 2004.
suite with controlled access, there should be a cubicle, or an area which is curtained
off (use of temporary screens positioned around the door entrance for privacy, could
also be made, if appropriate).

An area of about 20 m
2
and typical dimensions and room sizes which enable
accessibility are:

3.7 x 5.0 =19 m
2
/ 4 x 4.8 =19 m
2

3.7 x 5.4 =20 m
2
/ 4.5 x 4.5 =20 m
2


4.14.10 Wash hand basins and personal care for pupils
Facilities for washing hands should be in close proximity to WCs and should allow for
supervision and training of pupils to develop good habits of self-care. Specially
designed wash-hand basins at a fixed height for accessibility of adjustable-height
wash-hand basins can be provided according to the range of pupil needs.
The location of soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers should be set out
(alternative means of hand drying will need to be discussed if there is a risk of pupils
blocking toilets with paper towels). Warm-air hand driers can be used but cross-
infection risks should be assessed.



There should be sufficient area which allows for transfer by mobile or ceiling-
mounted hoists and temporary storage of a wheelchair and adequate space for two
support workers. Careful planning should ensure that there is no clash between
curtains, cubicle framing and hoists (see Hoists in Section 5.1.5).

Generally, hygiene/changing spaces can be unisex, i.e. used for a male or female
pupil on separate occasions, provided that there is suitable privacy, access and
appropriate school management procedures to ensure proper use.

Hygiene rooms should be self-contained and general circulation routes must not pass
through such areas.

Some schools may want a bath in the changing areas as part of developing life skills
and the requirements should be stated in the brief.



4.14.11 Hand-washing for support staff

Provision for clinical wash-hand basins and hand drying for staff should also be
made. Facilities for washing hands should be in close proximity to WCs and hygiene
areas as a part of infection control and hygienic practice. This should be a clinical
washbasin with lever taps. Paper-towel dispensers and disposal bins are all
appropriate.

Exceptionally, there may need to be provision of a wash-hand basin in the cubicle, if
there a high risk of transfer of contaminated waste on a person.

The location of soap dispensers, paper-towel dispensers, hand cream, alcohol wipes,
alcohol cleansers and plastic gloves should be identified and provided for in the
design and all fixtures clearly shown on elevation.

Hygienic arrangements for the storage of clean materials, disposal of soiled
dressings and transfer of clothing to laundry, should be incorporated.


4.14.12 Disposal of waste products

The location of facilities for waste-product disposal should be considered as part of
the brief, which should set out requirements for the designer which ensure that
hygienic arrangements are made. This will involve the consideration of the disposal
of soiled nappies/liners or sanitary products in bins (clinical waste bins are usually
inside cubicles) and the transfer of soiled clothing to the laundry (usually in plastic
bags).

Designs should incorporate suitable provision for various types of waste disposal
containers, suitably identified according to the type of waste and the method of
disposal. Disposal bins should not be placed in the transfer area for a wheelchair
user.

Where clinical waste accumulates in small quantities daily, suitable disposal
containers should be provided. Clinical waste should be properly sealed, labelled and
kept secure, before removal as reasonably practicable (and preferably not less than
once a week). Designers will need to consult the school and local PCT and ascertain
the exact arrangements in each case. (Reference can be made to Safe Disposal of
Clinical Waste, HSC, 1995)


In most special schools, and in some resourced provisions attached to a mainstream
school, a self-contained laundry facility will be required. This could be a room of
about 6 m

4.14.13 Laundry
2
subject to its use.
Provision can be made centrally, or laundry spaces can be incorporated adjacent to,
but separate from, each hygiene space. In this case, the arrangement works well
where machines fit under a worktop with spare clothes storage in boxes on shelves
above. Such a layout will avoid the mixing of clothes that can occur with a central
laundry.






4.14.14 Changing areas and showers
Pupils welfare may be a particular issue when showering and changing, and
accommodation needs to balance the need for privacy and supervision as well as be
cost effective. Generally pupils changing rooms should be separate from those for
staff and visitors.
Nowadays, general good practice is for individual shower cubicles.

A number of shower facilities should be available for ambulant and non- ambulant
users with independent and assisted access, as appropriate. Stringent privacy may
be required for some pupils due to exceptional special needs or religious beliefs.

Many pupils with mobility impairments may prefer to use the same facilties as their
peers, but with modifications, e.g. clothes hooks at lower level.
Changing and shower areas can be classified by type and purpose as follows:

Suitable, accessible hygiene/changing rooms should be provided for both examples
described above. Changing areas with an assisted toilet, a shower which is
wheelchair-accessible and a bath or shower trolley, are a necessary provision.

4.14.15 Changing rooms for PE or drama
Separate boys and girls changing areas should be provided adjacent or close to the
assembly/sports/PE/movement hall, and also within easy travelling distance to
outside sports and activity areas.
The changing area will be screened with benching and coat hooks for dry changing
for PE or drama. There will also be a separate wet shower area with individual
cubicles and benching.
The designer should establish the extent of wheelchair-accessible accommodation
which is required and the level of assistance needed. As a general principle, the
designer should make the general male/female changing room wheelchair-accessible
to provide for choice. Toilet and hygiene accommodation will be provided as part of
this, in close proximity to the hall (refer also to Sport England guidance see
References).

dry changing rooms and toilet accommodation for PE or drama with
associated shower areas

separate boys and girls dry changing areas next to the sports/movement hall

wet changing rooms and toilet accommodation for hydrotherapy with
associated shower areas

Some changing rooms and spaces can be designed as unisex provision to be used
by either boys or girls on different occasions provided suitable access is built into the
design for privacy.





The showers should have centrally controlled thermostatic water so that pupils
cannot tamper with controls. Provision for storage for dry and wet towels, and
arrangements for their disposal, should be made.


4.14.16 Changing rooms for hydrotherapy

Separate boys and girls wet changing areas, which can be accessed from the
general circulation corridor with access from the external corridor areas to changing
area and then to the pool area, are required. Similar accommodation to that above
will be provided between the entrance and the pool area.

In most special schools where pupils need assistance, hoisting to the pool from the
changing area will be required, preferably with a ceiling-mounted hoist and for a
limited distance in order to preserve the pupils dignity and respect (this provision will
be in addition to a separate poolside hoist which may be used independently or with
assistance).

In addition to showers in the changing room, there should be foot showers to the pool
area and, where required, entry poolside showers.





Non-slip tiled floors with visual contrast to the tiled walls should be provided (refer to
BS8300).

For the design of any ramped areas, reference should be made to DfES
Constructional Standards, BS8300 and current BS or DIN slip-resistance test
information in relation to the individual materials and proposed situation.


4.14.17 Fixtures, fittings and finishes

The correct specification and location of fixtures and fittings is crucial but also
difficult. Again, the age of the pupil is important to select the appropriate items.
Standard packages are also available for change/shower trolleys, with appropriate
foul-drain connections.

Toilets, urinals and handbasins should be selected to reflect the age of the pupils. All
levers, handles, dispensers, etc. should be suitable for use, according to the type of
need, such as for physical disabilities or for behaviour difficulty, as appropriate.

Proprietary cubicle and ductwork systems designed for children are available and
work well. They introduce colour into the space, as well as allowing supervision whilst
respecting dignity. They also conceal all pipework whilst providing maintenance
access. Shelving for spare clothes and disposables can also be incorporated neatly.

For other fittings, e.g. benching with clothes hooks in wet and dry changing areas,
standard items are available.

4.14.18 Infection control

There are five routes of transmission by which infection can spread between people:

contact Direct or indirect contact with an infected person (contaminated door
handles and laundry)

droplet Micro-organisms emitted in droplets of liquid when people sneeze or
cough

airborne Pathogens carried in the air, droplets which evaporate, or on dust
particles

common vehicle Disease carried in water or on food (legionnaires disease
bacteria breed in air-cooling towers and water transmitted in a mist in the
building)
vector-borne Transmitted by animals and insects (spaces should be sealed
and surfaces cleaned to avoid food sources)
Designing for a clean, safe environment involves having an understanding of the role
of infection control in the environment and the designed-in infection control. The
following considerations should be made for these issues:

Materials and finishes should be selected to minimise maintenance and be fit for
purpose. All finishes in medical, hygiene and food preparation areas should be
chosen with cleaning in mind, so smooth non-porous water-resistant surfaces are
required.
Many children in special schools are vulnerable to infection. Key infection control
policies should be in place and implemented in the planning of a special school and
the design of the building should support these, as appropriate. In particular, school
designs should facilitate and support practices for the:
safe handling and disposal of clinical waste
outcome of catering and food-hygiene policies




Cleaners stores should be provided dedicated to hygiene areas, as well as general
cleaners stores, so that equipment used in the hygiene areas is not used elsewhere.
Cleaners sinks should be provided in the cleaners stores.
17






appropriate design, accessibility and space contribute to ease of cleaning and
maintenance (space for bins, access for cleaning

design of floors walls, ceilings, doors, windows, interior design, fixtures and
fittings for easy access, cleaning and durability

surfaces that facilitate easy cleaning are smooth, hard and impervious



housekeeping and cleaning of all pupil areas
outcome of maintenance policies
Managing cross-infection is a complex subject, but there are certain practical
measures which will tend to reduce risk. The following relate specifically to
environmental and planning issues:
Hygiene, WC, shower areas, cleaners rooms, areas holding soiled clothes or clinical
waste and laundries should all be mechanically ventilated and be slightly negatively
pressurized relative to adjacent spaces. This is, in any case, desirable for control of
odour.
Wash-hand facilities should be provided in areas where soiled materials or spillages
will be dealt with, and in all hygiene areas

Food and drink preparation areas should not be combined with laundries or hygiene
areas. Dedicated laundries are preferred. Soiled clothing and clinical waste should be
held in separate dedicated areas.






17
See Infection Control in the Built Environment (NHS Estates, 2002).
5 SPECIALIST SECTIONS

It is essential to ensure that maximum access to learning and social opportunities are
achieved through the appropriate specialist resources, equipment and furniture. It is
imperative to ensure full accessibility and barrier-free design for all pupils and staff
moving around appropriate parts of the building.
Providing comfortable furniture which allows pupils to participate in all activities is of
the utmost importance. Consultation should take place with the LEA, school and
designated specialists to ensure that all requirements are built into the design.





5.1 Furniture, fittings, and equipment


It may also involve obtaining advice from occupational therapists or physiotherapists
and specialist suppliers.
At the design stage, it is recommended that a full schedule of fittings, furniture and
equipment is drawn up, the rationale for its use and location determined, and
responsibility allocated for providing such items.
Normally, loose furniture and equipment are supplied outside of the building contract
and the designer may not have an input into their selection. It is important, however,
that the designer fully understands what is to be placed in the class base, to ensure
there are no negative impacts on the space or the services to be provided which
might otherwise be overlooked.
Space-planning and room layouts should be prepared (along with internal elevations
with all fittings, furniture and equipment shown) early on the design process for
discussion and agreement. Without this level of detail it is difficult for teachers to
comment on the appropriateness of the design.
Ergonomics can be defined as the study of the efficiency of persons in their working
environment and the provision of sufficient space to perform the tasks for each room
or suite of rooms. Therefore, the ergonomic arrangement of spaces to carry out
individual tasks and sequences of tasks is vital.

The design approach will be determined by considering the factors below.

5.1.1 Appropriate provision for SEN

Furniture and equipment should be suitable for its use, for the age and type of pupils,
and for the range of their special educational needs. Furniture and equipment to be
used by adults should also be appropriate for its purpose, users and location
Some pupils with physical disabilities are independent and able to move about
alongside their peers. Other pupils may have less upper-body mobility and may not
be able to self propel, if they use wheelchairs. They may be able, however, to
manipulate controls to an electrically powered automatic wheelchair. A number of
pupils who have multiple disabilities require a great deal of support and assistance,
especially when moving from one location to another.

The designer needs to be aware, therefore, of the different issues involved in relation
to use of wheelchairs and their impact on the physical environment. It is imperative
that there be sufficient circulation for mobility equipment. Reference should be made
to BS8300, as a minimum standard. A higher standard of provision may often be
required to meet the needs of pupils with physical or multiple disabilities. Accessibility
must also be ensured for those working with pupils who are prone, using wheelchairs
or walking aids (see Mobility equipment and its use, below).

Many pupils will have furniture made to measure for their individual needs. Different
ranges of specialist educational furniture, fittings, equipment and their layout and
arrangement may be needed to support various pupil needs and teaching methods.


The need for height-adjustable furniture will have to be carefully considered. Some or
all of the work-desks, sinks and equipment should be height-adjustable so that the
facility can be accessed comfortably by all users, including pupils and adults of
different heights, and wheelchair users (see Mobility equipment and its use, below).
There is a whole range of proprietary and purpose-made specialist furniture
available, with appropriate framing, mobility, padding, support and additional aids to
suit to a range of needs. These may include:

side-supported lying boards, plastic-coated foam-filled wedges, rolls and
supports
bean bags, cushions or hammocks
supported foam-cushioned upright support seats or armchairs, rocking and
swinging chairs with appropriate framed supports, and feeder seats

All of these require sufficient space in order to be used appropriately, and all
furniture and supports should be easy to clean and should conform to fire-retardant
and safety standards.
Space-planning layouts should show suitable furniture arrangements which enable
pupils who are wheelchair users to access the curriculum, participate alongside their
peers, and move around the learning environment. Space for adult assistants
working next to pupils must be available if required.

Those pupils who use wheelchairs may have several pieces of mobility equipment or
various types of chair for different supported body positions, both for health reasons
and to suit different teaching and learning situations. Adaptations and attachments to
wheelchairs can be made to facilitate mobility for pupils and improve their access to
the curriculum. Such wheelchair fittings may require space to be used appropriately
(for example, the use of large trays as work surfaces on which there may be a range
of communication aids (see Mobility equipment and its use, below).


It is also important to have an understanding of the rationale for and impact of
incorporating ceiling-mounted hoists in the overall space, and of the type of fixtures
required (see Hoists, below).

For pupils who have visual impairment, furniture, fittings and dcor may need to have
appropriate visual and tonal contrast, distinctive colour-coding or tactile stimuli with
different textures.

When selecting furniture and fittings, it may be appropriate to avoid the use of large
areas of highly reflective hard reverberant surfaces (such as metal, glass and wood)
which will be a contributory factor to the overall acoustics of room and may affect the
perception of sound. Unwanted noise and sound distortion may affect pupils who
have hearing impairment, speech, language and communication needs or visual
impairment.

Pupils who have hearing impairment will often have a U-shaped furniture layout
facing the whiteboard and teacher with CCTV (ceiling- or floor-mounted) in the
middle. It is important that they have a clear, undistracted view of the teacher, the
whiteboard and of each others faces for lip reading and for signing. Similarly, it is
beneficial if their ICT suites are arranged in this manner, so floor boxes and ducts are
needed to facilitate this.

For pupils who have learning difficulties, furniture, equipment and display areas can
be used to set the scene, and to provide appropriate focus, stimulus and information
about the specialist subject and learning activities and tasks at hand. It is essential
that there be enough workspace for communication and learning aids as well as all
curriculum materials. In most cases, a width of 700900 mm and a depth of 600800
mm will suffice.

Pupils who have behaviour, emotional and social difficulties may need to have
separate work-tables or desks with a good workspace for all materials, according to
different needs, teaching styles and learning situations. These may be individual
separate work-tables with space around them arranged in rows, but staggered so
that the pupils and teachers can see each other and the whiteboard. Such an
arrangement can to minimise distraction, interference or disruption between pupils.

At other times pupils may be working as a group around a set of tables or may work
in a U-shape or horseshoe arrangement. There may also be a couple of separate
computer workstations in the class base, sometimes to form individual workspaces,
with screens which aim to minimise distraction and aid concentration. An area of the
teaching space set out as a quiet corner where a pupil may withdraw from the main
group can also be accommodated.

For a number of pupils with autism, the class base may have minimal fixtures and will
appear bare. Teachers may introduce stimuli or teaching materials or furniture into
the space according to the ability of the pupil to integrate and accept these sensory
or informational inputs for teaching and learning.

For others, there may need to be flexible furniture arrangements which the teacher
can vary to suit pupil needs and different methods of teaching and curriculum
delivery (such as TEACHH, PECS or ABA). For example, there might be individual
workstations and group areas divided by low-level screens to subdivide the room.
Sometimes a more a structured approach for display, storage and furniture is also
used. The type of teaching approach must be ascertained so that the designer can
advise on the layout of the space, as appropriate.

For pupils who may sometimes exhibit inappropriate behaviour or behaviour that
challenges, only a few items of furniture or resources are used at a time. If this is the
case, there should be adequate storage nearby so that resources, furniture and
equipment can be put away or brought out to suit the teaching and learning routines.

Where the outcome of special educational needs results in a tendency to pull down
hangings, fiddle with fixtures and damage wall finishes, consultation with staff is
required to ensure that the appropriate provision to be made. Some furniture and
fittings may need to be protected or removed, if it poses a risk or a problem in
relation to a situation. The design may need to be able to accommodate unusual
situations.


5.1.2 Appropriate provision for age and phase of education

The furniture required will vary within each class base and its provision should be
age-appropriate.

Early years
Typically, a primary class base would have pinboards, hat and coat hooks, shoe
boxes, and worktops with a sink, kitchen-type base and wall units.
In many ways the class base will be equipped to deliver Foundation Stage and
primary curriculum in a way similar to mainstream, but will be laid out and adapted to
suit the type and range of SEN and disabilities of the pupils. Therefore, it is essential
that sufficient space be allowed.
Secondary
The possibility of having different furniture layouts is essential, examples being
layouts in rows, peninsular units forming bays, U shape or horseshoe arrangements
and grouped tables to form one large work-surface.

There are many integrated settings for early years where furniture may be set out in
a semi-permanent arrangement for different types of play and learning activities.
Smaller-scale furniture, fittings, ICT and play equipment are essential in all of these.
Whilst many items of furniture will be the same as for mainstream use, provision for
some needs will vary significantly for the very young. For example, some nursery
pupils who have autism may need a more structured environment than is generally
provided in a mainstream nursery or may have other significant needs. Advice from
appropriate specialists as a part of early intervention is essential as this will help
ensure that the design is appropriate.

Primary




Secondary class bases may either adopt an approach similar to mainstream with
subject-specific layouts, or have layouts specifically for the range and type of
curriculum specifically suited to pupils needs. A space just inside the class base for
those who need to orientate themselves will be required. Space for coats and bags
just inside a class base will also be needed and should not form a trip hazard.


Post-16 tutor bases

Furniture should reflect the approaching adult status of the students, with furniture
systems similar to those suitable for college or office/work-placement environments.
Common rooms will have suitable low-level easy chairs and lounge furniture similar
to a foyer or public reception area or college common room.


5.1.3 Furniture arrangements and curriculum delivery

Pupil workspace

The appropriate choice of furniture, fittings and equipment can greatly facilitate and
benefit pupils engagement in the teaching and learning process. The area and
design of work surfaces should allow sufficient space for communication and learning
aids, ICT within easy reach of the pupil and for an assistant to work alongside. There
should be the appropriate depth and width of work surfaces and distance to objects
or fittings. Typically, a work surface in the range of 700900 mm wide and 600800
mm deep should suffice in most cases.

Space for flexibility

Furniture requirements will vary with each class base and should be age-appropriate.
The outcome of decisions about where and when loose furniture will be required in
relation to specific special educational needs and ages will ensure that flexible
arrangements of furniture for day-to-day curriculum delivery by teachers are possible.

Different arrangements of furniture may be employed for different pupil groupings
and styles of teaching. It is essential that there be sufficient space to enable teachers
to arrange furniture, fittings and equipment, and to fit out, model and remodel spaces
in a flexible, adaptable way according to the type and range of pupil needs as well as
the teaching and learning style. Screens are often used to create divisions between
furniture, workspaces or different parts of rooms.

Circulation space

The need for circulation space and the appropriateness of fixed or loose furniture
must be considered carefully in relation to the delivery of the curriculum. It is sensible
to ensure that the extent of wall and base units is strictly limited to avoid loss of
teaching area and limiting of flexible use of wall space.

There should be adequate space for circle time and gathering around the
whiteboard. It is essential to allow sufficient space around furniture for circulation of
all users, including wheelchair users and those using mobility equipment as well as
their support workers.

Similarly, for the outdoor curriculum, careful location of seating (with or without arm
rests) is necessary, allowing space for wheelchair users to be included in social
groupings.

Fixed or loose furniture

It is important that different arrangements of furniture can be made for curriculum
delivery. Therefore, built-in or fixed fittings may need to be limited so that they do not
reduce the flexibility and adaptability of the room.

It may be beneficial that fittings are not built in to the main structure or construction in
such a way that they cannot be easily removed should the use or layout of the room
need to change. Fixed furniture in the middle of the room should also be avoided.

It is recommended, therefore, that there is the minimum of fixed and built-in furniture
and fittings, because this will limit the available floor space and flexible arrangement
of room layout. It may also be better to avoid fixed-height benching within worktops
and to provide sinks at different heights to suit different pupil and adult needs.

Display

Display is an essential part of school life. The display-space requirements for
curriculum delivery and in relation to pupil needs should be integrated into the
design. Provision of pinboards in all relevant areas, including class bases, will be
necessary. Display should be well-organised to avoid visual clutter, introduce colour
where suitable and be appropriate to the sensory needs of the pupils, avoiding
overload.

ICT
Specialist furniture and equipment



In all teaching spaces, pupils should be able to view the teacher and any visual-
display area such as a whiteboard. It should be possible to have access to ICT and
electrical power on any wall of the class base to enable flexible delivery of the
curriculum. Pupils should, as far as possible, be able to access computers in any part
of the teaching space. Workspaces should have sufficient space for ICT equipment,
and learning and communication aids as well as space for a teaching assistant to
work alongside a pupil.


Specialist suppliers have developed both custom-made and standard products. They
have their own approach to fitting out spaces and planning appropriate services to
suit.

Sinks and drainers should have space on both sides to allow a safe, accessible work
space for ambulant and non-ambulant pupils to work alone, together or with
assistance.
Separation between sink areas and electrical or ICT areas is essential, and suitable
vertical divisions of durable, moisture-resistant and non-permanent construction are
preferred, (permanent construction of block-work, plastered and tiled abutting walls
may inhibit future flexible use of the teaching space).
Most practical specialist teaching spaces will require space for accessible
workstations.

Adjustable-height sinks and benching may also be needed for pupils and staff of
different heights and those in standing frames or wheelchairs. This will enable the
facility to be accessed comfortably by all users. Adjustable-height units may be
operated manually, electrically or electronically.

Controls must be within reach and easily adjustable for safe smooth operation as far
as possible by the pupils or staff, as appropriate, and have built-in safety devices,
guards or protective facilities to suit.

As well as adjustable-height units for the sinks, one or more worktops or
workbenches will be needed, as appropriate for the specialist subject. These will be
integrated into the layout, which should be chosen to suit both curricular and pupils
needs. Some points to consider are set out below:

Fixed pedestal or carousel units It is best if these are not provided in the
middle of the space where they will restrict accessibility, flexibility and
adaptability for teaching and learning.

Bays or peninsular units The teacher may need to move in and out of the
bays, making active and passive supervision more difficult unless there are
teaching assistants as well.

Perimeter benching Pupils will need to be able to turn to see the teacher,
whiteboard and display and so this layout may not be suitable to meet the
needs of some pupils.
Positioning Different locations in a class base can be exploited in order to
meet a range of individual needs, for example, a corner position or facing a
bare wall may provide a suitable non-distraction workspace.
Design quality


Snack-making

Snack-making facilities with access to a microwave, fridge and kettle may be desired
by some schools. If this is the case, kitchen units with work space should be planned
at an early stage, with services properly sited to ensure health and safety
requirements are met. Drinking water should be available. Sinks and any cooking
facilities may need to be enclosed to reduce the risk of injury or damage. For
example, gated areas are usually provided in early-years settings. It is sensible to
ensure that the extent of wall and base units is strictly limited to avoid loss of
teaching area and limiting of the flexibility of use of wall space.

Services coordination

The relative positions of furniture and services, the heights and clearances of
radiators and heights of dados for electrical and data conduits should be coordinated.
The height of displays, mirrors, signs, switches shelving and wall fixtures should suit
the pupils age and size.

It is also important to have an understanding of the rationale and impact of
incorporating ceiling-mounted hoists in the overall space, in relation to any furniture,
fittings and the type of fixtures required (see Hoists, below).

Staff furniture needs

Staff spend a long time working with children, sometime intensively, so it is essential
that they have the appropriate ergonomic furniture.

Adults should not be expected to use child-size furniture. A range of suitably sized
classroom chairs as well as adjustable-height chairs or stools, stationary or mobile
(such as therapy stools on castors) should be considered.

Suitable office chairs with adjustable height, back support and appropriate support
and positioning for working with ICT, including foot rests, may be required. The
height of counters, desks, computer stations, benches, sinks and other furniture
should be fit for purpose for the users. A range of informal cushioned furniture of
different sizes and shapes in the staff room for relaxation and suitable attractive and
hard-wearing kitchen and dining furniture will be needed.


For inclusive settings, designers should provide a pleasant, calm, uplifting, functional
and practical environment, which allows for flexibility and adaptability and facilitates
user participation. In this way the character and ambience of the space is enhanced
for everyone.

The appropriate selection of good-quality furniture and equipment should be made in
relation to the right balance for support, comfort, safety, robustness and durability. It
should also be ergonomically well-designed and comply with all relevant British
Standards and European Norms.

Furniture should have the appropriate fire resistance and spread-of-flame rating. It
should be attractive, fit for purpose and age-appropriate. The appropriate use of
colour and texture for the ready identification and use furniture and equipment should
be considered.
.
Safety issues should be considered in relation to furniture. Furniture should be safe
and have no sharp edges or projections which could cause harm by accident, or
through unintentional or intentional inappropriate use. The outcome of health and
safety assessments should anticipate uses by pupils with special educational needs.

All flat or folding screens used to create divisions between furniture, workspaces or
rooms should be stable, robust and safe.


Fixtures, fittings and equipment should be accessible for cleaning, not
adversely affected by the use of the appropriate cleaning agents and able to
dry quickly.
Bacteria can build up in areas where dust accumulates, e.g. on ledges and
projections and in recesses. This may affect the choice of furniture used and
cleaning and maintenance cycles, for example of ICT and electrical
equipment.




Infection control
Maintenance of hygiene and provision of easily cleanable surfaces for plastics, metal,
wood and laminates will guide the choice of furniture and fittings. It is essential that
any covers for soft furnishings be washable at high temperatures.

Furnishings, fittings and equipment have a role in infection control, depending on
both the general and medical needs of the pupils. In particular, there are the following
points to consider:

Work surfaces should be free of dirt-traps such as fissures and open joints,
which can be sealed.
Surfaces near plumbing fixtures should be smooth, non-porous, water-
resistant and easily cleaned.

5.1.4 Soft furnishings
Choosing furnishings which are easily adaptable and responsive to a range of pupil
needs is important.
Soft furnishings should always be selected in the light of their appropriateness for
each situation and location. Soft furnishings may need to be seam-free (if possible or
practicable), easily accessed for cleaning, not adversely affected by disinfectants or
detergents and able to dry quickly.
Curtains

Curtains can add colour and character and be sound-absorbing. They can also
harbour micro-organisms and should be able to be laundered at frequent intervals
and be made of material which can withstand high temperatures. The method of
operation, whether by hand or remote control should be also considered for effective,
convenient use.

Blinds

Full dim-out is now an essential requirement in many teaching spaces and
consideration of the use of blinds or curtains should be made.

Blinds for internal and external shading will be needed to offset glare on some
facades. Blinds should be provided to rooflights to prevent excessive solar gain, and
to control glare and direct sunlight on pupils. Any solar-shading devices, including
those for rooflights, must be readily adjustable to cater for a range of conditions.

Blinds must not interfere with windows or restrict ventilation and the integration of
these elements is important particularly where natural ventilation is the only means of
removing heat and excess carbon dioxide.

As a guide the following should be considered:

Slatted blinds may give sharp contrasts of light and shade (strobe effect for
some).




Horizontal metal venetian blinds can collect dust and are inconsistent
operationally becoming easily jammed or dislodged unless the blind cord is
retained by a captive mechanism.
Vertical blinds are relatively easy to control but more delicate and prone to
damage and dust accumulation.

Roller blinds are relatively easy to control, but blind cords need to be captive
and can be a distraction. Light colours may not be sufficient to control glare
from strong sunlight, but blackout may be too drastic a measure and give high
contrasts of light and shade in the class base; perforated material in mid grey
may control glare and still afford a view out.

Interstitial blinds may be needed to internal glazing and vision panels in doors
to afford privacy. If there are high risks present, then external or
interstitial/mid-pane blinds, whilst expensive, may be the only acceptable
solution. These counter the risks to pupils associated with internal blinds.
Design of blinds should be appropriate to the needs of the pupils. For example:
Blinds may need to be water-resistant in wet areas.
Pupil access to blinds may be a safety or management problem.
The visual difficulties of the pupils will need to be considered.
For pupils with behaviour that challenges, particular types of blinds are likely
to cause damage or injury.
Pupils may not be able to verbalise their needs or carry out adjustment
responsibly and so staff should be trained to use the blinds and be responsive
to their needs.

School-management issues should be considered so that appropriate staff training is
given for the use of blinds in response to pupils needs and to ensure that the blinds
are opened when no longer needed.




Contrasting tones of colour can be used but effectively to assist recognition,
and wayfinding, and for differentiation of wall and floor surfaces, doors,
handles, frames, etc.
For further information see Building Regulations ADM.

Research has identified the minimum difference between colours in order to create a
detectable contrast, for application to interior design. RNIB advice on visual
contrast
18
identifies three acceptable colour schemes:
1. Monochromatic One colour is dominant and other shades are based around
the same reference colour. e.g. all shades of blue.


Colour
Colour should be considered in relation to light levels, visibility, maintenance and
psychological effect.
The following points in relation to colour may be useful:

Light colours will assist with good-quality light reflectance in the space,
whereas dark colours reflect less light, and may contribute to glare.
Changes in the tactile qualities of surfaces can be reinforced by colour and
visual contrast to assist with wayfinding.

Colour coding can identify each class base with a unique colour expressed in
doors, frames, handles, walls, and wallfloor junctions, as appropriate.

Colour will be added by the teachers and pupils in activities undertaken and in
their display of work so excessive use of bright colours or patterns can result
in over-stimulation or visual confusion.

Colour using pastels and softer, subtle, subdued tones be can be uplifting,
soothing or calming for pupils who need a low stimulus or non-distraction
environment, so enabling teachers to introduce stimuli suit pupils needs.

Bright colours in large expanses and strong patterns can be overstimulating,
confusing or distracting, whereas passive cool colours such as blue-green,
light green and beige are thought to aid concentration.




2. Contrasting One dominant colour is selected, but there is a choice of
intensities of that colour or a complementary colour (e.g. blue and orange).

3. Harmonious One dominant colour with varying levels of intensity, combined
with and one or two other colours fairly close in the spectrum.

These contrasting colours should be applied to critical surfaces of key building

18
A Design Guide for the Use of Colour and Contrast to Improve the Built Environment for
Visually Impaired People (RNIB and J MU Access Partnership, 1997). Also available as a CD-
Rom from ICI visit www.duluxtrade.co.uk.
components (i.e. walls, ceilings, floors, doors, features, fixed seating or hazards).
Next, secondary features such as skirting boards and trims should be considered.
Secondary features also include:

signage contrast between characters and sign background
toilets darker colours behind white sanitary fittings, different colours for
dispensers, toilet seats or roll holders
switches to contrast against background
circulation routes or paths contrast in colour and tone of floor or ground
access doors contrast between the door and frame or the frame and wall
visual tasks contrast between work-surfaces and utensils or materials


Hoists
There are instances where staff need to move pupils who have physical and
profound multiple difficulties using mobile or ceiling-mounted hoists.
Health and Safety Manual-handling Regulations may require the use of hoists.
Where ceiling-mounted hoists may need to be used on a regular basis, the support,
bearing, tracking and the appropriate ceiling height should be planned at the outset.
Depending on the method of structural support, the roof or ceiling or wall structure
must be designed to be capable of the maximum live and static load, bearing in mind
the likely age and weight of the pupil, who could be adult size in secondary-level
provision.
The tracking will impact on the ceiling height minimum heights particularly in
hygiene areas may be 2.52.7 m, however these should be checked with individual
manufacturers. The tracking will also impact on the lighting and ceiling layouts so
both will need coordination.

5.1.5 Equipment






It is recommended that tracking is not in long lengths and does not pass through
doors, causing an acoustic and privacy issue. The hoist tracking must allow a curtain
to be drawn around a WC, shower or shower-bed in a hygiene or changing area.

Adequate and well-designed space is imperative for a hoist to be used efficiently and
safely. There should be sufficient space for appropriate hoist operation, manoeuvring
of pupils and correct staff positioning, as well as for the support worker to carry out
tasks when the hoist is not in use.

In addition, space may be required for temporary positioning or storing of a
wheelchair or standing frame, depending upon where and how transfer operations
take place.

Portable mobile hoists will take up more space than ceiling-mounted hoists. The
turning circle for a mobile hoist and support worker is 2300 mm diameter (BS8300).

It is imperative that there is sufficient space for all of the above so that injuries do not
occur as a result of working in a confined space. For further information, see Patient
hoists in Pupil toilets and HBN 40, Volume 2: Common Activity Spaces NHS.

Mobility equipment and its use

It is essential that there be effective space-planning to allow for the use of mobility
equipment by pupils and staff in the learning environment.
Designers will need to familiarise themselves with the different types of mobility
equipment which pupils and their support workers use. Building Regulations ADM
illustrates certain situations using a typical traditional NHS wheelchair or
walking/standing frame.


There is, however, a whole range of mobility equipment, as stated above, used for
different purposes by pupils with SEN and disabilities, independently or with
assistance.

It is vital that the sufficient space be allowed for the appropriate manoeuvrability for
functional use, including tolerances for clearances to other items of furniture or
structure.

Wheelchairs are getting larger and more sophisticated. The design and technology is
forever advancing in order to maximise life chances for people with disabilities.
Designers must allow sufficient space so that such developments and their impact on
the design can be accommodated.

Design dimensions should take into account mobility equipment when occupied and
in use, allowing for projection of limbs, bulky clothing or shoes, arm rests in different
positions, upright or reclining seating (to almost horizontal), foot-rests and
extensions.

Typical issues for consideration by designers are.

Pupils may use a combination of indoor and outdoor wheelchairs, walking
frames and/or walking aids such as sticks. Others may also use standing
frames and prone or side lying frames.

Many pupils carry packs or bags, usually on the back of their wheelchair
although sometimes slim hold-alls are carried at the side as well. Other
attachments can be made, such as a joystick control, or a large tray with a
speech-communicator device.

Pupils who can move around in wheelchairs actively and independently may
wish to change between different chairs and access mobility storage bays,
battery-charging equipment and all other facilities with the minimum of
disruption to their daily life at school.

Psychologically, a contemporary well-designed wheelchair with bright colours,
and some camber may improve a pupils self-image and self-esteem. In a
similar way, a well-designed learning environment can have a positive effect.

Pupils with disabilities also have their own experiences and views on access
to the physical environment and may well be consulted by staff about their
individual needs which may impact on the design.

Designers, in consultation with others, should assess the balance between
providing a general facility to meet a range of needs, and allowing sufficient
flexibility and adaptability so that reasonable adjustments can be made to
meet individual needs.

Other points to bear in mind are:

For early-years and primary situations, some young children may use baby-
walkers or similar equipment. Some chairs or trolleys have stands with bases
850 mm wide including rubberised tyres on swivel castors. There may also
need to be significant space for buggies and a variety of mobility equipment
with different attachments or seats.

Pupils who are learning to walk may move in different ways along the floor
and may need the support of handrails and grab-rails at the appropriate
height and position level for support for different activities.

Pupils will also be learning to develop skills for using and manoeuvring
equipment, whilst maintaining stability, as they grow.

Pupils may have weakness or illness and tire easily, and need places to rest
or move aside for a moment out of the way of general busy pupil traffic.

Pupils may require different fittings and for equipment to suit their needs.

Pupils approaching adult status will require greater opportunities for choice-
making and independence in direction and movement as part of social
learning to encourage inclusion: an accessible school design should facilitate
this.
Some pupils can move at speed and allowance should be made for pupils
learning to operate a vehicle or behaving inappropriately, or for the equipment
to be out of control.


Ramps which are too steep, or without edge restraint or warning of a change in level
will affect the safety and stability of pupils using mobility equipment or aids. This may
cause tipping, overturning, jerking, jumping or over-reaching of equipment.
Therefore, it is essential that the appropriate ramp gradients, rise and going of steps,
and pitch of stairs, are used to meet the needs of the pupils and to enable them to
access all facilities in the school for participation in school life.

Prevention of unintentional damage to property may be an issue for designers to
consider. The use of appropriate ironmongery, door controls, protection to doors,
frames and walls, provision of support rails guarding and warnings should be
considered (see Section 5.3, Building construction: elements, materials and finishes,
below).

A central equipment store may be required where there is a high demand for
equipment. This can be planned with a central gangway 1200 mm wide with 1200
mm deep space either side for different-width chairs (average 900 mm each) and
shelving supported on adjustable metal spurs for smaller seats, aids and
attachments.


Wheelchairs

There are different types of wheelchair:




can be used for sports, but also significantly help those with muscle weakness. The
use of such an active-user wheelchair may delay the need for an electric wheelchair.
New-style self-propelled wheelchairs which are manually driven from rear wheels are
of lighter-weight construction than the traditional heavier rear-wheel-drive NHS
wheelchair. They are also easier for carers to move and manipulate and have folding
frames, enabling them to be transported easily in a vehicle.
These are four-wheel-drive, battery-powered and controlled by a joystick or other
device, for both indoor and outdoor use. Electric wheelchairs have become wider in
recent years unoccupied width ranges from 484755 mm (DETR, 2000).
self-propelled
electrically propelled
attendant-propelled
A brief summary of background information for designers and various issues for them
to consider is given below:
Self-propelled wheelchairs for active users
Typically, these tend to be 700 mm wide overall but allowance needs to be made for
elbow room, and so a clear width of 900 mm will be required. Such wheelchairs are
tending to become wider and longer.

These wheelchairs are sized by seat width, ranging from the smallest at 254 mm
(10) to 610 mm (24) for an adult. Adding an allowance of about 75 mm (3) will give
an overall width of 686 mm (27).

Generally, an overall wheelchair template of 750 mm wide and 1250 mm long is used
(as recommended by the Muscular Dystrophy Association).

Active-user wheelchairs have larger wheels and are more manoeuvrable. They


Sports wheelchairs have 38 degree camber and are generally 820 mm wide. Racing
chairs are generally 750 mm wide and tennis chairs 1000 mm wide. Sport England
guidance recommends a 1100 mm clear opening for specialist sports chairs. People
may change to a different chair or change wheel type within the space for different
activities.

Electrically propelled wheelchairs


Information from manufacturers suggests that the seat-width varies from 508660
mm (2026) with the arms positioned within the overall width of the wheelbase. If,
however, arm rests are positioned outside of the wheelbase, adding 75 -100mm on
each side, then the overall dimension may increase to 860 mm.





Attendant-propelled or assisted-use wheelchairs

These chairs (e.g. NHS model 9L) have small wheels at the rear and are pushed by
an attendant. Children often have specially designed wheelchairs which are
specifically fitted for their individual needs.

These wheelchairs tend to be narrower and longer than the traditional wheelchair.
The spatial requirements for turning circles, allowing for any fittings, attachments, for
the chair to be in reclining mode and for space for the support worker can be
considerable.

Use of new-style and electrical wheelchairs is rising but in some special schools the
use of assisted wheelchairs is increasing (DETR, 2000).

There are also specialist manufacturers who design specific wheelchairs for people
who have conditions which make them larger or heavier.

For space-planning purposes, it is essential that sufficient clear space be allowed for
the use of a range of different types of wheelchairs.

Table 21: space to be allowed for wheelchair circulation
(Space shown for range in mm)

Type of
wheelchair
Stationary
range
turning through
90 degrees

turning
through
180 degrees
circle
turning
diameter
Occupied
Self
propelled
(90%
users)

610 - 850 width
910 1300 length

1500 width
1395 length
1675 width
2325 length
1550
Occupied
Electrically
propelled
(90%
users)

610 850 wide
910 1570 long

1675 width
1600 length
1650 width
2200 length
1750
Occupied
Space
required for
attendant
operated
wheelchair
(range)

630-750 wide
1250 -1630 long

1550 -1850 width
1250 - 1850 length 1650 - 2050 length
(estimate
only)
1350 - 2250 length 1800

2350
* Dimensions are based on BS 8300 allowing 50 mm tolerance to surroundings or furniture
5.2 Information and communication technology (ICT)


It is generally recommended that schools identify current and anticipated needs early
on and that planning for flexibility and a mixed economy of technologies is made.
As a minimum requirement there should be an accessible networked computer
workstation in each computer suite.



Technology is now accepted as an integral tool in meeting individual needs and
creating an inclusive learning environment. It offers much to facilitate a variety of
teaching and learning styles. To create a transparent interface between technology
and the broadest spectrum of learning opportunities, detailed planning, design and
implementation are essential. This should ensure that pupils with SEN and
disabilities are included and gain maximum benefit from its impact on their learning.

School-building design needs to accommodate current and future requirements for
the technologies to be used by all staff, pupils and community users. The design will
impact upon the success of delivering ICT both as a subject and across the
curriculum.

All new-build teaching spaces should be accessible, but in existing schools, it may be
necessary to plan to improve accessibility over time, whilst ensuring that in the
interim period access is appropriate to meet the needs of pupils,

Schools are increasingly viewed as community resources, so visitors should be
provided with appropriate access, not just in terms of access to computers but taking
full advantage of facilities such as induction loops, Braille, recorded literature and
translation facilities for other languages.

5.2.1 Design approach

The design approach will consider the issues set out below.
Access to learning and integrating ICT into the curriculum


Wherever possible, teaching areas should be ICT-rich so that technology is
embedded within the curriculum rather than being used solely in an ICT lesson or
computer room. Access to printers in all locations where pupils will be using portable
writing aids or personal technologies is necessary.

Sufficient space should be allowed for any particular technical requirement for
individual devices and for their use, for example where a sophisticated
communication aid is attached to a wheelchair.


A priority question to pose when designing spaces for ICT is Is all the equipment in
the classroom accessible to all children or is an area needed where a level of
increased accessibility is provided?
Specific ICT provision for each SEN category is outlined later.
With fully accessible technology in place, there comes the need for all staff and users
to be aware of the access features available and be able to use them wherever they
may be in the building or beyond.

It is acknowledged, however, that no workstation can be fully accessible for every
individual need and some pupils will need their own equipment, desktop or laptop
with individualised settings. It is important that where pupils have individual access
technologies they are able to use them to full advantage throughout the school as
required.

Schools are also increasingly using ICT for internal school communication, for
example for monitoring and administrative purposes (such as overseeing attendance)
and so appropriate infrastructure will be needed.


There are access issues around wall-mounted electronic whiteboards in terms of
planning. It would be sensible to accommodate their use by pupils and teachers at a
wide range of heights and reach. Whiteboards for shared use, however, have been
found to be very robust.

Local networks and Internet or Intranet

Access to local networks and Internet or Intranet should ideally always be available.
To facilitate this, accessible network profiles may be required so individuals can use
the access profile whenever needed.

Providers of network services should ensure the easy set-up of software
incorporating a range of accessible tools to support all pupils including those with
individual needs. Tools such as screen-readers, talking word processors and
predictive software benefit many learners.
Network planning should provide for the setting-up of individual pupil profiles using
the ICT configurations for accessibility found within modern operating systems, and
adding software to managed service networks (including profiles for access).

Access technologies

There are many accessibility options to aid visually, physically and hearing-impaired
learners contained with the newer operating systems and there is accessibility
asssistance to ease setting them up. Some options are more useful and effective
than others but they are a good starting point. Access technology can range from a
larger or alternative mouse, with various devices from switches to roller balls and
joysticks to keyboards, with specialist adaptations and specialist touch screens.

Electronic whiteboards


Schools may need to consult with specialists on the use of whiteboards.
Advice on the best position for the whiteboard and projector may be needed. For
example, most schools installing electronic whiteboards are selecting ceiling-
mounted projectors, but if the ceiling is very high, it will be difficult to install, clean and
maintain the projector.
In addition, where health and safety concerns exist about the use of whiteboards for
pupils with severe learning difficulties or a visual impairment, these may need to be
checked in relation to individual pupil needs at briefing stage.

Where an electronic whiteboard is used, it may be necessary to accommodate
individual devices for personal access. For example, pupils with a visual impairment
may struggle with a whiteboard presentation, but can access a personal device
showing board content.





In addition, it may be appropriate to anticipate the need to accommodate preparation
space for any learning-support assistants required to differentiate teaching and
learning materials in advance of lessons. For example, the use of scanners enables
electronic presentation of information.

Broader technologies (sensory rooms)

Increasingly schools are integrating sensory-room work into the curriculum. The
availability of additional power-points, both computer and network, points can
facilitate such work.
Personal-study areas

The use of personal technology can be of particular benefit to pupils with autism or
visual impairment, but may help all pupils. The use of demountable study-carrel
systems has proven beneficial in some instances. They can create a safe area for
pupils, to ease behavioural problems and to create a quieter environment for the use
of speech-recognition software. Such areas may also be used to recharge devices or
provide docking areas for laptops with access to larger screens.

Furniture
Consideration needs to be given to furniture used to accommodate class-based
computers. Ideally, height-adjustable surfaces should be provided and thought must
be given to ensure a sensible surface depth and width with adequate workspace
around. The work-surfaces of desks, trolleys or benches should have sufficient space
to accommodate ICT equipment, and learning and communication aids. It is essential
that there be sufficient depth to allow for the keyboard to be positioned in front of the
monitor, as well as space either side of the keyboard and monitor. The use of TFT
monitors will help.

It should be noted that additional shelving often sets the monitor too high for
ergonomic comfort and ease of use, even on height-adjustable trolleys..

Ergonomic seating for using ICT is important, though a conflict can exist between
fixed-height chairs and those with castors and adjustable height. Many electric
wheelchairs have a joystick and this adds extra height to an already high chair when
under-table access is required. The adjustable-height chairs are likely to be better for
health and safety reasons but can be abused by disruptive or fidgety children.
Ideally, to support inclusion, an ICT workstation should be on a rise-and-fall table or
unit to accommodate wheelchair users and pupils with physical disabilities.
Appropriate rise-and-fall seating, probably best with an integrated foot-rest, should be
provided in every school because of the different heights of pupils and the need to
provide 3-point (tripod) stability for a correct and stabilised sitting position. All seats
should be equipped with back support, and not simply be stools.

Variable-height furniture or fittings should also be considered for the placing of other
educational technology (e.g. in Design and Technology resistant-materials and food
rooms and in Science laboratories). In areas where switches are used, floor-mounted
safety cut-outs may not be appropriate for all users.


Storage

Designs must provide adequate storage. Storage of equipment when not in use can
help to prevent theft or misuse. The balance between locking equipment away and
providing maximum access needs to be carefully considered.

If a computer is located on a movable trolley and not secured, then there may be a
need for the trolley to have storage or an integral lockable container. In particular,
consideration should be given to the provision of adequate secure storage for pupils
portable writing aids or laptops.




The storage required should be ascertained so that there is sufficient space for all
necessary equipment, including other educational technology (e.g. video cameras,
electronic music keyboards, and portable word processors). Storage space should be
available for technology packaging, labelled with the appropriate bar codes, for
returning equipment for repair.

Recharging

Facilities for the recharging of batteries and equipment may be required, particularly
in large secondary schools with resourced provision.
The location of printers for use by pupils who have personal equipment also needs
be considered where class-base computers are connected to a printer on the
network.

Cabling and wiring

Flexibility is required to accommodate the different methods used by schools to
provide access to the network and the Internet. There needs to be sufficient power
and network points to allow for class-based (shared) computers to access the
system, but also to enable pupils with individual devices to access the network or
power to recharge batteries.
Trunking to provide cabling and power should not be located under furniture and
needs to be secured for health and safety reasons. Consideration may need to be
given for schools that wish to incorporate under-floor tracks for smart wheelchairs at
the build stage.

Wireless technology
Where wireless is used it is sensible to design spaces so that pupils with individual
devices can position and work with their equipment. Such spaces need to be
accessible and able to accommodate pupils in all-age (319) special-school settings,
while allowing for access by pupils using wheelchairs, standing frames and other
mobility aids. Wireless-based networks may reduce the need for networking points.

Lighting

Lighting is an important consideration for all, but particularly for pupils with visual
impairments, when using class-based computers, personal devices or electronic
whiteboards. Consideration should be given to providing clearly defined working
areas, protection from strong overhead lighting and appropriate task lighting. The
design should take into account the impact of ambient light, the provision of blinds
and the location of resources.

Heating and ventilating

5.2.2 ICT provision in relation to types of special educational need
Speakers or headphones (possibly 2 sets from a junction box so that the teaching
assistant can share in the experience where necessary) should be considered.
Access to appropriate software, accessible web pages, signage, presentation
technologies, and interactive whiteboards should be considered. Positioning of
technology for pupil and teacher usage is important for this group, (e.g. whiteboards/
backlit whiteboards, projectors and plasma-screen technology). As well as providing
for a variety of activities designing in flexibility may help to change the focus point for
these learners, for example by installing swivel projectors.
Many computer suites may become warm because of the amount and type of
equipment. There can be a conflict of interest where there is a need to increase
ventilation, which then allows transmission of noise and possible loss of security. It
should be possible, therefore, to plan comfortable environments for pupils with
special needs, with local controls and without resorting to air conditioning which is a
less sustainable and energy-efficient option.

Environmental control such as door closers may be considered, for example, for
pupils with BESD and PD. If so, consideration of white edging on doors may be
necessary for pupils in the school with visual impairment.



ICT for SpLD

Personal technology may be required but access to shared provision, which includes
access to personal files, is also needed and therefore so is good network access.
Access software, for example on-screen grids, predictive software or screen-readers,
may be needed to support learning.


In many instances, battery-operated portable word processors (with predictive
software) would provide a good alternative to fully-blown laptop computers (with all
their inherent problems).

ICT for MLD


ICT for SLD

Important factors for supporting this group are adequate space, storage, personal
and shared accessible technology and teacher access to secured kit. Network-based
software should ensure individual technological and curriculum access needs can be
met, (for example, it should be ensured that touch monitors can work with networks
within both special and mainstream settings).

The sensory room or sensory corridor should be a key ICT resource to support
curriculum access, and ideally it should incorporate both network and Internet
access. Similarly, Science, Food Technology and other specialist classrooms should
all be networked.


.
ICT for PMLD

For these, pupils the way in which they are able to demonstrate progression is very
important. The moves from switch-operated toys, to switching skills using the
computer through to environmental control and accessing life-skills and
communication technology will be an essential part of their curriculum. The building
should be designed to facilitate the development of such skills in different
environments, and with pupils who will be working at different heights, and enable
teachers to position equipment flexibly..

Rear-projection interactive electronic whiteboards or plasma screens are already
becoming important resources for these pupils. Consideration should also be given to
pupils using wheelchairs who may have additional ICT resources mounted to the
seating systems adequate width in doorways and corridors will be required to
accommodate this. As mentioned above, sound and music interaction can be an
important creative experience for most pupils, and particularly so for some with more
severe and complex needs.

ICT for BESD

Technology can be a significant tool to aid learning for this group providing a non-
threatening, consistent, and safe yet challenging learning environment. Systems
need to be set up, however, to ensure that any customisation needs for individuals
are in place before work in class commences so they have instant access.

Security can also be a key issue. Cubicles (or demountable carrelling systems) for
individual work areas, time out, keyboards and access devices should be considered,
and planned for to reduce potential disruption.

Some pupils may find it easier to work with a computer than with another person;
although this may not be beneficial in the long term, it can help them to achieve.
Many pupils will accept and understand that a computer is non-judgmental and treats
everyone in the same way. The computer is also used as a reward for good
behaviour; this again may not be an ideal situation, but is of practical use.

ICT for SCLN

Computers and other ICT devices such as electronic communication aids can be
used to support children who have communication difficulties. The computer is an
ideal way to work with symbols and pictures. Sound (digitised or synthesised) can be
used with symbols and pictures to create communication tools.

The computer can make it easy for staff to create symbol-based learning and
communication resources using the readily available computer versions of standard
symbol systems. Software should reflect the symbol and signing needs taught in the
school or area. Voice-output communication aids (VOCA) and other communication
aids offering alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) bring their own
programming, battery maintenance and security issues.

The design should provide a communication-friendly environment. This will comprise
the following: signage, a sound-field system, a multi-sensory approach, a variety of
teaching, noise-reduction measures, quiet space, speech-recognition/speech-training
facilities.


ICT for ASD

Autistic pupils can be easily distracted and have poor organisational skills. They can
also find it hard to deal with abstractions and are easily obsessed with details.
Individual carrels may have a use here to avoid distraction and help focus learning.
Abnormal motor patterns are often observed in learners on the autistic spectrum and
some have extreme reactions to sensory input, reacting strongly to some stimuli,
such as sound or light. These difficulties may have to be resolved through the design
by providing a low sensory stimulus, non-distraction, environment.

ICT for HI

ICT for VI
Effective lighting is important, as is accommodating the largest and best-quality
monitors possible. Specialist equipment such as CCTV may be needed. Networked
access software including accessibility options such as screen magnifiers, screen
readers, web readers, and large pointers or changes in screen contrast will need to
be preset for individual users in their profile set-ups. Suitable volume-controlled
speakers or headphones will provide speech feedback.
Pupils with visual difficulties are especially sensitive to their working environment.
Ensuring that pupils are able to concentrate and to see the computer screen without
being distracted by screen reflections and room lighting is essential. It is important to
view the screen from the child's position. There are potential issues for some users
children with the use of interactive whiteboards, where a splitter may be used so an
individual can use a personal device to access shared presentation materials.
Access to Braille, tactile-materials production and other equipment may also need to
be taken into consideration. Hand-held electronic scanners can be very useful in the
context of secondary schools where ready access to CCTV is not always possible.
ICT for MSI
Many pupils with particular types of special needs do in fact have a constellation
of needs and may require support in the following areas: access to sensory
information, social interaction and communication, mobility, conceptual
development, anticipation, choice-making and learning strategies. Pupils with MSI
are likely to have an individual profile in terms of their use of available sensory
and physical skills. For example, some may use vision as their main means of
access to activities, others may use hearing and yet others touch and movement.
Induction loops are now being incorporated into some new-build schools and may
suit some individuals. Providing sound systems, however, which can benefit all
pupils, parents, and staff should be considered. Sound systems have been found to
have a threefold beneficial effect (especially where classroom or hall design has
militated against good acoustics in the past). A sound system can help those with
poor hearing, can ease the strain on a teachers voice and has been noted as having
a very beneficial effect on discipline within the classroom.

Some learners with hearing impairment tend to use a clipped form of language
where endings of words are less than precise. Computers, with their ability to use
graphics, symbols and supportive-writing software such as on-screen grids and
prediction, can be used to aid language development.






ICT often plays a useful part in ongoing assessment and development for these
individuals and so it must be readily available
Apart from the deaf-blind community, many pupils with mobility impairments (for
instance cerebral palsy) have hearing and/or visual problems (acuity, perception)
as well as speech difficulties. Some schools have utilised aroma to differentiate
between different classrooms along a corridor.
An adjustable trolley helps place the screen and any input devices in the best
position for each learner. The working area should be kept uncluttered to help the
learner focus on the screen and not be distracted by things they are not using, such
as the keyboard.
Extra space will be needed for any devices that need to be used to access the
computer, depending on the individual's physical and cognitive abilities. Access
devices can also be used to develop a learner's movements and to encourage them
to explore their surroundings.
ICT for PD
The use of flat-panel screens (e.g. TFT), with the computing device located under the
desk or to the side, would provide much greater space for the extra access (e.g.
switches, interfaces and alternative keyboards) needed by pupils with physical
disabilities who might be included in the ICT area or room with their class group.
Switch-accessible programs should be part of any software provided.
As in many of the PLASC groupings, extra space should be allowed, not simply to
accommodate wheelchair access and/or special equipment, but also to ensure an
adequate working area for a support assistant working in close proximity to a pupil.
At a minimum, there should be a height-adjustable trolley with a workstation
equipped with adequate peripheral access devices. Of course, some pupils will have
height-adjustable electric wheelchairs but this does rely on whatever is sanctioned
and supplied by the manufacturer, and this varies from area to area.
Medical issues
In some cases the danger of magnetic interference needs to be considered because,
for instance, of the potential impact on a student with epilepsy who has a vagus



The pupils seating should be appropriate and comfortable. The screen should be in
view and not obstructed, and the monitor should be positioned to make use of any
residual vision. It is sensible to check the screen for distractions and reflections from
the pupils viewpoint and correct where necessary.


Touch screens (or whiteboards) are the most direct way of interacting with computer
images, providing that the learner is able to see or reach the screen. Positioning of
the pupil and the computer is very important. The touch screen is particularly useful
for developing visual skills and handeye coordination.

Mains controllers can be used to allow switches to safely operate mains devices. A
pupil can press a switch to operate a blender, to make a drink and a funny noise, or
take part in a cooking session by controlling a food mixer. Lights and fans can be
used to develop the sense of cause and effect and give exciting rewards, as well as
giving age-appropriate experiences.






nerve stimulator. Most monitors now have a fast enough refresh rate to
accommodate the needs of pupils with epilepsy. Spare power points may be needed
for suction machines/medical equipment. In some instances schools have respite
rooms. These should have network points. There are some pupils who have
pacemakers fitted.
Other (OTH)
There are a number of different categories of pupils not in full-time attendance at
school. Some of these may be excluded for behavioural reasons, some for school
phobia, some for medical reasons, like ME, hospitalisation (long-term or periodic), or
even teenage pregnancy. There is a standard requirement placed on LEAs by the
Government to provide a minimum tuition time commitment to these pupils.
Most authorities have a home-tuition service or a hospital school service, and a pupil-
referral unit service with outreach available. Some authorities are looking at virtual
learning environments to provide a partial answer in this area.
Schools may wish to ensure that they have facilities available for teachers to prepare
materials to support a pupil who is working at a distance. They may also want to
investigate the ability to provide audio-visual links between the pupil not at school
and their peers, through the use of video-conferencing or similar technology. Such a
requirement may need to be considered early in the briefing process.


Consideration should be given to the provision of technology for safety (e.g. panic
alarms) and for facilitating communication and/or security across the school.

When considering building design with regard to ICT suites, it may well be worth
mentioning security measures to prevent not only theft of expensive equipment but,
more importantly. potential loss of teaching and learning materials created within the
school. Security measures such as shutters, bars on windows, steel doors and
upgraded alarm systems should be considered. Centrally monitored CCTV should
also be considered. To minimise loss of children's work, back-ups should be made
and kept in another area.
19









5.2.3 Security of equipment and safety issues
In some cases a computer may need to be secured within a case and wires kept out
of sight, as they can be a distraction for some pupils. Access to a flat screen, a touch
screen and a keyboard or access technology may be all that is required. This may be
appropriate in some settings to ensure the safety of pupils with BESD or autism.



19
For more details, see the BECTA website
http://www.becta.org.uk/corporate/corporate.cfm?section=7_1&id=2576 and
http://www.becta.org.uk/leas/leas.cfm?section=6_2&id=3160.
5.3 Building construction: elements, materials and finishes



good-quality construction

5.3.1 Design quality
A high quality of school-building design is required to enhance access and inclusion,
creating a barrier-free learning environment.
Achieving this in order to meet the particular requirements of a wide range of special
educational needs will involve:
specialist specifications
careful use of materials and finishes
specialist functional details
appropriate maintenance

Pupils may be significantly adversely affected if materials and construction details
are poorly specified and installed.

Consideration of the above should also be incorporated in strategies for
sustainability, robustness and durability, along with practical maintenance and whole
life-cycle costs which must be borne in mind from the start of the design process.

There should be efficient monitoring of design and construction decisions in relation
to accessibility and inclusion. This should include:

the scrutiny of design and construction drawings at every stage
the specification of, or substitution of, materials specified during construction
discussion at design and construction meetings of the issues
the inspection and acceptance of the building
the carrying out of any maintenance works


As a principle, therefore, a design-quality approach should be made, in line with
SENDA and DDA, to meet the needs of the pupils and staff (instead of just meeting
the basic minimum regulations as a maximum).

In many cases, a far higher quality of design than the basic standard of provision is
required in order to meet the needs of pupils with SEN and disabilities.

An essential and key part of this is for providers, designers and constructors to have
a basic understanding of the type and range of special educational needs which they
can use in their design decisions taken at every level.

Reference should therefore be made to all of the other parts of this bulletin, as well
as to the legislation listed below.


Knowledge and understanding of the relevant building legislation is
essential. A summary list is given below:

DDA, as amended by SENDA 2001 Part 4: Education

DfES Guidance note: Accessible Schools

DfES Constructional Standards 2001

HSE guidance
It must be understood that such legal provisions are a basic minimum
standard only.
Building Regulations 2000 as amended

Building Regulations Approved Document M 2004: Access to and
Use of Buildings

BS8300: Design of Buildings and their Approaches to Meet the
Needs of Disabled People


The Education (School) Premises Regulations 1999

The Education (Independent School Standards) (England)
Regulations 2003

Section 77 of The School Standards and Framework Act 1998




Flexibility and adaptability

During the life of a school, many changes may occur which the building and site
should be able to accommodate to a reasonable extent without excessive disruption
and cost.

Such changes are inevitable and within schools there are many drivers for them,
such as:

intake of pupils with a wide range of age, type and changing needs
ICT and other technological advances
head teachers and staff
school management
curricular approaches
new teaching methods
increasing outreach and training
multi-agency working
extended schools
community use

The designs need to incorporate strategies for flexibility and adaptability so as to
adapt to these changes. It is imperative that medium- and long-term views are also
taken in the development of effective strategies involving the factors outlined below:

Site planning

An evaluation of the options for the site layout in the event of future growth will need
to be considered.

Structure and services solutions



understanding the practicalities affecting pupils and staff, as well as school-
management issues.



The design approach should consider taking account of some of the following points:
A key decision in the design process will be whether to use lightweight or
heavyweight roof construction.
Lightweight construction using metal-profile ceilings may offer buildability and
Considerations will include:
the siting of lift and stair cores to facilitate optimum fire prevention, means of
escape, and reasonable travel distances for access to all facilities and for
effective staff supervision

permitting the rearrangement of internal walls to new configurations over time

Configuration of rooms, their layouts, furniture, fittings and equipment
The following strategies will need to be adopted:

encouraging flexibility within the teaching spaces in terms of room size,
standardisation, room shape, loose and fixed furniture and linking spaces
together


Reference should also be made to the sections in Part 4 on project briefing, whole-
school issues, and arrival and accessibility.

The following guidance notes are intended to assist designers and providers in
making their decisions about building elements, materials and finishes.

Ceilings
Generally, materials should be selected which have good light reflectance, in order to
give an even distribution of light at the work plane, and to avoid glare.
Lighting fittings should be chosen which minimise glare, are easy to clean and
maintain, and avoid dust collection.
Acoustic-absorbing materials will usually be required in the ceiling and/or for the
upper surface area of walls at high level. Careful specification of suitable materials is
essential as part of the whole-design approach (see BB93).



speed of erection, but may in the long term offer, a less sustainable solution.



The appropriate use of suspended ceilings and access to services should be
carefully considered because false ceilings can be associated with
accumulation of dust, with fungi, and can also harbour pests.
Homogeneous plastered ceilings with recessed lights may be needed in
medical-treatment areas. If this is the case, then coordination of services,
their routes and access are also essential for this to be successful.
Ceilings using visually appealing features should not be difficult to clean and
maintain.

In some cases, security clips to tiles may be required in order to avoid
tampering or disturbance of tiles in places of risk, such as toilets.
A specialist consultant will be needed to advise on the material, shape and
construction of the ceiling for music and performance spaces. Similarly,
advice will be needed for audiology suites (see Appendix G).

The lesser the thermal mass in the roof construction, the greater the day and
night time thermal variation, which may be less easy to control for thermal
comfort for occupants with disabilities.
Generally, metal-profiled ceilings should have perforations and acoustic
backing material, if required. Sufficient insulation is required for energy
conservation, avoidance of condensation, and noise disturbance from rain on
the metal roof surface.
Where the decision has been made to obtain thermal mass by using a
concrete roof which is exposed for the ceiling finish, this may necessitate the
use of acoustic lining to walls at high level and acoustic baffles in light fittings.
In more conventional or traditional types of construction, suspended ceiling
tiles should be of acoustic-absorbent quality, with acoustic backing if required.



Ceilings should have good impact-resistance, so that ceiling tiles are not
easily dislodged especially in areas where physical education takes place.


The shape of the ceiling and its finish will have a primary effect on the quality
and character of the learning environment, so it is essential that the ceiling
specified and installed be fit for purpose.

There should be careful use and positioning of any downstand beams so as
not to adversely affect room acoustics.


Careful coordination of service routes will also be required since there will be
no, or only very limited, ceiling void to house these and for access for
maintenance.

Detailing of ventilation shafts, service ducts, rooflights and light wells should
also be considered in relation to the ceiling.


Walls

An assessment of the need for a load-bearing or permanent structure and lightweight
construction should be made in relation to adaptability and flexibility for the life of the
building.

Strategic positioning of structural and service cores, efficient structural grids,
horizontal and vertical spans, as well as fire compartments and means of escape
distances, will all be required.

Walls should have sufficient strength, stability and impact resistance. The need for
supports for fittings, fixings and structural bearings for equipment should also be
ascertained. For example, planning should be made for the immediate, or future,
installation of hoists.



Where lightweight construction is used, consideration should be given to the use of
impact-resistant materials or plasterboards to reduce long-term maintenance.
Ease of maintenance needs to be considered for the life of the building. Generally it
is better if walls are smooth and non-abrasive. Typically, therefore, a decorated,
plastered finish is preferred to smooth-painted or fair-faced blockwork. If, for
example, fair-faced work is selected then the method for repair of damage or removal
of scuff marks should be planned, whereas plaster repair and re-decoration may be
more practicable.
Hard surfaces are more resonant and choice of finishes for the appropriate acoustic
absorption should be made.

It is best to avoid materials which give an institutional or unwelcoming appearance.

Protection to exposed corners and arises and provision of dado rails and handrails
need to be carefully coordinated and detailed, especially near openings and in
relation to other services, fixtures and fittings.

Wall surfaces should have smooth, hard impervious/impermeable surfaces, and be
free from fissures, open joints, crevices that permit, dust, dirt and insects, and, be
easily wipeable and cleanable for infection control and ease of maintenance.

Walls near wet areas should be tiled or have sufficiently large splash backs to fittings.

In very particular cases, walls to some rooms used for respite or calming will require
soft, impact-resistant finishes, such as an appropriate non-abrasive carpet up to dado
or a higher level, in order to prevent distressed pupils harming themselves.

Provision for display material should be integrated into the design with display boards
in order to avoid visual clutter and sensory overload, confusion and distraction.

Elevations of all internal walls should be drawn as part of the detailed design process
so that fixtures, fittings and finishes to walls are fully understood and coordination of
furniture, fixtures, fittings and services can be made.

Visual contrast between the wall and floor surface, doors, their frames and furniture,
is essential. Use of tactile stimuli, signage and wayfinding should also be considered.


Floors

Floor coverings should be hard-wearing, non-abrasive, smooth and non slip. They
should have an acoustic-absorbent surface or backing which allows for greater wear
and tear and is dirt- and soiling-serviceable, but should also still be attractive.

Specialist advice from manufacturers should be obtained so that floor use, fitness for
purpose and appropriate cleaning can be guaranteed,

The choice of floor finishes will be influenced by the type of pupils, their age and the
mobility aids which they use. If wheelchair tracking is desired then this should be
decided early on so that it can planned from the start.

A combination of hard and soft floor finishes can work well in class bases and
circulation areas. The rationale for use, and the proportion of hard and soft floor
finishes in teaching spaces, should be identified and agreed with the school and LEA
at the briefing stage.

Carpets which are soft, can help with acoustic performance and be appropriate for
floor work.

It is essential that the correct specification is made, so as to ensure that friction burns
are avoided for children who spend a lot of time on the floor or who move along the
floor surface.
Specialist carpets should have impervious backing, and be washable where there is
frequent spillage and heavy traffic is anticipated. Such carpets can, however, retain
unwanted odours and be harder to clean and maintain. This is a significant issue to
be resolved if there are vulnerable pupils, because infection control is vital.
Hard finishes are impact-resistant and hard-wearing, but can be noisy (e.g. wood-
block floors). They must be non-slip and safe in dry and wet situations. The
vulnerability of pupils and the risk of falling to the ground and being hurt should be
assessed and taken into account.
Non-slip sheet flooring with acoustic backing (lino or equivalent) is water-resistant,
hygienic and suitable for use around wet areas such as sinks.
Carpet squares can be overlaid on sheet flooring as appropriate, for example in a
primary class base, provided that they are safely secured to be non-slip and do not
pose a trip hazard.
Threshold and entrances
Level thresholds to the external area are essential. Compressible threshold strips are





The specification for ceramic tiles for wet areas, such as in showers and
hydrotherapy, should be ascertained appropriately, especially where there are ramps
and changes in level. Reference can be made to BS8300, current BS or DIN for slip-
resistance standards, bearing in mind the cleaning methods employed.

Highly polished floors which lead to glare and visual confusion should be avoided, as
should highly patterned floors. There must be visual contrast with the wall surface
and use of colour differentiation between floor materials can assist with wayfinding
and give variety to the space.


sometimes recommended. Any metal upstand or abrupt change in level can impede
wheelchair accessibility and cause a barrier or hazard. Staff should not have to lift
chairs over thresholds and risk damage to their back.
Careful coordination of doors, weathering seals, tracking or automatic operation will
be needed.
Doors should be easy to identify, user-friendly to operate and allow good visibility on
both sides of the door for all users.
Doors in all buildings can be difficult for wheelchair users and those using mobility
aids and their support workers to use, especially if fitted with door closers.
Manoeuvring heavy doors and the use of door closers can often be problematic and
these are best avoided, if at all possible. Where the use of door closers cannot be
avoided, all closers must open at least a full 90
o
and be fitted with a hold-open device
with a delayed action closer to suit the weight of door.
It is recommended that designers plan for the minimum number of doors and door
closers. Good solutions tend to be those where there are no corridor doors or they
are held open on magnetic door releases connected to the fire alarm system. A fire
strategy needs to be developed at the outset in support of such solutions, however.
Specification of doors and their operation should be considered as an integral
element along with other technical aspects of design and an assessment should be
made in relation to the following:
the specification of finishes in relation to maintenance, kick-plates and
wheelchair protection


Specialist threshold carpeting can be used in front of external doors (in addition to or
instead of mat-wells).

Doors and door openings

The correct selection and specification of all doors in circulation spaces is critical. All
openings must be wide enough and all doors must be easily operable either
independently or with assistance by those in wheelchairs or having other physical
disabilities,or else by their support workers (see Section 4.3, Arrival, departure and
circulation).


Some people do not have upper body mobility and need assistance. Automatic
operation of the doors by sensors may be preferred, especially for external doors
(such as automatic-sliding doors) (see Accessibility).


clear opening width
weight of the door
fire resistance
acoustic performance
ventilation needs
need for vision panels
ease of door operation
the need for alarms, security, safety and containment
signage, symbols and objects of reference.

Doors should have the appropriate strength, durability, robustness and integrity. Fire
resistance and sound insulation will need to be considered.

Door surfaces should have impact-resistant, smooth, durable, hard-wearing and
easily cleaned and maintained surfaces.

Use of laminate finishes and can introduce colour. Consideration of ease of methods
of repair and maintenance for damage to doors and frames should be made.

Doors to class bases should have vision panels at high and low level to allow smaller
pupils and those in wheelchairs to see whether someone is coming through the door
from the other side. The appropriate safety glass should be used, along with
manifestations and blinds for obscuring or privacy, if required.

The selection of ironmongery for doors to classes needs careful thought and
discussion with the staff, and the rationale for access and egress by pupils and their
supervision should be assessed.

The specification of ironmongery and security will impact on school management and
supervision of pupils. Consideration should be made for the provision of:

hold-open devices, such as external guard rails with hold-open devices for
outward-opening doors, can greatly assist by allowing staff to be free and
mobile instead of having to stand and hold the door open

electro-magnetic catches and hold-open devices linked to the fire-detection
system and visual alarms

door handles with a D-handle profile are preferred for accessibility (these
should also be smooth, easily cleaned and not affected by detergents)
double-lever handles with reversed top lever, with snib to limit egress. If these
are required, a suitable number of responsible adults must be retained in the
space in the event of an emergency
visual contrast and suitable signage to doors. It may also be necessary to
incorporate tactile stimuli or support for objects of reference
Glazed screens can be used to provide borrowed light and enable passive
supervision by teachers. They also enable pupils to see what is happening and not to
feel enclosed. In some cases, however, blinds may be required to avoid distraction,
or to give privacy, and these may need captive controls or may be housed within
double-glazed units.


deep kick-plates, anti-finger-trap/finger guards and wheelchair protectors to
door frames and door seals


Internal glazed screens


Manifestation may be required to large areas of glazing. Glazed screens may also
need to be designed to meet sound reduction requirements set out in BB 93.

Windows

An even distribution of daylight across the whole room is the aim.

Natural daylight, whether from high or low vertical windows or rooflights, should be
maximised within the constraints of energy efficiency, solar control and glare.

Generally it is beneficial to have a view out of the class base. Low-level glazing will
need to conform to safety standards.

Windows should not present a hazard through the external projecting opening lights,
so should have restrictors to limit the opening to less than 100 mm. Such measures
will also prevent pupils from climbing out of windows when distressed.

Security locks should be considered.


The use of windows for night purging of rooms may form part of the ventilation and
environmental strategy. In this case, expert advice should be sought and issues such
as reduced security, false alarms from intrusion detectors, etc. should be resolved at
the design stage. Attention also needs to be paid to individual needs and a checklist
of design details is set out below:
Window-opening manual or automatic control gear must be carefully installed.
The area and type of openable window needs to be part of an overall ventilation
strategy. Adequate ventilation is needed to maintain an appropriate level of oxygen.
Opening windows may not be adequate, can cause draughts and can reduce sound
insulation and heat loss. Passive ventilation with slot ventilators is recommended.

Design to avoid damage to fittings from pupils who climb upon boxings,
window cills, downpipes or external fencing.
Use simple detailing and reduce complexity and changes of plane so as to be
simple to read and reduce the opportunity for obsessiveness on details for
some pupils.
Balance the need for of security and independence.

Use heavy-duty specifications to eliminate risks through design but avoid institutional
appearance:

Specify robust materials, but find right balance between tough, hard-wearing,
easily maintained materials and special equipment, and everyday
domestic/ordinary items.
Observe safety precautions for damage to doors, wiring, plumbing, plaster
and glass.
Use simple, strong, solid and attractive furniture and equipment.
Specify robust sanitary equipment and ironmongery.
Avoid hard-edged corners, edges for furniture, wiring, plumbing or electrics.
Avoid ledges, recesses and tight angles where dust particles can be trapped,
to allow ease of cleaning.

Consider using the following:

sealed skirting boards
low-dust-retention fixtures/fittings
splash-backs to sinks (where not height-adjustable) and intact seals around
sinks
welded/sealed joints to prevent water egress
seals around pipes, ducts and conduits running through floors and walls.
5.4 Environmental Services


5.4.1 Energy and sustainability

Sustainable design is vital. A successful school design will achieve a balance which
results in a high-quality environment at all times of the year, low energy usage,
minimum harm to the environment and best value for money.

The sustainability issues impacting on a special school are common to most schools.
The overall energy use, however, may be higher in some schools due to the higher
internal-design temperatures, increased use of mechanical ventilation and
requirements such as hydrotherapy.

Efficient management of energy requirements is imperative and can be used as an
integral part of the learning experience for the whole school.

It is essential that there is increased environmental awareness and more careful
consideration of all aspects of a building, from the conceptual stage through to
detailed design.

The design team should be required to use energy modelling to predict the impact of
their design solution, and the model should be refined as design progresses. The
requirements for energy conservation are set out in detail in BB87 2003 (there will be
a new version in J uly 2005) and Part L of the Building Regulations. See
http://teachernet.gov.uk/energy for more information.


good visual contrast is essential in the physical environment

BREEAM methodology for new school projects is available. See the Buildings
Research Establishment website for the Building Research Establishment Energy
Assessment Method (BREEAM).

Environmental issues are examined in turn below for lighting, heat, ventilation,
acoustic ancillary facilities and services


5.4.2 Lighting

Appropriate lighting is the most important for vision. About 7080% of information is
gained through the visual sense. Good lighting is, therefore, essential for effective
teaching and learning.
Among the requirements for a satisfactorily lit environment are:
sufficient luminance on the working plane for good visual acuity
good lighting of the teachers face for communication and interaction
designs that avoid glare and silhouetting (teachers or pupils faces can be in
shadow against a window or against bright or highly reflective surfaces),
reflections, cast shadows and any other interference which causes visual
confusion

Natural lighting: sunlight and daylight

Daylighting

Daylight should be maximised and natural light should be the prime means of lighting
during daylight hours, wherever possible.

Sunlight and daylight need strict control to avoid excessive solar gain and glare.
People need a connection to the outdoors and a view out onto a sunlit area may be
adequate.

Natural lighting is seen as positive and desirable. High levels of natural light are
perceived as uplifting to the spirit. Low light levels can create gloom and are
perceived as depressing, resulting in poor visibility and discrimination of the surfaces
of spaces and this may increase anxiety or contribute to accidents. .

Larger windows present more opening area for providing natural daylighting and
ventilation, but measures are required to prevent excessive summertime
temperatures.

With improved insulation values in schools, the total energy use for lighting is now a
significant percentage of the total energy consumed. High-performance glazing will
be necessary to minimise heat losses.

An even distribution of daylight across the class base is the design aim in order to
reduce the need for artificial lighting, reduce energy use and maintenance costs. This
is measured by the uniformity ratio.
Orientation of the building on the site and solar-protection measures need to be
understood and incorporated in the design from the outset.
Design awareness should avoid excessive roof overhangs and deep window reveals
which can radically reduce daylight reaching the class base.
North- and south-facing classrooms can be easier for more effective solar control
with projecting solar shades or overhangs. Westerly orientations can be affected by
low angles of daylight in the afternoon which are more difficult to control and cause
glare in the class base.
North-facing class bases have no direct sunlight unless introduced by roof lights or
clerestory windows with blinds. Therefore, siting class bases which have higher heat
loads, such as computer suites and food technology, on the north, will be beneficial.
Designs should avoid direct sun on vulnerable/immobile pupils. Staff can use blinds
and position the children to overcome these difficulties.
Detailed advice on lighting design for special needs is given in Building Bulletin 90.
There is no single solution and what may assist one person may well not assist
another. Lighting for all pupil areas should be in accordance with the guidance above
to ensure that accommodation can be used flexibly for the full cohort of pupils.
Lighting quality and type should follow the recommendations of BB90. These
requirements should be adhered to for all lighting. In addition the following factors
should also be considered:






Artificial lighting



Lighting controls may be needed for various activities in different areas of a class
base. Control of lighting satisfies pupil needs and enhances the learning
environment. The increasing use of computers, projectors and whiteboards
exacerbates visual problems.

Other points to consider are:

Large areas of glazing can be hazardous to the visually impaired unless they
can be clearly seen. To avoid accidents they should have manifestations.

Windows at corridor ends can cause glare.

The window wall should be light in colour, to reduce contrast with the outdoor
scene, and window reveals may be splayed to increase the apparent size of
the glazing.

A white board on a dark coloured wall can be a glare source whereas a
traditional blackboard would not.

A view of a daylit scene through a window can be a disabling glare source.

Large print will, and higher illuminance may be of assistance to the visually
impaired, depending upon the cause of the loss of acuity.



Both loss of field and loss of acuity can occur together.
High-gloss finishes and high-reflectance surfaces may also be a source of
glare.
The following specifications should be used to guide the design of the lit environment
in schools with SEN provision:


Table 22: Lighting specification
2% Daylight Factor

Minimum for assembly halls but 45% ideally
45% Daylight Factor

In mainstream schools, 2% average daylight factor is adequate for
most areas.

A higher daylight factor on the working plane, in class bases,
corridors, practical areas and teaching areas is preferable for
schools with pupils with SEN
0.30.4 Minimum Uniformity Ratio

The ratio, minimum/average daylight factor, is applicable to side-lit
rooms.
Daylight penetration for rooms deeper than 6 m will need to be
considered.
The deeper the room and the higher the floor to ceiling distance,
the greater is the need for additional daylight at the back of the
room, which can be achieved with clerestory or roof lights in single-
storey buildings
0.7 Uniformity Ratio

For top-lit spaces, higher uniformities
are expected. Borrowed light or light shafts can be used on lower
floors (loss of floor area and safety/guardings of voids should be
considered)
350 (lux)

Good-quality electric lighting is essential.
Lighting should be capable of the luminance required by BB87. 350
lux is the lighting level required in all general teaching areas.
500 (lux)

Maximum level required for detailed work such as painting. Task
lighting for individual pupil needs, especially for pupils with sensory
impairments



5.4.3 Heating and thermal comfort:
Thermal comfort for pupils is a combination of air temperature, dry resultant
temperature, humidity and air movement. Depending on the particular difficulties of
individual pupils, the temperature at which thermal comfort is achieved in a room may
vary. Outlined below are the design temperatures for a variety of environments that
should be used to address the needs of a wide range of pupils:

Controlling room temperature

To maintain a comfortable temperature for occupants, it will generally be necessary
to have a means of supplying additional heat into an environment to counter the
effect of seasonal temperature fluctuations, variable occupancy and airflow etc.. This
can be provided in various ways depending on how a room is used and the needs of
the individuals within.

Control systems

It may be difficult for some pupils to verbalise their discomfort in a given environment.
Teachers and carers must be aware of this and be able to respond to the needs of
the pupils. It is also important that pupils have appropriate clothing for the season
and environment. Should any space be used for more than a transitory period, a
limited degree of temperature control must be available. Devices such as
thermostatic radiator valves and individual room controls should be designed and
located to prevent both pupil access and interference.


Table 23: Ambient design temperatures
18 C21C
This temperature is in line with conditions required by mainstream
schools. Pupils are normally clothed, ambulant and reasonably
active, even if sedentary at work.
23C
This applies to special schools and resourced provision where
needs of pupils tend to be complex, varied, including pupils with
physical difficulties or profound and multiple learning difficulties.

If pupils are non-ambulant, or with very low activity rates, the design
temperature should be slightly higher.
The capacity to operate at this higher temperature should be
balanced with impacts on energy consumption.

Excessively high temperatures should be avoided. This may be
distressing to individuals, some of whom may not be able to
verbalise their discomfort. Some form of solar control will also be
required to prevent direct sunlight from falling on pupils with limited
mobility.
25C30C
In locations where pupils may be wet or partially clothed for a
significant length of time, rapidity of air movement can lead to
chilling by evaporation. To compensate, a higher design
temperature may be required.

Where medical inspection, bathing and changing are carried out,
the air speed in these environments should not exceed 0.1 ms
-1
at
25C.
28C
When this temperature is reached or exceeded, overheating is said
to occur. Measures should be taken at the design stage, as a
priority, to ensure this does not occur where pupils have a high level
of need to be met.

Additional thermal gain, potentially caused by specialist equipment,
may often be countered at a much lower occupant density in
teaching spaces.


Table 24: Heating methods

Radiators

These are normally the most suitable choice. In special schools they
should be low surface temperature types. Any that may be touched
should be have a surface temperature below 43C.

To minimise the collection of dust and pathogens that can be a
sources of infection to vulnerable pupils, radiators should be smooth,
without convector fins, easy to clean, accessible and robust.
Low-level boxing and exposed pipework should be avoided. Both
provide an opportunity for pupils to stand or climb on them. To avoid
this, distribution should be planned at an early stage and routed
through floor ducts. Should this not be possible, the pipework and
boxing should also be smooth, easy to clean and robust.
Risk assessments should be undertaken, as pupils who have
behaviour, emotional and social difficulties may be at less risk from
standard radiators.
However, younger pupils, those with more complex needs and pupils



with SEN and disabilities should only be exposed to low-surface-
temperature radiators in broad-range special schools.

Underfloor heating

This may be a legitimate source of additional heat, but only in
carefully identified situations.




A surface temperature of 23 2C, the comfort temperature for low
activity, should not be exceeded.
As a result, further heating may still need to be supplied to the room
through additional sources. This may also be the case in areas near
external doors.
The warm-up time can also be considerably longer for underfloor
heating than conventional radiator systems.
It will be unsuitable in locations where large areas of the floor may be
covered in matting.

For reasons of hygiene and odour control, underfloor heating should
not be used in locations where there may be regular spillages and in
toilet and hygiene areas.

Fan Convectors

These are not generally recommended in teaching spaces and halls
as they can be a source of problematic background noise. By
circulating dust and contaminants, fan convectors can also promote
cross-infection.

Radiant Ceiling Panels

These have the advantage of high surface temperature not being a
problem. These are generally not a preferable solution as thermal
stratification can occur. Adults may feel hot particularly around head
height. Pupils, particularly those that spend some time on the floor,
may not be provided with enough heat.

5.4.4 Acoustics
Classroom management alone cannot ensure that speech communication is
sufficiently audible and intelligible if the classroom acoustics are not adequate, or if a
child has a hearing or listening difficulty. In order to ensure that children are able to
hear the teacher and, to a lesser extent, their peers, a number of technological
solutions have been developed, see Table below from BB93.



Noise transmission from the outside, from circulation areas or other teaching spaces
is also a matter for consideration in the design if ambient noise levels are to be kept
within the standard. Noise distraction and high ambient noise levels are particularly
unacceptable in a special school, or resource provision, where pupils may have
hearing impairment and communication difficulties.

In a special school there will be a proportion of pupils who are hearing-impaired.
There will also be a proportion of pupils with highly sensitive hearing. Generally,
special schools have a lower occupancy level and therefore, background noise will
be lower than in mainstream schools. This will, however vary according local
situations. Where special schools are co-located with mainstream schools, the latter
may require refurbishment both for accessibility and for acoustic requirements to
enable inclusion.

Although the acoustic guidance in BB93 is not intended specifically for the design of
special schools, it does provide a lot of information on the needs of hearing-impaired
children and is, therefore, a good starting point for design decisions. Generally, the
standards in BB93, if adopted and applied correctly, will provide a good-quality
acoustic learning environment.
Where there are specialist needs for pupils with hearing impairment, reference can
be made to section 6 BB93 and the case studies in section 7.
To develop strategies for assisting children with hearing and listening difficulties,
refer to publications by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf[13], the National Deaf
Childrens Society[14] and DfES[15]).
Specialist advice will almost certainly be required to ensure compliance with current
standards. Acoustic calculations for most spaces in a school are now required.
Carpets will provide some absorption in a class base but probably not a sufficient
amount, and acoustic ceilings or acoustic material on walls, especially at high level,
will also need to be considered. Acoustic baffles, suspended from ceilings and in light
fittings, can also be used. .




Table 25: Recommendations of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
(BATOD) and the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) for
the acoustics of classrooms (Source: BB
3) 9


Table 26: Advantages and disadvantages of different technologies for aiding
hearing and listening in the classroom (Source: BB 93)


5.4.5 Ventilation
As in mainstream schools, good air quality is necessary for the learning environment.
Appropriate levels of oxygen are required to contribute to concentration, while
reducing the build up of carbon dioxide will help to reduce drowsiness in pupils. An
effective ventilation system can aid the achievement of both of these goals. In many
special schools, ventilation is an important hygiene requirement as well as a comfort
requirement. In some schools, such as those for pupils with severe (including
profound and multiple) learning difficulties, the planning of ventilation should take the
risk of cross-infection into account.
Natural ventilation

In designing a natural ventilation system the principles outlined in BB87(2003) can
still be applied (see www.teachernet.gov.uk/iaq


).


This information will be revised in 2005 in BB 101, Ventilation of Schools which will
give the compliance requirements for Part F of the Building Regulations.

Additional factors should be considered in the context of SEN provision:

At the design stage a ventilation strategy is necessary that will consider seasonal
variability. In winter, when it is cold outside, pupils may also have wet clothing.

Opening windows is not always a suitable ventilation solution as it can lead to
draughts, an inflow of external pollutants, heat loss, issues with blinds and increased
sound transmission.

A number of different methods may provide solutions to the issues above, for
example, filtered-air inlets at low level behind radiators, use of stacks, hopper-type
openings, automatic high-level windows and rooflights with rain sensors.

Occupant control over any automatic-opening ventilation should be provided so that
staff can adjust openings to ensure proper comfort for pupils.

Automatic-opening systems which are noisy are very disturbing and silent opening
systems should be specified.

Design and planning of natural ventilation must be carried out in conjunction with that
of quieter [? AC]and blinds or blackout to prevent conflicts.

At an early stage in planning, high priority needs to be given to the design of
ventilation and openings and decisions made whether to implement a solely natural,
mixed mode or fully mechanical strategy.
Mechanical ventilation

Mechanical ventilation can be used to enhance a predominantly naturally ventilated
system. If serving pupil areas, attenuators should be provided to ensure acoustic
standards are met.

Mechanical ventilation can be effective in super-insulated buildings, where heat
recovery can take place during the winter. Heavy-mass buildings can help to reduce
the impact of overheating during the summer, with a mechanical ventilation system
used to supplement this effect.

Where possible, methods other than air conditioning should be used to control the
building temperature.

Mechanical ventilation will be required for hygiene areas for vulnerable pupils. The
supply ventilation should be filtered, to at least F4 standards with pre-filters provided
to increase the life of main filters and in certain cases, to F6 standards. All filters
should be regularly monitored and maintained.

Good access is essential for maintenance of ventilation systems and ductwork to
avoid the risk of infection.


Table 27: Ventilation

Teaching spaces


2.5 air changes /
hour minimum

Natural ventilation ideally needs to
contribute to controlling internal temperature
Halls, gym, dining, physiotherapy


8 litres per
second per
person or 2.5 air
changes per
hour whichever
is the greater.

Ventilation
should be
sufficient to limit
CO
2
to 1500 ppm
and control
odours.


Rate can be reduced for intermittent
occupancy of short duration.

Dependent on density and time period of
occupation

Specialist teaching spaces


Supply air should
be sufficient to
replace process
extracted air,
control internal
temperature and
control
odour/CO
2

Extract air should
be sufficient for
requirements for
fume, steam and
dust removal,

Mechanical supply (unless a suitable natural
route for make-up air can be provided) and
mechanical extract will be required to the
following areas:

Design and technology where required to
remove dust and fumes

Science rooms. Ventilation via fume
cupboards should be avoided as they are
seldom switched on.

Sensory rooms

and to control
internal
temperature and
CO
2
Heat recovery is
recommended to
reduce energy
consumption.
Food technology



Laundries, soiled holding or waste, cleaners rooms


5 air changes per
hour minimum
Mechanical extract with provision for natural
or mechanical make up as appropriate


Hygiene, lavatory and changing areas, medical inspection
rooms and sick rooms




10 air changes/
hour minimum
Mechanical extract to outside, provision
should be made for make-up air, which
should be heated and filtered.
Heat recovery might increase risk of cross-
contamination of supply air. Heat recovery is
recommended.
Wall-type combined extract and supply fans
are now available to assist with heat
recovery and should be considered in
preference to normal extract-only fans.



Mechanical ventilation can transmit infection in two ways. Pathogens carried in the
air, on dust and in droplets that evaporate, all contribute to the airborne transmission
of infection. The second mechanism is through a common vehicle, such as shoes or
wheelchairs.
Any recirculation of air within a pupil area will tend to increase both the risk of cross-
infection and the circulation of allergens and so should be avoided. Supply inlets
should draw air from a clean environment, and extract outlets should be positioned
such that there is no risk of re-circulation into a supply inlet or natural ventilation
opening.
5.4.6 Infection Control


For mechanical ventilation the vehicle may be water that exists in air-cooling towers.
Bacteria that cause Legionnaires disease can breed in cooling towers and can then
be transmitted in a mist through the building, or to the outside air.

Ventilation cooling systems should be designed to avoid contamination and growth of
bacteria. They should be maintained at the recommended temperatures to prevent
growth of Legionella.


Hygiene, wc, shower areas, cleaners rooms, areas holding soiled clothes or clinical
waste and laundries should all be mechanically ventilated. They should also be
slightly negatively pressurized relative to adjacent spaces which is, in any case,
desirable for control of odour.


All hot water delivered at outlets such as basins, sinks and showers used by pupils
should be at a temperature no greater than 43
O
C. Fail-safe thermostatic mixing
valves provided locally to the outlet should be used. Guidance for prevention of
Legionella given in BB87(2005) should be followed.
It is essential that sufficient cold water storage is provided for special schools which
have to provide for a high level of needs to be met. Water use will be higher than for
mainstream schools. Tables in design guidance for mainstream schools may not,
therefore, be appropriate. Sizing of water services plant and distribution should be
based on calculated maximum simultaneous demand from proposed outlets. Hot and
cold water to sinks will need to be considered. In certain cases, long runs of pipework
from central heat sources may suggest local heating of water in teaching spaces is
the preferred option.

It is imperative to establish the local infrastructure for rainwater/storm and foul
drainage systems, and their capacity, from the outset. An assessment should also be
made in relation to site and land drainage, risk of flooding and ground/surface water
run off, so as to avoid flash floods.
Extract systems or transfer arrangements should be designed to ensure there is no
possibility of back draughts from one area to another.


5.4.7 Water services

A coordinated services distribution strategy to and within the teaching space will be
required as part of the conceptual design to avoid ad hoc arrangements at a late
stage in the design and construction. Detailed guidance is given in BB87 (2003),
however, this is due to be revised in 2005. The following considerations should be
made in a school catering for pupils with special needs:


Sprinklers are becoming more common in schools, reflecting the increase in arson
and the insurers response to reducing their risk. Long lengths of pipework can be
unsightly and intrusive. Sprinkler heads should be suitably positioned and be of a
type which is not easily susceptible to damage. A large cold-water-supply tank will be
required to be accommodated within the design of external works.

5.4.8 Public health: drainage

Planning of both storm, waste and foul drainage from the outset is essential.
In some cases, recycling of rainwater may be considered as a viable option,
however, recycling of grey water is not recommended. Water conservation measures
should be considered for their appropriateness in relation to each situation (hygiene
and infection control issues should be reviewed in line with this).


The strategic layout for drainage runs, with access points at readily accessible
intervals for maintenance, will need to be carefully planned.

Internal double-sealed inspection chambers must be sited in suitable spaces (e.g
stores) so that any maintenance can be carried out with the minimum of disruption to
the running of the school and at no risk to pupil safety.
Sprinklers
If, based on advice from fire authorities and insurers, sprinkler systems are to be
used, this may add significant installation cost and will require additional plant space.
Where there is a suspended ceiling, the sprinkler heads should have tamper-
resistant covers which drop down only in the event of a fire.
Natural gas
Where any gas systems are used, emergency shut-off by a push button within the
area to a gas solenoid valve should be provided. This should be clearly labelled and
accessible to the staff controlling the space. It should not be located where it is
subject to misuse or accidental operation. Areas likely to need gas shut-off are
kitchens, design technology and science areas. Oxygen[? AC]
Medical gases
A significant proportion of PMLD pupils are oxygen-dependent. There may be a
requirement for bottle storage. Any bottle store should be located with vehicle access
and trolley ramps to and from the store, and the store should be lockable, not
vulnerable to vandalism and located with external access only. The store should be
ventilated.







5.4.9 Ancillary mechanical services






Detailed requirements for bottle stores are given in the NHS publication Health
Technical Memoranda (HTM) 2022 and key points are summarised below:
Appropriate fire-extinguishing equipment should be readily available.
Stores should only contain medical-gas cylinders.
Cylinder stores should be located so as not to be near anything which
presents a fire risk or other hazard.
Small cylinders should be secured in racks in accordance with BS1319.

The doors should be large enough to facilitate cylinder loading/unloading and
should be on an external wall.

The emergency exit should be provided with a panic-release lock.

Doors should open outwards,

If the travel distance from the access doors to any part of the stores exceeds
15 m, additional emergency exits should be provided.

The advice of the local fire-safety officer should be sought.

Safety-warning signs and notices should be posted in prominent positions.

Cylinder stores should be located at ground level, not underground, for
example in a basement, and as close as possible to the delivery point.

There should be only one delivery supply point for each site.

No parking should be permitted within the delivery and storage area, other
than for loading and unloading cylinders.

The location of the cylinder store should be marked clearly on the site plan for
ease of identification in the event of an emergency.


5.4.10 Electrical services

Wired services

A coordinated services-distribution strategy to, and within, each teaching space will
be required as part of the conceptual design to avoid ad hoc arrangements at a late
stage in the design and construction.

These will include:



power, data, telephone, public address, staff alarms, fire alarms, fire/smoke
detection, door alarms, door controls and security detection

audio-visual gadgets, picture-exchange communication system (PECS) and
sound sensory systems to identify rooms, switches, storage, means of
escape and communications

access-control systems, cards and intercom systems between rooms

Safety

All outlets should be protected by a residual-current device. Where machinery is
installed that may be a hazard, provision should be made for visual and audible
warning to indicate that it is working and for emergency stop buttons to isolate the
electrical supply. The supply should be fitted with a lockable isolator or key switch.
Outlets should be located to avoid trailing leads as described in the next section.

Provision of outlets

The provision of electrical socket outlets must be based on the actual and future
estimate of the outlets in use per pupil and for general and staff use. Children may
use at least one additional aid, some more, which will range from additional task
lighting, to hand-held or desk-mounted readers or IT devices.
The number, type and location of outlets is critical. This will have a significant impact
on the success of the learning tasks and activities. Services should be sited to
support effective teaching and learning, and the activities undertaken in the space.
Their location should mean, for example, that pupils can see the teacher, the
whiteboard and their computer simultaneously.
In a large teaching space, it is most unlikely that perimeter sockets alone will be
satisfactory because there would be little flexibility in the location of pupils needing
access to power or data outlets. Trailing leads are unsafe and should be avoided.
The optimum solution will provide a combination of several types of outlet.

It is vital to consider this at early planning stages as floor ducts may be required. It is
preferable to provide a system, which can be extended to allow the provision of
additional power and data outlets, without significant disruption or cost.


Table 28: Type of outlets

Advantages Disadvantages
Perimeter trunking or sockets

Trunking can be
sized to allow
future installation
of additional data
and power outlets
without major
disruption. Wall-
mounted sockets
lack this flexibility.
Some systems
can be moved to
suit new furniture
layouts
Restricts location of students or
enforces unsafe use of trailing
leads. Should be used in
conjunction with solutions below
Floor outlets

Provides power to
the centre of the
room. Furniture
layout can be
reasonably
flexible,
depending on how
many floor outlets
are provided.
When supplied via
raised-floor
system, additional
outlets can readily
be installed
Furniture needs to be located
over outlets otherwise a trip
hazard is still a possibility from
trailing wires
Can be a trip hazard and
unsuitable where spillages are
likely.

Outlets built into furniture
Best solution in
specialist teaching
spaces such as
design technology
and science.
Can be used in general teaching
spaces but restricts ability to
change layout
Power columns or overhead sockets
Power columns
allow furniture to
be grouped
around the column
and are not so
vulnerable to
spillages.
Additional
columns can be
provided when
distribution is via
floor or suspended
ceiling.
Overhead outlets look untidy and
cable management can be a
problem. Power columns restrict
flexibility of space, as for floor
outlets, but not as much as
perimeter

A balance has to be established between the need for security and the appropriate
freedom of movement of pupils, staff and visitors. Operational policies should be
developed, setting out strategies for staff, pupil and visitor entry and exit, means of
escape and evacuation in the event of fire. From these operational policies, the
requirements for entrance and exit routes, door furniture, door alarms and intruder

5.4.11 Ancillary electrical systems

Panic alarms and/or staff-call systems

Where staff may need to call for assistance rapidly, panic or staff-call alarms can be
provided. These can be a simple push button in a class base, hygiene areas, halls,
pools, therapy, social spaces and reception for example, or could extend to radio-
tracked alarms worn by staff. The provision should be on the basis of risk
assessment. The alarm should relay to an area from which help could be
immediately summoned, and should indicate where help is required. Audible alarms
are disruptive and distressing and should be avoided if possible.

Panic alarms will need to be installed in some spaces, for example in toilets or
hygiene rooms, in appropriate positions, so that the user can call for assistance in the
event of an emergency.

Fire alarms

Fire-prevention and detection systems should be installed, in accordance with current
regulations, as required by the relevant authorities. Such systems should be
appropriate to pupil needs including both visual and audible alarms and places of
refuge for pupils who will need assistance to vacate the building. Specific
consultation and risk assessments will be needed for any multi-storey solution
requiring use of lifts for evacuation. Fire extinguishers and any other fire-fighting
equipment should not intrude on circulation routes.

CCTV

This is increasingly used in schools for security of staff and pupils. The privacy and
dignity of pupils should be considered, along with privacy of residents in surrounding
areas when planning a CCTV installation.

Security

alarms can be developed and described in the brief.
A holistic approach, involving the architecture and services designers with the
acoustic consultant and advisors on speech and language, is recommended. A
significant proportion of pupils will have hearing impairments and also the
requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act for all staff and visitors will need to
be met. The following is a list of possible systems that could be used (specialist input
will be required in the design of electrical services for such services):
induction loop systems, particularly reception areas
amplification, systems to play music in hall and drama spaces, recording
systems and PA systems

5.4.12 Hydrotherapy



There may be occasions when a pupil attempts to leave the school site and this may
cause a risk to their safety. In such instances, the school may wish to employ
suitable safety measures which may impact on the design and these requirements
should be stated in the brief.

Automatic doors

Automatic doors should be considered for main entry and exit points, at least to a
secure lobby.

Telephone systems

Telephones are required for the head teacher, administrative staff, at least one
shared phone for visiting professionals, and possibly an independent line to the
kitchen. Other lines and outlets may be required which should be described in the
brief.

Speech-reinforcement systems and sound systems


speech-reinforcement systems may be required in assembly halls
specific systems to assist hearing-impaired pupils
For more details, refer to Appendix G and detailed Section 6 in the guidance given in
BB93).

Lifts

Unless otherwise stated, ADM 2004 requires the provision of a lift or passenger lift
for changes in level. Evacuation-standard lifts may require their own designated
power supply. Requirements for machine rooms and lift motor rooms will impact on
the design and should be checked at the outset (see also Section 4.3, Arrival,
departure and circulation).

Specialist technical advice should be obtained. Hydrotherapy pools are designed for
use by vulnerable people for physiotherapy.
Pools must be safe and pleasant to use. Water must be free from irritants and
contaminants. For the sake of comfort, pool water and ambient air must be warm.
Pools must be managed daily by a responsible person. Regular inspections of ph
value of disinfectant and chlorine levels are required.
Strong chemicals should be stored according to COSSH.

School pools are used for controlled sessions and will require proper supervision and
maintenance.

The full implications of community use by specified groups or general public should
be considered from the outset.

For hydrotherapy pools, high water temperatures such as 37C are often used (10
degrees above public pools). As a result, they are demanding to manage.

The principles of pool water treatment are the same as for conventional pools, and
the turnover period should be sufficiently short. This can be as short as 1 hour or
even 30 minutes, if pollution is likely to be heavy. Equipment, including wheelchairs
must be cleaned thoroughly. External wheelchairs are not allowed on the pool area
and transfer to pool-side wheelchairs is recommended.

Learner/teaching/training pools are shallow warm water pools about 1317 m long
and 7 m wide with a maximum depth of 0.9 m, two 2 m lanes. Turnover should be
3090 minutes if there is use by young children, as there is most likely to be a high
pollutant rate.

Recommended maximum pool water temperature:
babies, young children and disabled: 30C
childrens teaching and leisure pools: 29C
recreational adult/conventional pools: 28C

Spa pools for sitting in by small groups contain water at 3240C. The water is
filtered and chemically treated. Bathing loads are high and it is difficult to maintain
satisfactory disinfectant residuals, pH values and microbiological quality. This is an
important issue for consideration in a resourced provision or special school.

The temperature of the pool hall air should normally be maintained at about water
temperature, no more than 1C above or below.

Relative humidity is maintained at 5070%. Individual tolerance to hot humid
conditions varies.

Air-change rates vary, but are typically 46 air changes per hour up to 810 for
leisure pools with water features.

For ventilation air there is a general swimming pool guideline of 10 litres of ventilation
air per second per m
2
of total pool hall area including wet surrounds.

There should be a minimum of 12 litres per second of fresh air provided for each
occupant of the pool and hall. If recirculation air is used then 30% minimum of fresh
air should be provided. The risk of build up of contaminants, however, should be
assessed and 100% fresh-air systems are preferable.

An effective, well-distributed mechanical supply-and-extract ventilation system is
essential to maintain satisfactory internal environmental conditions. Usually, there will
need to be direct extraction of disinfection by-products and supply air introduced over
the pool, without causing draughts. Dehumidifiers can help to control pool hall
conditions.
6 PROJECT PLANNING


6.1 Project-planning

The design for building a school should maximise learning opportunities, provide
curriculum access, improve teaching environments, encourage social and personal
communication and give a good sense of purpose and sense of place which enhance
pupils well-being.

From the briefing process, as described in Part 4, there should be a good fit
between the designated educational priorities and the accommodation to be
provided.

It is essential, therefore, that educational value and fitness for purpose are
established as a priority within the brief. As such, there are underlying principles
which need to be observed and addressed within the design. A school has to ensure
that:






pupils with SEN can access all areas and aspects of the of the curriculum
pupils healthcare and social needs are adequately maintained at school
pupils experience the benefits of a well-designed school building

With regard to the previous chapters, specific accommodation requirements will have
been identified and these will inform the brief. The main priorities for developing the
design scheme can be summarised as follows. There should be:

age-appropriate provision which allows progression through phases of
education

sufficient tutor bases and general teaching class bases for the number of
pupil places and the number of groups which are to be established, which are
usually much smaller in special schools
adequate learning resource bases, such as small group rooms, library and
ICT sensibly distributed around the school
sufficient practical specialist subject spaces and ancillary support spaces to
maintain the delivery of a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum
separate accommodation for dining and social use

sufficient accessible toilets, hygiene and changing areas, suitable for the type
and range of special educational needs and disabilities

suitable medical and therapy facilities to support a range of needs
appropriate and convenient room relationships for effective teaching and
learning, as well as efficient day-to-day management of the school

appropriate staff accommodation to allow for maximum flexibility of use and
accommodate the greater numbers of staff working in special schools
accommodation to support effective management of, and oversight of, school
facilities and their maintenance

consideration of extended school and community use


If there are to be specialist resource bases which support pupils with a particular
SEN on a timetabled basis, then the class base can be reduced by 5 m
symbiosis between inside and outside which afford opportunities for
supporting the formal and informal curriculum

a balance between security and accessibility for internal and external
environments

due consideration to producing a friendly environment for children and young
people with SEN and disabilities

a simple, easily understood layout so that children can fix a geographical map
in their mind, with clear points of reference to make wayfinding easy

accessible internal and external circulation routes, with reasonable travel time
and distance, safe secure access and egress, and planned to avoid
conflicting needs.


Size of class bases

Class bases are sized for therapy and specialist support work to take place, in the
class base and for the inclusion of pupils who have PMLD.
2
and a
separate base of 60 m
2
can be made accordingly. There may be, however, some
loss of flexibility and adaptability for the future with a smaller class base.

It is recommended, however, that the size of class bases not be reduced below 50
m
2
for BESD and 60 m
2
for SLD, PMLD and ASD (this is because smaller class
bases do not function well for teaching and learning and are both less flexible and
less adaptable for the future).
It should be borne in mind, though, that should class bases be reduced in size, pupil
and teacher numbers may also have to be reduced. If smaller groups are required,
this will have significant impacts on accommodation, because more spaces may be
needed and also flexibility and adaptability for the future may be compromised.
Size of practical specialist spaces

In certain exceptional circumstances, practical specialist subject may have be taught
in small groups or half groups (4 pupils), for example in a small special school. In
such cases the room size should be no less than 50 m


2
. Alternatively, a space of 65
sq m may be arranged and fitted out to deliver two compatible practical specialist
subjects. These options mentioned above will require very careful detailed space
planning for accessibility and curriculum delivery as well as health and safety. Any
such requirements should be identified at the outset and must be written into the

Where community use of a school facility is other than on the school site, the school
may wish to provide the minimum area for PE and movement (120 m
2
at primary or
140 m
2
at secondary level),

BB99 provides a basis from which those managing co-location can adopt a sliding-
scale model, depending upon the number of pupils, group size and classroom size,
(i.e. standard class base from 57 m
2
to 63 m
2
).

Where there are special and mainstream populations, but with separate identities, in
one school building, it may be preferred to reduce the size of the special class base
by 5 m
2
in order to increase the size of the mainstream class bases to support the
inclusion of pupils with a wide range of needs, (i.e. standard class base is 6268 m
2
).
Practical specialist spaces can be shared and, if appropriate, joined together to
support inclusion between the two schools, although to ensure suitable access these
must be of sufficient size. For example, a practical specialist space would then be
24 m
2
(BB99) +25 m
2
(BB77) =49 m
2
.
Secondary co-location

BB98 provides a basis from which those managing co-location can adopt a sliding-
scale model, depending upon the number of pupils, group size and classroom size,

In such cases, it is suggested that the large group room for music/drama and/or the
dining areas are planned adjacent to the hall with acoustic, sliding, folding doors to
allow flexible use facilities and to make available a much larger space when required.

Larger schools

A larger school (100220 pupils) will have more tutor bases and general teaching
spaces if pupil-group sizes remain in the typical standard range (see Part 4 Table 11)
and the same basic provision for practical specialist subjects will be required.

The following points should also be considered:

the size of the dining provision may need to be increased to ameliorate the
need for phased dining and any subsequent curriculum time loss

the number of toilets will need to increase, and there may need to be revision
of the hygiene and changing areas, depending the SEN ratios (of ambulant to
non-ambulant and independent to assisted pupils)

a separate drama studio and music space may be required, but the rationale
for this should be explicit

if the school is open for community use, there will be a need to reassess all
sizes in relation to the areas that will be required

Where a special school is to be co-located on a primary mainstream school site, the
following points must be considered if pupils with more complex needs are to be
included in mainstream classes.

Primary co-location


Accommodation can be shared for PE, music and drama, if the school consider that
each group will have sufficient timetabled access.

(i.e. class bases of 5663 m
2
).

Where there are secondary special and mainstream populations, but separate
identities, it may be preferred to reduce the size of the special class base by 5 m
2
in
order to increase the size of the mainstream class bases to support the inclusion of
pupils with a wide range of needs (i.e. class bases of 6168 m
2
):



Shared use of mainstream specialist subject rooms is possible provided that facilities
are accessible with suitable workstations, with sufficient size, storage and timetabled
curriculum access for pupils (or as an alternative co-located specialist subject rooms
divided by sliding, folding, acoustic partitions so as to enable a more inclusive
teaching and learning can be considered).

LEA officers and architects/designers should familiarise themselves with the type and
range of pupils with SEN and disabilities by visiting the existing special schools and
other similar schools which have been co-located in order to gain a better
understanding of their essential characteristics.

A coordinated development plan can be prepared which provides a rationale for
designing and planning the project and fulfils the requirements set out in the
educational vision and the LEA and school strategies.

LEAs and designers will need to review schemes at different stages in the design
process, ensuring frequent monitoring during the procurement and construction
stages of the school building.

At each stage, a signing off the agreed design scheme should be made, any
amendments recorded and the impact monitored. School Specific Design Quality
Indicators can be used to brief and evaluate schemes and these can be further
developed and adapted for SEN and disabilities.

6.2 Typical model schedules

The following typical schedules can be used as models against which LEAs can
develop their own schedules in relation to the identified local needs. The typical
model schedules provided are for:

a primary special school providing for a broad range of special educational
needs

a secondary special school providing for a broad range of special educational
needs

an all-age special school providing for a broad range of special educational
needs

a primary special school providing for pupils who have behaviour, emotional
and social difficulties

a secondary special school providing for pupils who have behaviour,
emotional and social difficulties

Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Class base 75 13 fte 1 75
Small group room 8 1 8
Kitchen 8 1 8
Teaching resource store 4 1 4
Mobility equipment/ buggy store 4 1 4
Pupil toilets 24 1
Includes hygiene
24
Staff toilets/change 4 1 4
Visitor/disabled toilet 4 1 4
Laundry 6 1
Infection control and medical needs
6
Clean store 2 1
Infection control and medical needs
2
Dirty store 2 1
Infection control and medical needs
2
Cleaners store 2 1 2
External store 9 1 9
Subtotal 152
2 Classbases each year general
teaching KS1 Y1 & 2
65 8 4
All activities in classbase with computers,
quiet corner, play, lockers coats and bags.
This allows for full or partial inclusion of
pupils with ASD or PMLD.
260
Classbases general teaching
KS2 Y3 4 5 6
65 8 8
As above with practical bases
520
KS2 Food Tech 25 4 1 Room between classbases for concurrent
use, safety and hygiene.
25
KS2 Practical/multi-purpose 25 4 1 Room between classbases for concurrent
use, safety and hygiene.
25
BR3 BB77 Typical schedule of accommodation for a 2FE Broad Range Primary Special School for 109
pupils who have complex needs SLD/PMLD/ASD, including a 13 place nursery. March 05
Pupils: The special educational needs which these pupils have will cover a wide range from MLD/complex needs
and SLD to PMLD or severe ASD. Most of the children will have sensory impairments, multiple disabilities
including physical difficulties and learning difficulties with different and sometimes conflicting needs. These pupils
should be accommodated in the learning environment within an overall inclusive educational setting. In the future
it is anticipated that pupils with MLD/complex needs may have resourced provision in mainstream schools and
that only those with statements for the most severe SEN will be in special schools, which will function actively as
part of the wider local community of schools.
This model is intended as a guideline, to form a basis from which LEAs will build up their own schedules for
schools to suit local needs and, as such, the area per pupil will vary accordingly. The model allows for
consideration of entitlement to curriculum, therapy as access to education, extended schools, community use,
multi-agency working, school workforce and the increased numbers of adults in schools.
Staff: headteacher,deputy head, 13 teachers, 13 teaching assistants, 4 learning mentors, 6 statemented support
workers, various numbers of visiting professionals, part time school nurse, numerous SMAs, part time technician,
premises manager, 3-4 kitchen staff, cleaner; overall 90-100 staff, many of whom are part time or visiting
specialists.
Schedules: This typical schedule allows for outreach and training, extended school use and some community
use. The school has a nursery as part of early intervention. There are two classbases for each year to allow for a
variety of different pupil groupings or teaching methods according to pupil needs and local needs. Therapy as
access to education takes place in the classbases, small group rooms and specialist therapy rooms. If there is a
high % of pupils who have PMLD or severe ASD specialist accommodation needs will have to be reflect this. In
some cases, in order to meet particular needs of pupils, classbases may be reduced in size by 5m2 and this
provision used to form additional specialist bases, however, this may have the effect of decreasing the flexibility
and adaptability of the main classbases.
General teaching spaces
Nursery
Practical and performance teaching spaces and group rooms
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Music drama/large group room 65 16 1 Drama music and extended school use
are possible with sliding folding doors to
the hall.
65
Hall 120 96 +13
+local
school
inclusion
1 Assembly PE sport movement. Use for
dining inhibits curriculum use. If sliding
folding doors to dining then the combined
hall/dining enables Sport England 180 sq
m sports hall 1 badminton court standard
if height is 6.1m, if this type of community
use is desired.
120
Small group room 1 per 2 class
bases/ min 2 per keystage
12 2-3 6 Focussed learning, behaviour
management and respite
72
Library/ICT 15 4 2 Separate spaces or combined interactive
learning
30
Dining 100 96+ 1 assumimg higher % PMLD. Separate
space to allow for more curriculum use of
the hall and for social skills training. Also
enables school clubs, extended school
use and sport community use in
conjunction with hall possible.
100
Kitchen 40 1 40
Servery 10 1 10
Kitchen office/store 6 1 6
Kitchen toilet/change 6 1 6
Kitchen cleaner 2 1 2
Medical Inspection 20 1 First aid and rest room. 20
school nurses room 30 1 nurses room needed if high % PMLD. 20
Physiotherapy and other
therapies
30 1 30
Sensory room 24 1 Or 2 rooms white and dark at 12 sq m 24
Soft play 30 1 30
Hydrotherapy 85 1 24 sq m actual pool with 2-2.5m wide
surround. For community use 72 sq m
pool 144 sq m pool hall
85
General teaching resources
storage
6 12 72
Food tech resources store 4 1 4
Practical/multi purpose
resources store
4 1 4
Library store 4 1 4
ICT store 4 1 4
File server 4 1 4
Drama/music store 8 1 8
Chair store 8 1 8
PE store 10 1 10
Community use store 10 1 10
Kitchen food store 6 1 6
Kitchen refuse store 6 1 6
Physiotherapy store 4 1 4
medical store 4 1 4
oxygen cylinder store 6 1 6
Visiting Professionals store 2 1 2
Learning resource area
Dining, social and meeting areas
Therapy spaces, including communication and medical
Storage for teachers and pupils
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Meeting/training room store 2 1 2
Clean store - laundry 1 4 4
Dirty store - laundry 1 4 4
Pool store 6 1 6
equipment store 20 1 20
Mobility equipment storage bays 10 8 80
Admin store 4 2 Stationery and secure records 8
Teaching resources store 20 1 20
Premises store/technician 10 1 Includes SEN technical aids 10
Cleaners store 2 2 4
General stores 10 2 Bulk items 20
External store 10 1 Sports and play equipment 10
Exetrnal maintenance store 10 1 10
Pupil changing (dry) - Hall 12 2 May need to be larger if community use 24
Pupil Toilets 20 8 160
Pupil Hygiene 20 4 80
Laundry 4 4 16
Pupil changing (wet) shower
toilets lockers - Pool
30 2 60
Visiting Professionals Office 15 1 15
Meeting/training room 25 1 Multi-purpose 25
Parents room 15 1 15
Staff change and lockers 10 2 20
Staff change - Hall 4 2 8
Staff change - Pool 4 2 8
Disabled toilets 4 2 additional may be required to meet
Building Regulations Part M depending on
layout
8
General office 25 1 25
Head teacher 15 1 15
Deputy 10 1 10
Staff room 50 1 50
Staff preparation room 25 1 Could combine with teaching resources 25
Staff Toilets 4 4 16
Premises manager 10 1 10
Secure lobby 8 1 Area included in circulation 0
Reception - welcome area 10 1 Welcome and display area of pupils' work.
Area included in circulation.
0
Pool plant 20 1 20
Plant 50 1 50
2656
Circulation 25% As % of gross area 922
Partitions 3% As % of gross area 111
3689
33.8
2504
Circulation 25% As % of gross area 869
Partitions 3% As % of gross area 104
3478
36.2
Pupils toilets and changing areas
Staff areas including facilities for inreach and outreach work
Other
Subtotal excluding nursey
Gross internal floor area
Gross internal floor area per pupil
Subtotal
Gross internal floor area
Gross internal floor area per pupil
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
2 Classbases each year general
teaching KS3 Y7 8 9
65 8 max 6 Secondary model subject/tutor bases
with classbases having 2 computers,
quiet corner for Maths English
Geography History MFL PSHE/careers.
390
Classbases general teaching
KS4 Y10 11
65 8 max 4 260
Food Tech 65 4/8 1 whole class or half group 65
Science 65 4/8 1 whole class or half group 65
Art 2D-3D 65 4/8 1 whole class or half group 65
Kiln room 4 1 4
Design tech 65 4/8 1 whole class or half group 65
Music drama 80 4/8 1 This can have optional use and could
also support a music room 65 sq m and
recording room 15 sq m or could include
acoustic sliding folding doors to hall
80
Practical and performance teaching spaces and group rooms
BR6 BB77 Typical Schedule of Accommodation for a 2FE broad range Secondary Special School for 80
pupils who have complex needs/SLD/PMLD/severe ASD. This includes an option for Post 16 provision
for 32 pupils Version 10C March 05
Staff: head teacher, deputy head, 10-12 teachers, 10-12 teaching assistants, 4 learning mentors, 6 statemented
support assistants, visiting professionals/specialists, part time school nurse/doctor, SMAs, technician, premisies
manager, 3-4 kitchen staff, cleaners, groundsmen. Overall there may be 90-100 staff, with many of them part
time or visiting professionals.
Pupils: The special educational needs which these pupils have will cover a wide range from complex needs and
SLD to PMLD and severe ASD. Most of the pupils will have sensory impairments, multiple disablities, including
physical difficulties and learning dificulties with different and sometimes conflicting needs. These pupils must be
accommodated in the learning environment within an overall inclusive setting. In the future it is anticipated that
pupils with MLD/complex needs can have their needs met in resourced provsion in mainstream schools and that
only those with statements for the most severe SEN will be in special schools, functioning actively as part of the
wider community of schools. The secondary model of specialist subject teaching tutor bases with pupils moving
around the school is envisaged for most pupils. Specialist practical classbases will be designed to meet the
appropriate type of curriculum for a variety of pupils, to suit whole or half groups. Some pupils will need more
stability to meet their particular needs, but will still access specialist teaching or practical bases and participate
inclusively in school life.
Schedules: This typical schedule allows for outreach and training, extended school and community use. There
are two classbases for each year to allow for a variety of different pupil groupings or teaching methods, according
to pupil needs and local needs. Therapy as access to education takes place within the classbase, small group
rooms, and specialist therapy rooms. If maistream and special schools are co-located, then consideration needs
to be given to the shared or joint use of halls, inclusive dining, learning resources library and ICT and specialist
subjects. As part of 14-19 transforming secondary education, Post 16 provision is included as an option with
tertiary tutor base and common room facilities. Some pupils will attend an FE college or work placement, learn
vocational skills and access community facilities or learn independent living skills and access school facilities
and such accommodation could be co-located for Post 16 pupils if this is part of the LEA strategy. If this
accommodation is on another site, additional support facilities toilets and hygiene rooms will be needed
accordingly and shared use accommodtion should be investigated.
This model is intended as a guideline, to form a basis from which LEAs will build up their own schedules for
schools to suit local needs and, as such, the area per pupil will vary accordingly. The model allows for
consideration of entitlement to curriculum, therapy as access to education, extended schools, community use,
multi-agency working, school workforce and the increased numbers of adults in schools.
If there is a high % of pupils who have PMLD or severe ASD accommodation needs to be varied to reflect this
accordingly. In some cases, in order to meet the particular needs or pupils, classbases may be reduced in size by
5 m2 and this provision used to form additional specialist classbases, however, this may have the effect of
decreasing the flexibility and adaptability of the main classbases.
General teaching spaces
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Hall 180 112 +
local
school
inclusion
1 Assembly PE sport movement. Use for
dining inhibits curriculum use. (If sliding
folding doors to dining then the
combined hall/dining enables 306 sq m
Sport England sports hall 2 badminton
court standard if height is 6.1m if that
type of community use is desired).
180
Small group room 1 per 2 class
bases/ min 2 per keystage
15 5 focussed learning, behaviour
management and respite
75
Library/ICT 30 4/8 2 separate spaces or combined interactive
learning
60
Dining 100 80+ 1 Dining and extended school use with
sliding folding doors to hall and kitchen
adjacent
100
kitchen 40 1 40
servery 10 1 10
kitchen office/store 6 1 6
kitchen toilet/change 6 1 6
kitchen cleaner 2 1 2
Medical Inspection 20 1 First aid and rest room. Aadditional
medical store, oxygen store and nurses
roommay be needed if high % PMLD.
20
school nurse 20 1 20
Physiotherapy 30 1 30
Sensory room 24 1 Or 2 rooms white and dark at 12 sq m 24
Hydrotherapy 85 1 24 sq m actual pool with 2-2.5m wide
surround. For community use 72 sq m
pool 144 sq m pool hall
85
General teaching resources
storage
6 10 60
Food store 4 1 4
Food tech resources store 4 1 4
Science prep room & store 12 1 12
Art resources store 4 1 4
Art work in progress store 6 1 6
Library store 4 1 4
ICT store 4 1 4
File server 4 1 4
DT resources store 4 1 4
DT work in progress store 6 1 6
Drama/music store 8 1 8
Chair store 8 1 8
PE store 10 1 10
Community use store 10 1 10
Kitchen food store 6 1 6
Kitchen refuse store 6 1 6
medical store 4 1 4
cylinder store 6 1 6
Physiotherapy store 4 1 4
Visiting Professionals store 2 1 2
Meeting/training room store 2 1 2
Clean store - laundry 1 4 4
Dirty store - laundry 1 4 4
Pool store 6 1 6
equipment store 20 1 20
Mobility equipment
storage/locker bays
10 8 80
Admin store 4 2 Stationery and secure records 8
Teaching resources store 20 1 20
Dining, social and meeting areas
Storage for teachers and pupils
Therapy spaces, including communication and medical
Learning resource area
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Premises store/technician 15 1 Includes SEN technical aids 15
Cleaners store 2 2 4
General stores 10 2 Bulk items 20
External store 10 1 Sports and play equipment 10
Exetrnal maintenance store 10 1 10
Pupil changing (dry) - Hall 12 2 May need to be larger for community use 24
Pupil Toilets 20 8 160
Pupil Hygiene 20 4 80
Laundry 4 4 16
Pupil changing (wet) toilets
shower lockers - Pool
30 2 60
Visiting Professionals Office 15 1 15
Meeting/training room 25 1 25
Parents room 15 1 15
Staff Change and lockers 10 2 20
Staff change - Hall 4 2 8
Staff change - Pool 4 2 8
Disabled toilets 4 2 Additional may be required to meet
Building Regulations Part M depending
on layout
8
General office 25 1 25
Head teacher 15 1 15
Deputy 10 1 10
Staff room 50 1 50
Staff preparation room 25 1 Could combine with teaching resources 25
Staff Toilets 4 4 16
Premises manager 10 1 10
Secure lobby 8 1 Area included in circulation 0
Reception - welcome area 10 1 Welcome and display area of pupils'
work - area included in circulation
0
Pool plant 20 1 20
Plant 50 1 Allowance for plant 50
2691
Circulation 25% As % of gross area 934
Partitions 3% As % of gross area 112
3738
46.7
Post 16 option
Post 16 (14-19) Y12 13
'separate and significantly
different' age-appropriate
65 8 max or
16 if
combined
4 Tutor bases - could combine for flexible
use spaces including reception office
business use/ PSHE careers/
independence wellbeing self care/ non
ambulant resources.
260
Post 16 teaching resources
storage
4 2 More teaching off site requires less
storage
8
Post 16 group rooms 15 2 focussed learning, behaviour
management and respite
30
Post 16 common room 80 1 80
e/o dining 20 1 20
Common room store 4 1 4
Hygiene/toilets 20 2 40
staff room 12 1 12
straff prep 12 1 12
Staff toilets 4 2 8
Total of these areas only
other additional areas may be needed to
support this accommodation depending
on the local situation 474
Circulation 25% As % of gross area 165
Partitions 3% As % of gross area 20
subtotal 658
4396
39.2
Staff areas including facilities for inreach and outreach work
Subtotal
Gross internal floor area
Gross internal floor area per pupil
Gross internal floor area
Gross internal floor area per pupil
Other
Pupils toilets and changing areas
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Class base 75 13 fte 1 75
Small group room 8 1 8
Kitchen 8 1 8
Teaching resource store 4 1 4
Mobility equipment/ buggy store 4 1 4
Pupil toilets 24 1
Includes hygiene
24
Staff toilets/change 4 1 4
Visitor/disabled toilet 3 1 3
Laundry 6 1
Infection control and medical needs
6
Clean store 2 1
Infection control and medical needs
2
Dirty store 2 1
Infection control and medical needs
2
Cleaners store 2 1 2
External store 9 1 9
Subtotal 151
2 Classbases each year
general teaching KS1 Y1 & 2
65 8 max 4 All activities in classbase with
computers, quiet corner, play, lockers
coats and bags. Assumes full or partial
inclusion of pupils with ASD or PMLD.
260
2 Classbases each year
general teaching KS2 Y3 4 5 6
65 8 max 8
As above with practical bases
520
2 Classbases each year
general teaching KS3 Y7 8 9
65 8 max 6 Secondary model subject/tutor bases
with classbases having 2 computers,
quiet corner for Maths English
Geography History MFL PSHE/careers.
390
2 Classbases each year
general teaching KS4 Y10 11
65 8 max 4 260
KS2 Food Tech 25 4 1 Rroom between classbases for
concurrent use, safety and hygiene.
25
KS2 Practical/multi-purpose 25 4 1 Room between classbases for
concurrent use, safety
25
Music and drama (small
groups)
65 4 1
music drama
65
Small Hall - Assembly
movement dance drama music -
larger groups
100 96 +
local
school
inclusion
1 Assembly movement dance drama
music. Use for dining inhibits curriculum
use. If sliding folding doors to large hall
then the combined halls enables
community use
100
BB77 BR8 AA2 Typical Schedule of Accommodation for an 2FE All Age Broad range Special School for
221 pupils who have complex needs/SLD/PMLD/severe ASD. This includes 13 place nursery, 96 primary
pupils, 80 secondary pupils and 32 Post 16 students. Version 3 March 05 (189 pupils without post
16)
Staff: head teacher, deputy head, 26-28 teachers, 25 teaching assistants, 8 learning mentors, 12 statemented
support assistants, visiting professionals/specialists, part time school nurse/doctor, SMAs, technician, premisies
manager, 4-6 kitchen staff, cleaners, groundsmen. Overall there may be 150-180 staff, with many part time or
visiting professionals.
Pupils: The special educational needs which these pupils have will cover a wide range from complex needs
and SLD to PMLD and severe ASD. Pupils will have sensory impairments, multiple disablities, including
physical difficulties and learning difficulties with different and sometimes conflicting needs. These pupils must
be accommodated in the learning environment within an overall inclusive setting. In the future it is anticipated
that pupils with MLD/complex needs can have their needs met in resourced provsion in mainstream schools
and that only those with statements for complex and severe SEN will be in special schools, functioning actively
as part of the wider community of schools. The secondary model of specialist subject teaching / tutor bases
with pupils moving around the school is envisaged. Practical specialist classbases will be designed to meet the
appropriate type of curriculum for a variety of pupils, to suit whole or half groups. Some pupils will need more
stability and specialist resource bases to meet their particular needs, but will still access specialist practical
bases and participate inclusively in school life.
Schedules: The typical schedules allow for outreach and training, extended school and community use. There
are two classbases for each year to allow for a variety of different pupil groupings or teaching methods,
according to pupil needs and local needs. Therapy as access to education takes place within the classbase,
small group rooms, and specialist therapy rooms. If there is a high % of pupils who have PMLD or severe ASD
accommodation needs to be varied to reflect this accordingly. If schools are co-located , then consideration
needs to be given to the shared or joint use of halls, inclusive dining, learning resources library and ICT and
specialist subjects. As part of 14-19 transforming secondary education, Post 16 provision is included with
tertiary tutor base and common room facilites as an option. Although some pupils may well attend an FE college
or work placement, others will learn vocational skills, independent living skills. This accommodation could be
provided at the school or co-located with a sixth form college or FE college with shared use accommodation.
This model is intended as a guideline, to form a basis from which LEAs can build up their own schedules for
schools to suit local needs.The area per pupil will vary accordingly. The model supports entitlement to
curriculum, therapy as access to education, extended schools, community use, multi-agency working, school
workforce and the increased numbers of adults in schools.
Nursery
General teaching spaces - secondary and post16
Practical and performance teaching spaces and group rooms - primary
General teaching spaces - primary
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Small group room 1 per 2 class
bases/ min 2 per keystage
12 2-3 6 Focussed learning, behaviour
management and respite
72
Food Tech 65 4/8 1 whole class or half group 65
Science 65 4/8 1 whole class or half group 65
Art 2D-3D 65 4/8 1 whole class or half group 65
Kiln room 4 1 4
Design tech 65 4/8 1 whole class or half group 65
Music (drama - small groups) 80 4/8 1 music/drama 65 +recording room 15 80
Large Hall - Assembly PE sport
movement.
180 112 +
local
school
inclusion
1 Assembly PE sport movement. Use for
dining inhibits curriculum use.
180
Small group room 1 per 2 class
bases/ min 2 per keystage
15 5 focussed learning, behaviour
management and respite
75
Library/ICT - primary 15 4 2 Separate spaces or combined
interactive learning
30
Library/ICT - secondary 30 4/8 2 separate spaces or combined interactive
learning
60
Dining - primary - separate
space or with sliding folding
doors adjacent to secondary or
combined as one large space
80 96+ 1 Separate space to allow for more
curriculum use of the hall and for social
skills training. Also enables school clubs,
extended school use and sport
community use.
80
Dining - secondary -separate
space or with sliding folding
doors adjacent to primary or
combined as one large space
100 80+ 1
Separate space to allow for more
curriculum use of the hall and for social
skills training. Also enables school clubs,
extended school use and sport
community use.
100
kitchen 40 1 40
servery 10 1 10
kitchen office/store 6 1 6
kitchen toilet/change 4 1 4
kitchen cleaner 2 1 2
Medical Inspection 20 1 First aid and rest room. Additional
medical store, oxygen store and nurses
room may be needed if high % PMLD.
20
school nurse 20 1 20
Therapy including
physiotherapy
30 1 30
Other therapy room 20 1 20
Sensory room 24 1 Or 2 rooms white and dark at 12 sq m 24
Soft play 30 1 30
Hydrotherapy 85 1 24 sqm actual pool with 2-2.5m wide
surround. For community use 72 sqm
pool 144sqm pool hall
85
General teaching resources
storage
6 22 132
Food store 4 1 4
Food tech resources store 4 2 8
Practical/multi purpose
resources store
4 1 4
Science prep room & store 12 1 12
Art resources store 4 1 4
Art work in progress store 6 1 6
Library store 4 2 8
ICT store 4 2 8
File server 4 1 4
DT resources store 4 1 4
DT work in progress store 6 1 6
Drama/music store 8 2 16
Chair store 8 2 16
PE store 10 2 20
Community use store 10 2 20
Kitchen food store 6 1 6
Kitchen refuse store 6 1 6
nedical store 4 1 4
cylinder store 6 1 6
Therapy store 4 2 8
Visiting Professionals store 2 1 2
Meeting/training room store 2 1 2
Clean store 1 4 4
Dirty store 1 4 4
Storage for teachers and pupils
Dining, social and meeting areas
Learning resource area
Practical and performance teaching spaces and group rooms - secondary
Therapy spaces, including communication and medical
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Pool store 6 1 6
edquipment store 20 1 20
Mobility equipment
storage/locker bays
10 16 160
Admin store 4 2 Stationery and secure records 8
Teaching resources store 20 2 40
Premises store/technician 15 1 Includes SEN technical aids 15
Cleaners store 2 3 6
General stores 10 3 Bulk items 30
External store 10 2 Sports and play equipment 20
External maintenance store 10 1 10
Hall dry changing 12 4 May need to be larger for community
use
48
Toilets 20 16 320
Hygiene 20 8 varies according to pupil needs 160
Laundry 4 6 24
Pool changing, toilets, shower,
lockers
30 2 60
Visiting Professionals Office 15 1 15
Meeting/training room 25 1 25
Parents room 15 1 15
Change and lockers 20 2 40
Hall change 4 2 8
Pool change 4 2 8
Disabled toilets 4 4 To meet Building Regulations Part M 16
General office 50 1 could be two separate spaces of 25sqm 50
Head teacher 16 1 16
Deputy 10 2 20
Staff room 80 1 could be two separate spaces of 40sqm 80
Staff preparation room 40 1 could be two separate spaces of 20sqm 40
Toilets 4 6 24
Premises manager 10 1 10
Secure lobby 8 1 Area included in circulation 0
Reception 10 1 Includes display.If separate two
entrances this may double, but area
included in circulation.
0
Pool plant 20 1 20
Plant 100 1 100
4907
Circulation 25% As % of gross area 1704
Partitions 3% As % of gross area 204
6815
36.1
Post 16 option
Post 16 (14-19) Y12 13
'separate and significantly
different' age-appropriate 50%
time off site e.g at FE college or
work placement
65 16 4 tutor bases - could combine for flexible
use spaces including reception office
business use/ PSHE careers/
independence wellbeing self care/ non
ambulant resources.
260
Post 16 teaching resources
storage
4 2 More teaching off site requires less
storage
8
group rooms 15 2 focussed learning, behaviour
management and respite
30
Post 16 common room 80 1 80
dining 20 1 extra over to dining room 20
Common room store 4 1 4
Hygiene/toilets 20 2 40
staff prep 12 1 12
staff room 12 1 12
Staff toilets 4 2 8
subtotal 474
circulation 25% 165
partitions 3% 20
658
Gross internal floor area
other additional areas may be needed to
support this accommodation depending
on the local situation 7474
Gross internal floor area per
pupil 34
Subtotal
Staff areas including facilities for inreach and outreach work
Gross internal floor area per pupil
Gross internal floor area
Other
Pupils toilets and changing areas
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Classbases general teaching
KS1 Y1&2
65 8 max 2 Larger than KS2 because all activities in
classbase including computers, quiet
corner, play activities if development
delay. Consider access to own external
play area.
130
Classbases general teaching
KS2 Y3 4 5 6
55 8 max 4 Most activities in classbase except for
specialist rooms. Freedom of access to
external area directly from classbase may
involve fire exit safety and security issues
which need careful consideration.
220
KS2 Food Tech 20 3 max 1 Separate space for hygiene and safety as
a room between classbases allowing for
concurrent use with small groups.
20
KS2 Practical/multi-purpose 20 3 1 Room between classbases for concurrent
use, safety
20
Social skills/ 'home' base. 1 per
keystage
20 2 Family living room' / nurture group room to
teach social skills and which can be used
in conjunction with food tech.
40
Music drama/large group room 65 1 Multi-purpose use for drama music and
other social or group activities
assumed.Space for BESD needs
required. Option of sliding folding doors to
hall or dining for flexible curriculum use
/extended schools/community use.
65
Schedules: The typical schedules allow for outreach programmes with local schools, extended school use, staff
preparation, which involves flexible multi-purpose use of spaces. It may also be appropriate to consider the
possibility of co-location or inreach programmes with local schools, inclusion with a local primary school or pupil
referral unit for more efficient use of local resources. There is a high need for storage for safety, security and to
minimise distractions in class, but items of equipment are less bulky than other special schools.
General teaching spaces
Practical and performance teaching spaces and group rooms
BESD 1 BB77 Typical Schedule of Accommodation for a 1FE Primary School 48 pupils who have BESD.
Version 8 March 05
Pupils: Pupils are referred due to behaviour emotional and social difficulty as their main SEN and the majority
are boys. Whilst some may also have another special educational need or learning difficulty and need support
for this, there is a wide range of cognitive ability. Some pupils will be able to be re-admitted to mainstream
school, others will continue to secondary BESD school. There may be outreach programmes with local schools or
links with a local pupil referral unit. Pupils are entitled to access to the full curriculum. They are active, rarely have
physical disability, have short attention spans, need more space around them, when interacting with others, can
be reactive and need to learn social skills. (Often, pupils are from disadvantaged family backgrounds and may be
vulnerable). These pupils need non-distraction, safe secure learning environments reflecting a positive image.
There is a high need for passive supervision, safety and security.
This model is intended as a guideline, to form a basis from which LEAs will build up their own schedules for
schools to suit local needs and, as such, the area per pupil will vary accordingly. The model allows for
consideration of entitlement to curriculum, therapy as access to education, extended schools, community use,
multi-agency working, school workforce and the increased numbers of adults in schools.
Staff: Headteacher, deputy head teacher, 6 teachers, 6 teaching assistants, 3 learning mentors, 2 support staff,
visiting professionals educational psychologist/ home-school worker/ learning support specialist, 2 administration
staff, premises officer, 1-2 cleaners, 3-4 kitchen staff, groundsmen.
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Hall 100 1
Assembly PE sport movement
performances and other activities for
pupils who have BESD who need more
space. Hall shared with dining limits
curriculum use and is not recommmended
for this pupil group. Option to combine
space with adjacent dining using sliding
folding doors to increase to 180 for Sport
England community use.
100
Small group room 1 per 2 class
bases/ min 2 per keystage
12 2-3 3 Focussed learning, behaviour
management and respite
36
Library/ICT 15 4 2 Separate spaces or combined interactive
learning
30
Dining 80 48+
adults
1
Separate dining important for social skills
training. Extended school use for
breakfast/after school clubs. Option for
sliding folding doors to hall recommended.
80
Kitchen 40 1 40
Servery 10 1 10
Kitchen office/store 6 1 6
Kitchen toilet/change 6 1 6
Kitchen cleaner 2 1 2
Medical Inspection 15 1 First aid and rest room. 15
General teaching resources
storage KS1
5 2 Bulky items for play to store 10
General teaching resources
storage KS2
4 4 Items not as bulky as KS1 16
Coat cupboards in class bases 1.5 6 6
Food tech resources store 3 1 3
Practical/multi purpose
resources store
3 1 3
Social skills store 2 2 4
Library store 4 1 4
ICT store 4 1 4
File server 4 1 4
Drama/music store 8 1 8
Chair store 8 1 8
PE store 10 1 10
Community use store 10 1 10
Kitchen food store 6 1 6
Kitchen refuse store 6 1 6
Visiting Professionals store 2 1 2
Meeting/training room store 2 1 2
Admin store 4 2 Stationery and secure records 8
Teaching resources store 15 1 15
Premises store/technician 10 1 10
Cleaners store 2 2 4
Learning resource area
Dining, social and meeting areas
Therapy spaces, including communication and medical
Storage for teachers and pupils
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
General stores 10 2 Bulk items 20
External store 10 1 Sports and play equipment 10
External maintenance store 10 1 10
Pupil changing (dry) - Hall 15 2 May need to be larger for community use 30
Pupil Toilets 12 4 Ratio of boys to girls to be considered 48
Visiting Professionals Office 12 1 12
Meeting/training room 25 1 Multi-purpose 25
Parents room 15 1 15
Staff change and lockers 8 2 16
Hall change 4 2 8
Disabled toilets 4 2 Additional toilets may be required to meet
Building Regulations Part M depending on
layout
8
General office 20 1 20
Head teacher 15 1 15
Deputy 10 1 10
Staff room 40 1 Frequent meetings for day to day
progress
40
Staff preparation room 20 1 Could combine with teaching resources 20
Staff Toilets 4 2 8
Premises manager 10 1 10
Secure lobby 8 1 Area included in circulation 0
Reception - welcome area 10 1 Welcome and display area of pupils' work -
area included in circulation
0
Plant 40 1 40
1328
Circulation 25% As % of gross area 461
Partitions 3% As % of gross area 55
1844
38.4
Subtotal
Gross internal floor area
Gross internal floor area per pupil
Staff areas including facilities for inreach and outreach work
Other
Pupils toilets and changing areas
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Inreach classbases 65 8 max 2 For programmes for part time attendance
from local schools
130
Classbases KS3 2FEY7/Y8/Y9 55 8 max 6 Secondary model subject/tutor bases
with classbases having 2 computers,
quiet corner for Maths English
Geography History MFL PSHE/careers.
330
Classbases KS4 2FE Y10-11 55 8 max 2 As above 110
Food Tech 65 8 max 1 Consider fire exite supervision and
f t
65
Science 65 8 max 1 65
Art 2D-3D 65 8 max 1 65
Kiln room 4 1 4
Design tech 65 8 max 1 Supervised and secure 65
CAD/CAM 10 1 Adjacent to art and DT 10
Social skills base 1 per
keystage
30 2 PSHE/careers/social skills 60
Music drama 80 1 More space for BESD needs required for
storage of drum kits etc (Possible
music/drama room 60 sqm
recording/control room 15sqm) Option
for sliding folding doors to dining.
80
Hall 594 1 Assembly PE movement sport -activity
needs important for BESD, also for
teamwork social skills training - space
for 5 a side football and basketball
594
Schedules: This typical schedule allows for accommodation for outreach with local schools, extended school
use and staff preparation, which involves flexible multi-purpose use of spaces. It may also be appropriate to
consider the possibility of co-location or inreach with a local secondary school or pupil referral unit for more
efficient use of local resources. Traditionally, most pupils will stay in school for their secondary education and will
not go to a mainstream school, but may attend FE college or take up a work placement.There are, however,
pupils who will attain GCSEs.
General teaching spaces
Practical and performance teaching spaces and group rooms
For Post -16 provision, LEAs need to plan, review and provide suitable provision to meet the needs of pupils, in
conjunction with LSC and other bodies in their area. An option for Post 16 accommodation as part of 14-19
transforming secondary education has been provided with a common room and tutor bases as support at the
special school for transition to other Post 16 provision in the local area or FE college for vocational skills and
work placements. This accommodation could be provided at the school, or co-located with separate Post 16
provision or FE college.
BESD 3 BB77 Typical Schedule of Accommodation for 2FE BESD Secondary Special School with 64
pupils Y7-Y11 including two class bases for inreach and an option with 32 pupils in Y12 -13 Post 16
provision. Version 10C March 05
Staff: Headteacher, deputy head teacher, 12 teachers, 12 teaching assistants, 6 learning mentors, 4 support
staff, visiting professionals educational psychologist/ home-school worker/ learning support specialist, 4
administration staff, premisies officer, 1-2 cleaners, 3-4 kitchen staff, groundsmen.
Pupils: Pupils are referred due to their behaviour emotional and social difficulty as their main SEN, and the
majority are boys. Whilst some may also have another special educational need or learning difficulty which
needs support, there is a wide range of cognitive ability. Pupils are entitled to and need access to the full
curriculum. They are active, rarely have physical disability, have short attention spans, need more space around
them, when interacting with others, can be reactive and need to learn social skills. (Often, pupils are from
disadvantaged family backgrounds and may be vulnerable). These pupils need non-distraction, safe secure
learning environments reflecting a positive image. There is a high need for passive supervision, safety, security
and storage to minimise distractions in class, also for sports and developing practical and vocational skills.
This model is intended as a guideline, to form a basis from which LEAs will build up their own schedules for
schools to suit local needs and, as such, the area per pupil will vary accordingly. The model allows for
consideration of entitlement to curriculum, therapy as access to education, extended schools, community use,
multi-agency working, school workforce and the increased numbers of adults in schools.
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Small group room 15 4 Behaviour management and learning
support interviews
60
Library/ICT 65 8 max 1
Separate spaces 25+30 or combined
interactive learning
65
Dining 100 1 Pupils with BESD need space and social
skills training. Consider extended school
use and option for sliding folding doors to
music/drama.
100
kitchen 40 1 40
servery 10 1 10
kitchen office/store 6 1 6
kitchen toilet/change 4 1 4
kitchen cleaner 2 1 2
Medical Inspection 15 1 First aid and rest room. 15
General teaching resources
storage
4 8 high need for storage to minimise
distractions in classbase and for security
32
Inreach resources storage 4 2 8
Social skills base store 2 2 4
Lockers 4 8 Normally in bays off circulation, 1 area
per classsbase.
32
Food store 4 1 4
Food tech resources store 4 1 4
Science prep room & store 15 1 15
Art resources store 7 1 7
Art work in progress store 6 1 minimise damage to pupils' work 6
Library store 4 1 4
ICT store 4 1 4
File server 4 1 4
DT resources store 7 1 7
DT work in progress store 6 1 minimise damage to pupils' work 6
Drama/music store 8 1 8
Chair store 8 1 8
PE store 10 1 10
Community use store 10 1 10
Kitchen food store 6 1 6
Kitchen refuse store 6 1 6
Visiting Professionals store 2 1 2
Meeting/training room store 2 1 2
Clean store - Laundry 1 1 sports needs 1
Dirty store - Laundry 1 1 sports needs 1
Admin store 4 2 Stationery and secure records 8
Teaching resources store 15 1 15
Premises store/technician 15 1 including technical aids (e.g.for SpLD
SLCN)
15
Cleaners store 2 2 4
General stores 10 2 Bulk items 20
External store 10 1 Sports and play equipment 10
Exetrnal maintenance store 10 1 10
Pupil changing/showers - Sports
Hall
20 2 Ratio of boys to girls and community use
to be considered. Accommodation for
visiting teams, accessible changing
rooms and community use may increase
requirements.
40
Pupil Toilets 12 4 Ratio of boys to girls to be considered 48
Laundry 4 1 4
Staff areas including facilities for inreach and outreach work
Pupils toilets and changing areas
Therapy spaces, including communication and medical
Dining, social and meeting areas
Learning resource area
Storage for teachers and pupils
Spaces
Area sq
m
No. of
pupils
No. of
rooms
Options / Comments
Gross
internal floor
area
Visiting Professionals Office 12 1 12
Meeting/training room 25 1 Multi purpose, outreach, post 16 25
Interview room 12 1 Multi purpose, outreach, post 16 12
Parents room 15 1 15
Staff Change and lockers 10 2 Central provision 20
Staff change - Sports Hall 6 2 Accessible provision to be considered for
Part M and community use
12
Disabled toilets 4 2 additional provision may be needed to
meet Building Regulations Part M
depending on layout
8
General office 25 1 25
Head teacher 15 1 15
Deputy 10 1 10
Staff room 65 1 Frequent meetings for day to day
progress
65
Staff preparation room 35 1 Could combine with teaching resources 35
Toilets 4 2 Normally centralised to avoid misuse 8
Premises manager 10 1 10
Secure lobby 8 1 Area included in circulation 0
Reception 10 1 Includes display. Area included in
circulation.
0
Plant 50 1 50
2437
Circulation 25% As % of gross area 846
Partitions 3% As % of gross area 102
3385
52.9
Post 16 option with additional inreach bases for KS3/4
Post 16 2FE/Y12-13 separate
and significantly different
55 8 max 4 tutor bases - could combine for flexible
use spaces including reception office
business use/ PSHE careers.
220
Post 16 teaching resources
storage
4 2 8
Post 16 group rooms 15 2 Behaviour management and learning
support interviews
30
Post 16 common room 80 1 Social base with caf/snack facilities.
Consider BESD needs for space.
80
Common room storage 4 1 4
Pupil toilets 8 2 16
staff prep 12 1 12
staff room 12 1 12
Staff 4 2 8
Total of this accommodation
only
other additional areas may be needed to
support this accommodation depending
on the local situation
390
Circulation 25% As % of gross area 135
Partitions 3% As % of gross area 16
542
3926
40.9
Subtotal
Other
Gross internal floor area
Gross internal floor area per pupil
Gross internal floor area
Gross internal floor area per pupil
Appendix A: Summary notes in relation to the Disability Discrimination
Act 1995, as amended by the SEN and Disability Act 2001 including Part
4 (Education)

not to treat disabled pupils less favourably


Part 2 of the DDA 1995 sets out provisions for staff who have disabilities.
For providing goods or a service, such as letting out part of a building, schools should
have conformed to Part 3 DDA 1995 by October 2004.
School Accessibility Plans
review the needs of any pupils with SEN or disabilities who currently attend
the school to anticipate and improve provision required in the future

The duties of educational institutions under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
are to ensure that disabled pupils are not discriminated against, thereby promoting
equality of opportunity between disabled pupils and non-disabled pupils. LEAs need
to ensure that policies are not discriminatory.

There are two key duties involved in ensuring that schools do not discriminate
against disabled pupils. These are:

to take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled pupils at a substantial
disadvantage (this is known as the reasonable adjustments duty)
Planning Duties were set out, under the DDA, for LEAs and schools to increase
access to information, access to curriculum and access to physical environment.
These were that:
LEAs had to produce accessibility strategies by April 2003 and undertake
area-wide planning to match their local needs and provision; to review their
local schools and to carry out improvements to increase accessibility for all
pupils
school governors were required to produce school-accessibility plans by April
2003 to increase access for disabled pupils over time (200306)



All respective parts of the facilities will need to comply with the relevant legislation,
and physical alterations for accessibility will be required. .

Guidance Note: Accessible Schools was issued in J uly 2002. It outlines the Planning
Duties set out under the DDA to increase access to information, curriculum and
physical environment over time (200306). For monitoring, Ofsted will inspect the
LEA and school functions in relation to the accessibility strategy or plan, as part of
their inspections.


Schools and their governors will need to liaise with the LEA and their accessibility
strategy in order to plan at local school level. The following points should be
considered:

1. When reviewing and updating their school accessibility plans to increase
accessibility for pupils with SEN and disabilities, they will need to consider the
following factors:

liaise with the LEA about local needs for SEN and Disability access and
collect information on improving accessibility
liaise with LEA to ascertain likely number and type of pupils with SEN and
disabilities who will be attending the school in the future
carry out consultation with questionnaires to staff parents and pupils to inform
this process
identify specific targets, or projects of work, which are realistic and achievable
to increase accessibility and inclusion
If refurbishment or maintenance works are planned, review these for both the
accessibility and inclusion needs of existing pupils, and of those anticipated in
the future.
If there are existing pupils with SEN or disabilities, review statements and
plan for better access to curriculum and information, and how they are
provided for in the building (Part 4).
safe access to school from site boundary including safe transport and drop off
and accessible parking areas
simple, clear layout, good signage directions and orientation for wayfinding
identify resources available under devolved and delegated budgets which can
reasonably be expected to be used to improve access to the school and site
providers and designers need to understand the context in which they work in
relation to LEA accessibility strategies and school-accessibility plans so as to
ensure that pupils have access to information, curriculum and physical
environment for their education and participation in life at school
liaise with the LEA the on their Accessibility Strategy, Schools Access
Initiative and other funding availability
identify barriers, plan to eliminate barriers or make reasonable adjustments to
overcome these
discuss possible works to be carried out with SENCO or Education Officer
along with Access or Buildings Officer as appropriate
update School Asset Management Plan with LEA for sufficiency (review net
capacity in relation to pupils needs), condition (building access health and
safety) and suitability (for curriculum activities)

2. Identify potential barriers to access and consider the following points:

Also review these for employment (Part 2) and access to goods facilities and
services provisions (Part 3).

3. Arrange for, or carry out, an accessibility audit or update the existing audit to
review the general school environment. A checklist for access to the physical
environment for teaching and learning is set out below. The following points should
be considered:

accessible building entrances and exits
accessible, user-friendly reception good lighting on face of receptionist, lower
section of desk with knee recess, induction loop, good signage
good signage and wayfinding
safe, accessible stairs, steps, stairways kerbs, exterior surfaces and paving
emergency escape refuge areas
ramps, handrails, stairways and lifts
internal and external doors and gates
wide, well lit corridors (clear width, doors held open on electro-magnetic
catches)
good sound insulation between rooms, as required
suitable toilets and washing facilities
lighting (no glare, shadowing, silhouetting)
heating (thermal comfort, local controls)
adequate ventilation
good room acoustics
teachers and pupils can see each other, pupils have good visibility of
whiteboard, their work and ICT
sufficient space in the class base for the number of staff and pupils and
curriculum activities being carried out
adequate work surface space for use of learning aids
adequate provision and storage of learning resources
appropriate size and shape of furniture to suit pupils varied needs and good
posture
mobility equipment and space for storage, if required
good-quality natural lighting and artificial lighting with no shadowing or
silhouetting or glare
internal blinds or external shades for solar control
good-quality room acoustics, teachers voice to be clearly audible for all
pupils, low background noise, acoustic-absorbent surfaces (ceiling/upper
walls/floor), soft furnishings (curtains)
resource base and small group rooms for flexible use for learning and
behaviour support therapy and meetings
suitable access to all outdoor activities for outdoor curriculum, social and
recreational use, sheltered quiet spaces, safe contained spaces, as required

4. plan, with the LEA and governors, future works to increase the potential
accessibility and inclusion possible in the school to allow more pupils with SEN and
disabilities to attend in the future.

5. carry out projects to improve accessibility and monitor installations, programmes
and budgets

6. update the School Asset Management Plan with the LEA for sufficiency, condition
and suitability

7. Invite feedback from users to ensure provision is adequate

Appendix B: A summary of curriculum requirements for pupils who have
SEN and disabilities

This Appendix consists of a summary of requirements about the curriculum to be
taught in mainstream schools, special schools, pupil-referral units and independent
schools. While these vary between the different settings, the following points need to
be borne in mind when briefing and designing accommodation in the various types of
provision.

The Education Act 1996, as subsequently amended, requires all mainstream schools
to provide pupils, including those with SEN, with a broad and balanced curriculum,
including the National Curriculum and Religious Education. This includes pupils who
are the subject of a statement of special educational need, whether they are
educated in a mainstream primary or secondary school or in a special school, unless
the statement specifically disapplies them from one or more of the National
Curriculum subjects. There are, however, few instances of disapplication in practice.

The Act has implications for the design of schools as these must enable pupils with
SEN to receive their curriculum entitlement:

The performance of pupils with SEN and disabilities is described in terms of:

P scales (eight small step levels leading up to Level 1 National Curriculum)
National Curriculum Levels
For more information, see Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation stage
(QCA/DfEE, 2000).
The primary and secondary phases

The Foundation Stage

This stage applies to all children from the age of 3 to the end of the reception year
(usually at age 5). It makes provision for 6 areas of learning:

personal, social and emotional development
communication, language and literacy
mathematical development
knowledge and understanding of the world
physical development
creative development


P scales

A descriptive scale of assessing and recording pupils progress and attainments
which schools use, by setting learning targets for the children working in the early
stages towards level one of the National Curriculum


English and Mathematics are taught at all Key Stages, with a daily Literacy Hour and
Mathematics lesson for primary schools.

Other general-teaching specialist subjects include humanities (or History and
Geography) and other subjects such as Personal, Social and Health Education
(PSHE) and/or Citizenship. Specialist practical subjects are:

two- and three-dimensional Art, Science and Design and Technology,
including Food Technology
Music, Drama and Physical Education
ICT, across the curriculum and as a dedicated subject
A Modern Foreign Language is required at secondary phase

It is a legal requirement that Religious Education be taught, and that a daily,
collective corporate act of worship is provided. This can be in the assembly hall, a
tutor group room or another reasonably sized space. Assembly is also an important
time when pupils come together as a whole-school community.
Post-16

It is important to allow pupils who have SEN and disabilities to develop their full
potential and be recognised as part of the student body. Where pupils are able to
work along with their peers in local community schools (mainstream or special), they
will work towards obtaining nationally recognised, externally accredited qualifications,
including:

GCSEs, AS levels and A levels
the Certificate of Educational Achievement
qualifications provided by the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation
Network (ASDAN)
certificates for pre-vocational education and vocational qualifications in
subjects such as hairdressing, horticulture, catering, care work, maintenance
or trade skills

Further training in social skills and independence living is also provided. Refer to The
Curriculum for Students with Learning Difficulties: 1419 and Beyond (QCA).

Pupil-referral units

Although pupil-referral units are not required to teach the full National Curriculum, in
practice many aim to provide the majority of it. This has become easier since
September 2002 when the units were required to provide a full-time rather than part-
time programme, as previously.

Where the aim of the unit is to work with pupils for a short time and then for them to
re-enter mainstream schools, it is particularly important for accommodation and
facilities to enable the pupils to continue with all subjects so that they are not
disadvantaged when they return to mainstream schools.

Where such return is not possible, it is important that the pupils are taught a broad
and balanced curriculum, including as much of the National Curriculum as possible,
so that they are not disadvantaged by being taught too narrow a curriculum.

For many small units it will not be realistic to provide the whole range of specialist
accommodation for all subjects.

Where this is the case, consideration needs to be given at the briefing and design
stages to what specialist accommodation can be provided and what arrangements to
use specialist accommodation and facilities can be made with local schools, colleges
or other providers so that the pupils have access to that which cannot be provided on
site.

Many units aim to provide opportunities for pupils to gain nationally recognised
externally accredited qualifications and the accommodation needs to enable this to
happen.

Special Schools

The Future of Special Schools report has implications for the provision in special
schools of facilities such as a parents room, a training room with additional
accommodation for outreach work, or for groups of pupils from mainstream schools
who attend the special school for particular part-time provision as part of the interface
between special and mainstream schools.
Many special schools provide opportunities for their pupils to gain nationally
recognised, externally accredited qualifications, including GCSE, the Certificate of
Educational Achievement, awards by the Award Scheme Development and
Accreditation Network (ASDAN) and vocational qualifications. The accommodation
needs to enable such courses to be taught, particularly where there are specialist
facilities required.
Residential Schools
Pupils attend residential special schools for many different reasons:
Although National Care Standards 2000 apply to residential special schools, the
residential/care aspects are only a part (an important part) of what is a wider
provision that is essentially an educational placement that exists in order that the
needs of the pupils, as stated in their statement, are met. The special school is firstly
a school and is responsive to legislation and guidance as a school.

Community-maintained special schools for primary- and secondary-age pupils will
require the same range of subjects to be taught as for mainstream primary and
secondary schools and appropriate specialist accommodation should be provided.

Where special schools are small, it may be possible to provide some of the specialist
accommodation off site by using the facilities of a local secondary school or other
facility. This may be a suitable arrangement where the special school is co-located
on the same campus as a secondary school.




as an essential part of their educational programme
in residence to stabilise school attendance
to assist families in resolving social issues or to provide respite

Residential special schools are distinct from respite accommodation, other boarding
schools and childrens homes.

Residential schools have to comply with the National Care Standards for their
residential accommodation.


From April 2002, the National Care Standards Commission has responsibility for
welfare inspection of the residential accommodation of boarding schools, including
residential special schools.

This includes:

a) special schools in accordance with sections 337 and 347(1) of the Education
Act
b) an independent school not falling within (a), which has as its sole or main
purpose the provision of places, with the consent of the Secretary of State, for
pupils with SEN or who are in public care

There is a separate set of minimum standards for all other schools which provide
accommodation for children.

Boarding schools which accommodate, or arrange accommodation for, any child for
more than 295 days a year, or intend to do so, are required to register as childrens
homes with the National Care Standards Commission. Such schools are then subject
to the Childrens Homes Regulations 2001 and the national minimum standards for
childrens homes rather than the National Care Standards.

Nonmaintained schools

These schools are not maintained by LEAs and are approved under the
Section 342 of the Education Act 1996. They are non-profit-making and run by
charitable trusts. Non-maintained special schools are funded primarily through pupils
fees charged to LEAs, which place children there in order to have an assessment
carried out, or because the school is named in the pupils statement. They are
indirectly funded by the public purse, via local-authority expenditure.



Non-maintained special schools are subject to the provisions set out in the Education
(Non-maintained Special Schools) (England) Regulations 1999. The regulations deal
with the initial and continuing conditions for approval by the Secretary of State. These
relate to issues of governance, health and safety, premises, non-profit-making status
of the school, and so on.

Independent schools:

Many pupils with SEN attend independent schools, including a number of
independent schools which cater wholly or mainly for pupils with SEN.
Independent schools are not required to teach the National Curriculum, though in
practice many have chosen to do so. Where a pupil with a statement of special
educational need is placed at the school by a local education authority, the statement
will often state that the pupil should have access to the National Curriculum. In
accepting the placement of the pupil, the school is accepting the obligation to teach
the National Curriculum.

Even where the independent school has chosen not to teach the National
Curriculum, and has not admitted any pupils where this is a requirement of the
statement, there are statutory requirements for the curriculum.
The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2003 require
independent schools to draw up and implement effectively a written policy on the
curriculum, supported by appropriate plans and schemes of work, which provides for:

a) full-time supervised education for pupils of compulsory school age, which
gives pupils experience in linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological,
human and social, physical and aesthetic and creative education;
b) subject matter appropriate for the ages and aptitudes of pupils, including
those with a statement;' and
c) where a pupil has a statement, education which fulfils its requirements.

These requirements of the regulations mean that suitable accommodation has to be
provided for this curriculum to be taught.

This will include provision for pupils with SEN to have access to the use of
information and communication technology.

Wherever pupils with SEN are educated, there may be additional requirements for
various forms of therapy. There will also need to be additional accommodation for
individual or small group teaching and learning, and for use by other professional
specialists such as physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, educational
psychologists and teachers form the sensory-impairment service.















Appendix C: Legislation relating to the outdoor spaces


The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999

Prior to this legislation, the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1996 made no
provision for the minimum area of team-game playing fields for special schools. The
former requirement for special schools to have playing fields adjoining, or in the
immediate vicinity, was revoked. The 1999 regulations discontinue the assumption
that pupils attending special schools have a lesser need for team-game playing
fields. Instead they promote equality of access to team-game playing fields by
applying the same team-game playing fields standards as apply to mainstream
schools.

SPRs set out the requirements for minimum area of team-game playing fields which
depends on the number of pupils at the school who are 8 or older (N.B. If on
February 1999, the special school met the 1996 regulations they are treated as
meeting the 1999 regulations, provided the team playing fields are exactly the ones
provided in 1999; and there has been no step increase in the number of pupils). The
team-game playing fields need not be grass, however the grassed part must be
capable of sustaining 7 hours a week, per school, during term time (a rotation
allowing grass to recover may be needed).

The minimum team-game playing fields may include all-weather surfaces, including
tarmac, provided that this is both suitable and laid out for the playing of team games.
The terms are not defined but must be suitable and safe for playing team games.
The Regulations allow some all-weather surfaces to be counted as twice their actual
area; these are hard porous, synthetic and polymeric surfaces.

Where a school lacks suitable playing fields of its own, guaranteed timetabled
provision elsewhere should be provided. Any grass playing fields used by more than
one school which are shared must be capable of sustaining 7 hours per week use by
each school that uses the field, and the host school must retain the statutory
minimum.

Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act

The Protection of School Playing Fields, applies to all maintained schools in England.
(Circular 3/99)

Section 77(7) of the Act defines playing fields as land in the open air which is
provided for the purposes of physical education or recreation, other than any
prescribed description of land. And land itself is defined as buildings and other
structures, land covered with water and any interest in land. in section 579 of the
education act 1996.

The overall site area comprises the area now referred to as playing field area, that
is, all parts used for teaching and learning activities, including PE and recreation and
the area taken up by building s and access. Schools grounds may offer opportunities
for community use and for developing links with local sports clubs.


Appendix D: Summary of legislation (other than DDA) relating to special
needs and disabilities and school buildings


SI 1999 No. 2, the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999
See www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si1999/19990002.htm)
At present, these override current Building Regulations on ramps, steps and
handrails (Sections F, K, and M). For example, ramps have shallower gradients and
the pitch of stairs shall be shallower which is more suitable for children. These were
subsumed into the Approved Document Part M, 1 May 2004.
DfES Constructional Standards: Guidance Note DfES/0142/2001 Issue 7/2001
(available at www.teachernet.gov.uk/sbconstand

This document contains statutory minimum requirements for the premises of
maintained schools, including requirements for the health, safety and welfare of
pupils. Its contents include:

School facilities: minimum standards for washrooms, medical inspection
room, storage of clothes and other belongings and staff accommodation

Regulations relating to boarding schools

Structural requirements, weather protection, health safety and welfare,
acoustics, lighting, heating, ventilation, water supplies and drainage

Minimum areas for team -game playing fields. Provision of all - weather
pitches can be treated as if they were twice their actual area, in meeting this
requirement

The Building Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/2531)

The Regulations are statutory and apply to the following:
the design and construction of all new school buildings
alterations and extensions to existing school buildings
adaptations to existing buildings, involving structural alterations and/or
alterations to underground drainage (storm or foul)
The Approved Documents A-N are for guidance. Reference will need to be made to
the associated British and European Standards and Codes of Practice.
Part B: Fire Safety, Part E: Resistance to the passage of sound (July 2003)
and Part M: Access to and use of buildings, are of particular relevance for SEN.

Schools are public buildings and therefore they require Full Plans Permission. The
local fire officer also needs to be consulted for advice (which is non-statutory).

DfES Constructional Standards 1999

).

BS 8300: Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of
disabled people - The Code of Practice
This Code of practice should also be referred to in conjunction with the above.

Building Bulletin 91: Access for Disabled People to School Buildings 1999

BB91 was the first document containing advice on carrying out an accessibility audit
for school premises. It gives design and management advice against which to
compare an existing school. (but is now mostly superseded by Document Part M).

Building Bulletin 94: Inclusive School Design 1994

This building bulletin sets out guidance for including pupils who have SEN and
disabilities in mainstream schools. It describes the process of inclusive school
design, as both a consultative and collaborative approach, in order to create ways to
meet the needs of pupils with SEN and disabilities to participate in the school
community.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 as amended

This legislation places duties on clients, planning supervisors, designers and
contractors to plan, co-ordinate and manage health and safety throughout all stages
of a building contract. The following matters are to be considered and carried out by
clients, consultants and contractors.

Planning buildings and managing construction projects for Health and Safety.

Appointment of a Planning Supervisor is a legal duty incumbent on the client
(school governors, LEA or Diocese).

Production of Design Stage Health and Safety Plans. Consideration at early
design stages of Health and Safety e.g. for safety and maintenance of large
glazed areas or design issues for vertical circulation in schools.

Notification to the Health and Safety Executive of the start of works on site,
appointment of the principal contractor and development of the health and
safety plan for the construction stage will be needed.

Production of a Health and Safety File which should stay with the project for
its life.

Health and safety regulations

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) require employers
to:
Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, as far as reasonably
practicable;
Assess the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling that cannot be
avoided; and
Reduce the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling, as far as
reasonably practicable.
HSE Health and Safety Matters for Special Educational Needs: moving and handling
(forthcoming due summer 2005) Further information is available at the Health and
Safety Executive www.hse.gov.uk.
Appendix E: Extract from Building Bulletin 81: Design and Technology
Accommodation in Secondary Schools

Types of space

The way in which the facilities described in Figures 1.1 and 1.2 below are translated
into the exact number, size and type of spaces to be provided in a Design and
Technology department will have to be determined by analysis of the schools needs
its present and future curriculum, pupil numbers and particular ways of teaching.
This will involve discussion between teachers, advisers and building designers.
Broadly speaking, the facilities provided will include timetabled teaching spaces,
untimetabled learning resource areas and non-teaching support spaces.

Timetabled teaching spaces
Textiles: specially equipped for working with textiles by hand and using
machines in various ways
Notes

The types of timetabled spaces will vary depending on pupil numbers and the way in
which the curriculum is delivered. The key is to provide facilities that will match the
activities taking place now or in the future, bearing in mind the need to allow for
flexibility. Types of space tend to divide broadly into the following categories,
reflecting the different specialist facilities required:

Resistant materials: equipped for working with wood, metal and plastics,
sometimes with a bias towards working with either wood or metal, or
equipped for a vocational course
Electronics and control systems: for smaller-scale work, e.g. making and
learning about electronic products and pneumatic control systems
Food: specially equipped for working with food, sometimes with a bias
towards a vocational course
Graphic products: equipped for working on two- and three-dimensional
products including computer graphics
Figure 1.1: General facilities associated with design and technology activities

Activity Facility
Researching,
designing,
testing
and evaluating
Clean areas with networked
computers (up to half class at any one
time), with occasional need for 1:1
computer access
Wireless laptops provide
greater flexibility and would allow
whole-class activity
Computers attached to CAM
machines could be used if available,
given suitable software and adequate
working space at the computer
Clean area with tables for sketching,
reading, writing and laying out own
and others products for evaluation
Facility could be multi-
functional but sketching and writing
require smooth surface
Area for whole class or small group to
gather for discussion
Tables not always needed
this affects area requirement. Pupils
may stand for short sessions
An interactive whiteboard, data
projector, OHP or video player will be
used. May be occasions when more
than one group gathering (e.g. to hear
outside speaker)
Place for 2D and 3D display of existing
good products to analyse and for
inspiration
Position where seen frequently
by pupils. Particularly in areas where
design takes place and in shared
resource areas
Display will be rotated -
consider effect on storage needs
Storage space associated with all the
above facilities
See Section 3 for more
information on storage

Figure 1.2: Specialist facilities associated with design and technology activities

Activity Facility
20
Notes
All activities Space to store materials, resources,
prototypes, and final products
Products need to be stored
securely, whilst in progress and when
completed
Designing and
making with
resistant
materials
Area for group gathering for practical
demonstration (e.g. use of a
machine)
Machine to be located to
ensure safety and visibility to (possibly
whole-class) group
Area for working at workbenches
with hand and power tools
Need adequate space around
benches
Floor-standing and bench-mounted
machines for working with wood,
metal and plastics (traditional and
CAD/CAM)
Need adequate space around
machines
One line of floor-standing
machines easier to supervise
Electrical safety system needed
(see Sections 5 and 6)
Consider options for locating
CAD/CAM machines, bearing in mind
noise, dust and space requirements
Equipment for working with plastics. Good ventilation needed
Heat-treatment equipment. Minimum brazing hearth and
casting

20
Pupils should have access to a sink with hot and cold water close to all specialist facilities.
Position away from circulation
areas. LEV will prevent location against
windows
Consider how gas bottles are
stored
Designing and
making with
electronics, and
control systems
Area for working at benches with
access to low-voltage power and
possibly pneumatics.

Low voltage can be provided in
serviced tables or by portable power
packs.
Area for working at workbench(es)
with hand and power tools
Need adequate space around
benches
Facility to make circuit boards (PCB
unit for etching or CAD/CAM for
engraving).
PCB unit needs good
ventilation
Area for working at computers,
minimum half a class at one time
with occasional need for 1:1
computer access
Laptops save space and allow
1:1 computer access. Battery operated
laptops allow work in a variety of
places, which frees up layout
possibilities
Bench-mounted machines for
working in wood, metal and plastics.
Need adequate space around
machines.
Designing and
making with food
Area for cooking and preparing food,
including industrial and catering
equipment
Need adequate space around
cookers and sinks for safe working.
Good ventilation required
Cookers, sinks and worktops
should be at the correct height
Area for group gathering for
demonstration.
Consider one/two cooking bay/s
doubling as demonstration for flexibility,
including industrial and catering
equipment for a variety of cooking
demos
Consider visibility
Somewhere where cooked food can
be cooled after each lesson


Must be away from activity and
secure
Food-preparation area could be
used (see Section 3)
Designing and
making with
textiles
Area where up to half class can cut
out fabric
Some may need large surface
area
Work surface for working with
sewing and knitting machines
including CAD/CAM
Some equipment can be in a
cupboard or a storeroom, when not in
use, releasing work surface
Work surface for traditional
equipment such as weaving looms
Equipment can be in a
cupboard or a storeroom when not in
use, releasing work surface
Space for ironing fabric and
garments during making


Allow safe distances around
ironing board
Avoid trailing leads
Work surface with sink for fabric
testing

May need occasional access to
science laboratory with fume cupboard
for health and safety reasons
Lots of free floor area for
dressmaking dummies
Dummies can hold work in
progress so may be put in stores or
used as classroom display
Area where garments can be tried
on in privacy
Most economical solution to
use storeroom (if large enough)
Occasional printing facility including
large deep sink and suitable printing
surface for screen-printing and batik
Can set up temporarily or share
facility with art room
Centrally located services allow
e.g. batik printing on central tables
(usually more spacious than perimeter
benching)
Testing and
evaluating in all
specialist areas
Access to specialist materials and
equipment for testing products
When tasting food, need
somewhere with good lighting away
from cooking smells
Clear floor space

May be needed for large and
moving products, structural tests, etc.
Designing and
making with
graphics
products
Area for working at computers,
minimum a quarter of the class at
one time with occasional need for
1:1 computer access
Laptops save space and allow
1:1 computer access. A large screen
desirable for graphic work
Equipment for working with plastics Good ventilation needed
LEV needed CAD/CAM facility
Use general facility but allow
space to store drawing boards unless
have specialist tables (see Section 4)
Technical drawing facility

Pupils may occasionally need to use facilities outside school. This is most likely on vocational
courses when pupils may visit a college or workplace. There may also be virtual links allowing
teaching groups to view industrial processes taking place off-site. Video conferencing can
take place in any teaching area, provided there is room for the whole group to sit at tables for
sketching, note-taking, etc.

Appendix F: School Workforce

Staff Accommodation:
A good-quality working environment is essential for the whole of the school workforce
which includes head teachers, teachers and all support staff. Issues of staff self-
esteem and motivation can frequently link with recruitment and retention. School
design needs to reflect the implications of the workforce-reform agenda and in
particular the contractual elements of the National Agreement Raising Standards and
Tackling Workload which will impact on all schools. For more details, see
www.teachernet.gov.uk/remodelling.

A key element of workforce remodelling is the deployment of more support staff in
schools. This will help teachers to concentrate on delivering personalised teaching
and learning for pupils and to get the most out of the time they will be guaranteed
from September 2005 for planning, preparation and assessment.
























Appendix G: Hearing impairment


An audiology room (24 m
2
) is used for the testing and assessment of pupils with
hearing impairment. It may also be dual-used for language-development work. It may
have an acoustic floating floor, acoustically lined walls and ceiling, triple-glazed
windows and access off a main corridor with ramped walkway. If such a room is
intended for audiological testing, sound-proofed accommodation must be provided to
ISO 8253-1 (1987) and ISO 8253-2 (1992) standards for acoustic test methods
suitable for children. Nearby, there will be an audiology technicians room (2030 m
2
)
for storage, testing and repair of small-sized equipment.




the ability to reduce constant background noise, such as traffic noise

Cochlear implants are most often used by deaf children who gain little or no benefit
from conventional hearing aids. Cochlear implants use electrodes, implanted into the
cochlea of the ear, to send electrical signals directly to the auditory nerve and give a
sensation of hearing. The child wears a microphone, worn like a hearing aid behind
the ear. The microphone is connected to a speech processor, which converts the
sound to a signal that is transmitted via radio waves to the internal part of the
implant. The speech processor is either a body-worn unit connected to the
microphone by a lead, or is housed in the same unit as the microphone and is worn
completely behind the ear.
Radio aids (also known as radio personal FM systems) are widely used by children
with hearing impairments in schools. They help overcome causes of difficulty in a
classroom situation by:
providing a good signal-to-noise ratio
effectively maintaining a constant distance between the speaker and the
listener
Audiology room
Hearing aids
Hearing aids are used to allow a child to hear as much as possible with the hearing
they have. Most hearing aids work by making the sounds going into the ear louder.
They come in various shapes and sizes. Most have controls that allow the hearing
aids to be set to match the childs level of deafness. All will have a microphone that
will receive sounds. Hearing aids can be worn on the body, behind the ear or in the
ear.

Digital aids
Traditional analogue hearing aids are now being replaced by digital aids, which use a
microprocessor to process sound. Advantages of digital hearing aids over
conventional analogue hearing aids may include:
the ability to be programmed to more closely match the childs hearing loss
a facility to reduce feedback (whistling)
Cochlear implants


Radio aids


reducing the impact of unhelpful reverberation

All radio aids have two main components: a transmitter and a receiver. The person
who is speaking (usually the teacher) wears the transmitter. A microphone picks up
their voice. The sounds are transmitted by an FM radio signal to the receiver, which
is worn by the child. The receiver converts the signal to a sound that the child can
hear. Radio aids are usually used in conjunction with the child's hearing aids or
cochlear implant.
Sound-field systems







Sound-field systems provide distributed sound throughout a classroom. They use a
wireless link between the microphone and amplifier which will operate on VHF or
UHF radio or infra-red frequencies. Loudspeakers are fitted around the classroom.

Sound-field systems have been shown to be beneficial for hearing children and
children with a mild or temporary hearing loss. They will not by themselves usually
provide sufficient improvement in signal-to-noise ratio for a child with a significant
hearing loss, when a personal radio aid is also usually necessary

































Glossary of terms and abbreviations

ASD Autistic-spectrum disorder
BECTA British Educational Technology and Communications Agency
BESD Behaviour, emotional and social difficulty
BREEAM Building Research Establishment Energy Assessment Method
Class base A room, bay or open area exclusively used by one class for core
activities.


AAC Alternative and augmentative communication

ABA Applied Behavioural Analysis an approach used for teaching pupils with
autism

ADM 2004 The Building Regulations 2000 Approved Document M Access to and
use of Buildings 1 May 2004





COSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002

DDA Disability Discrimination Act 1995 as amended by the Special Education
Needs and Disabilities Act 2001

Disapplication Removal or lifting of a programme of study

EP Educational psychologist

Group size The number of pupils in a teaching group using a teaching space

HI Hearing impairment

Higashi A teaching approach for pupils with autism, developed in J apan and Boston,
and based ondaily life and organised physical exercise

ICT Information and communication technology


LA Local authority

LEA Local education authority

LSC Learning and Skills Council

Maintained School Schools maintained by a local education authority, which are
community, foundation, voluntary, community special and foundation special schools.

MLD Moderate learning difficulties

MSI Multi-sensory impairment
National Curriculum The National Curriculum sets out a clear, full and statutory
entitlement to learning for all pupils, determining what should be taught and setting
attainment targets for learning. It also determines how performance is assessed and
reported.



SEN Special educational needs





NMSS Non-maintained special schools are approved by the Secretary of State under
Section 342 of the Education Act 1996.

OT Occupational therapist

PD Physical disability
PECS Picture Exchange Communication System a non-verbal communication
technique using signs and symbols
PMLD Profound and multiple learning difficulty

PRU Pupil-referral unit

RIBA Royal Institute of British Architects

SALT Speech and language therapy

SENCO Special educational needs coordinator
SLCN Speech, language and communication needs
SLD Severe learning difficulties
SPELL The SPELL framework is an approach for pupils with autism used by the
National Autistic Society

Special school
A school which is specially organised to make special educational provision for pupils
with special educational needs. Special schools maintained by LEAs comprise
community special schools and foundation special schools, and non-maintained
special schools are approved by the Secretary of State under Section 342 of the
Education Act 1996.

SpLD Specific learning difficulty

SPRs the Education (School Premises) Regulations, 1999

TEACCH Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped
Children

Total Communication
This is a philosophy that involves children with hearing impairment using different
methods of communication at any one time. Therefore, sign language will not replace
but will support the method of oral communication and the use of any residual
hearing to develop speech and language skills.
VI Visual Impairment
References, further reading and sources of information


Design quality

Building Bulletin 95: Schools for the Future (available online at
www.teachernet.gov.uk/schoolbuildings)
Francis, S. and Glanville, R., Building a 2020 Vision: Future Healthcare
Environments (Stationery Office Books, 2001)

Information can be downloaded from the website of the Commission for Architecture
and the Built Environment at www.cabe.org.uk


Better Public Buildings (CABE)
Design Review (CABE)
Achieving Well-designed Schools Through PFI (CABE)
Being Involved in School Design (CABE)
.

The Construction Industry Council Design Quality Indicator can be found online at
www.dqi.org.uk.
The Disability Rights Commission Learning and Teaching



Accessibility Planning Project and Reasonable Adjustments Project
www.teachernet.gov.uk/wholeschool/sen/schools/accessibility

The School Wed Like (Guardian, 5 J une 2001, available online at
www.guardian.co.uk/guardianeducation/story/0,3605,501372,00.html)

Legal and policy documents

Disability Rights Commission Code of Practice for Schools

Disability Discrimination Act 1995: Part 4 Education

www.drc-gb.org
Making it Work: Removing Disability Discrimination (Council for Disabled Children,
2002)
Excellence for all Children: Meeting Special Educational Needs (DfEE, 1997)

Meeting Special Educational Needs: A Programme of Action (DfEE, 1998)

Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2001)

Accessible Schools: Planning to Increase Access to Schools for Disabled Pupils
(DfES, 2002) Ref: LEA/0168/2002

The Report of the Special Schools Working Group (DfES, 2003)
Data Collection by Type of Special Educational Needs (DfES, 2003) Ref:
LEA/0200/2003


Removing Barriers to Achievement: The Governments Strategy for SEN 2004
www.teachernet.gov.uk/sen

Every Child Matters: Change for Children (2004)
Every Child Matters: Schools www.everychildmatters.gov.uk
www.teachernet.gov.uk/publications

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: Towards Inclusive Schools (Ofsted,
2004)



Deaf-friendly Teaching (NDCS, 2004)
(These publications can be downloaded from the National Deaf Childrens Society
website at www.ndcs.org.uk
SEN
Building Sight (RNIB, 1995)
Deaf-friendly Nurseries and Pre-schools (NDCS, 2004)
Deaf-friendly Schools: A Guide for Teachers and Governors (NDCS, 2001)
.)
East, Vic and Evans, Linda, At a Glance: A Quick Guide to Childrens Special Needs
(Questions, 2001)
Keller, Helen (ed. J ames Berger), The Story of My Life (Random House, 2004)
Naish, L, Bell, J and Clunies-Ross, L. Exploring Access in Mainstream: How to Audit
your School Environment Focussing on Pupils Who have Visual Impairment (RNIB,
2004)
Naish, L; Bell, J ; Clunies-Ross, L. Exploring Access: How to audit your school
environment, focusing on the needs of children who have multiple disabilities
and visual impairment (RNIB. 2003)
Newton, Richard, Downs Syndrome Handbook (Vermillion, 2003)
Including pupils with Downs Syndrome (leaflets available from the Downs Syndrome
Association)
Sicile-Kira, Chantal, and Grandin, Temple, Autism Spectrum Disorders: The
Complete Guide (Vermillion, 2003)


Lewis, Kevin, The Kid (Penguin, 2004)







Sorrell, Frances, Understanding Us: Photographs and Stories from People with a
Learning Disability (MENCAP/the Sorrell Foundation, 2004)

Stacey, Patricia, The Boy Who Loved Windows (J ohn Wiley and Sons, 2003)

Wing Robinson, Lorna, The Autistic Spectrum (Constable and Robinson, 2003)

Varma, Ved (ed.), The Inner Life of Children with Special Needs (Whurr, 1995)

Visser, J . and Rayner, S. (eds), Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties: A Reader (Q
Ed, 1999)

Visser, J ., Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties: Successful Practice J .Visser
(Q Ed, 2002)

Are We Nearly There Yet? A survey of teenagers who have disabilities about school
Eleni Burgess/Millennium Award Scheme (available for 3 including p&p from
arewenearlythereyet@btinternet.com)
The Muscular Dystrophy Association
http://www.muscular-dystrophy.org.uk/information


Briefing

Building Bulletin 81: Design and Technology Accommodation in Secondary Schools
(available online at www.teachernet.gov.uk/schoolbuildings/bulletins)

The National Building Specification NBS Educator Briefs: An Introduction 2002
www.nbseducator.co.uk/briefs/homebriefs.shtm

Building Bulletin 94: Inclusive School Design

RIBA Architects Job Book, 7
th
edition (RIBA, 2000) Available from
www.riba.bookshop.com.
Floors for Indoor Sports (Sport England)
Sport England Publications 0870 5210255
Information can be downloaded from the website at www.sportengland.org
Refs: A-B/CM The statement of need & D/CM Project brief final checklist

Sports halls

Designing Spaces for Sports and Arts (DfEE, 2000)

Design Guidance Notes for Sports Halls: Sizes and Layouts (Sport England)
Pavilions and Club Houses (Sport England)
Multi-use Games Areas (Sport England)
Village and Community halls: Design Guidance Note (Sport England)
Access for Disabled People: Design Guidance Note (Sport England)

Sport England 16 Upper Woburn Place London WC1H
.

Learning through Landscapes: www.ltl.org.uk

Outdoor spaces

Building Bulletin 71: The Outdoor Classroom

Building Bulletin 85: School Grounds

Developing Accessible Play Space: A Good-practice Guide (ODPM Publications.
Available from PO Box 236 Wetherby, West Yorkshire. LS23 7NB or by calling 0870
1226236)

Stoneham, J ane, Grounds for Sharing: A Guide to Developing Special School Sites
(Southgate, 1996)

Medical, therapy and health
Mednick, Michael, Supporting Children with Multiple Disabilities in Mainstream
Schools (Questions Publishing, 2000)

Infection Control in the Built Environment (Stationery Office Books, 2003)
www.tso-nhse.co.uk


HSE Health and Safety Matters for Special Educational Needs: moving and handling
(forthcoming due summer 2005) www.hse.gov.uk

Muscular Dystrophy Association
http://www.muscular-dystrophy.org.uk/information

ICT

BECTA British Educational Communications and Technological Agency 2001
www.becta.org.uk

Building construction

Barker, Peter and Fraser, J une, Sign Design Guide (J MU Access,RNIB, 2000)

BS8300 2001 Design of Buildings and their Approaches to Meet the Needs of
Disabled People: Code of Practice. ww.bsi-global.com

Building Bulletin 7: Fire and the Design of Educational Buildings (this bulletin is being
updated and will be published in 2005)

Building Bulletin 87: Guidelines for Environmental Design in Schools (available online
at www.teachernet.gov.uk/energy)

Building Bulletin 93: Acoustic Design of Schools (available online at
www.teachernet.gov.uk/acoustics

Building Bulletin 90: Lighting Design of Schools
)

The Building Regulations 2000 Access to and use of buildings Approved Document
2000 1 May 2004 ODPM www.tso.co.uk/bookshop tel:08706005522

Colour and Tonal Contrast (ICI Paints/Reading University/J MU Partnership, 2001)
available from Dulux Technical Group 0870 2421100, www.duluxtrade.co.uk.
DfEE Circular, Standards for School Premises, DfEE 0029/2000
This guidance note summarises and explains the requirements of The Education
(School Premises) Regulations 1999 in a more easily assimilated format, and is
available online at www.teachernet.gov.uk/sbregulatoryinformation

.
Guidance on Constructional Standards for Schools (DfES, 2001)
The relevant parts have been subsumed into Part M of Building Regulations and are
available at www.teachernet.gov.uk/sbconstand

.
The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 SI 1999 No. 2 HMSO
www.teachernet.gov.uk/sbregulatoryinformation


The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2003
These apply to all Independent schools, including Academies (which are publicly
funded independent schools with private-sector or voluntary-aided sponsors,
intended to replace existing secondary schools or provide new secondary school
places in disadvantaged urban areas).

The Protection of School Playing Fields Circular: 3/99 Circular 3/99
This sets out guidance in relation to Section 77 of the school Standards and frame
work Axt 1998 which empowers the secretary of State to protect school playing fields
from disposal or change of use.

Designing for Accessibility (RIBA Enterprises, 2004) www.riba.bookshops.com

Hygiene for Hydrotherapy Pools (Public Health Laboratory Service, 1999)
61 Colindale Avenue NW9 5DF

King, Nigel, Designing for Special Needs: An Architects Guide to Briefing and
Designing Options for Living for People with Learning Disabilities (RIBA Publications,
2000) www.riba.bookshops.com

Swimming Pool Water Treatment and Quality Standards (Pool Water Treatment
Advisory Group) www.pwtag.org
Acknowledgements


Gill Hawkins Senior Architect / Project Leader Assets School Design
Technology Agency (BECTA)
J udy Bell Royal National Institute for the Blind
Richard Vaughan National Deaf Childrens Society
Kathie Bull

DfES Authors
with assistance from
Lucy Watson Team leader / Architect Assets School Design
Richard Daniels Senior Engineer Assets School Design
Matthew Oldfield Administrative Assistant Assets School Design

The DfES would like to thank the following consultants and members of the Steering
Group for their contributions:

Authors and consultants
J ohn J enkins Principal Architect Haverstock Associates
Kathie Bull SEN consultant
with assistance from
Terry Waller Education Officer British Educational Communications and
Sue Logan Engineer Building Research Establishment
Lucy Naish Royal National Institute for the Blind

Editors
Alison Cowe

Steering Group members
David Gardiner HMI OFSTED
Kathie Bull SEN Consultant
Pat Griffith SEND
Eileen Strevens SEND
J ohn J enkins Principal Architect, Haverstock Associates
Nick Peacey Special Educational Needs J oint Initiative Training
Dr Philippa Russell Council for Disabled Children
Dr Caroline Roaf National Association for Special Educational Needs
Mike Collins Education Officer, National Autistic Society
J udy Bell Royal National Institute for the Blind
Lucy Naish Royal National Institute for the Blind
Richard Vaughan National Deaf Childrens Society
Robin Thomas Assistant County Education Officer, Children and Families
Branch, Hampshire County Council
Shirley Turner Strategic Planning Officer, Hampshire County Council
Steve Clowe Head of Architecture, Hampshire County Council
Terry Waller Education Officer, BECTA (British Educational
Communications and Technology Agency)







The DfES would also like to thank all of the schools we visited for participating in the
study:
Lady Zia Wernher School Luton
Ullswater Community School Cumbria
Ormerod School Oxfordshire
Trinity School London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Priestley Smith School Birmingham




New Woodlands School London Borough of Lewisham
Stephen Hawking School London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Watergate School London Borough of Lewisham
Bishopswood School Oxfordshire
Oakdale School Tameside
Springfield School Oxfordshire
Henry Tyndale School Hampshire
Shepherds Down School Hampshire
North Lakes J unior School Cumbria
Beaconside Infant School Cumbria
Woodlands School London Borough of Harrow
Queen Katherine school Cumbria
Bishopswood School Oxfordshire
Greenvale School London Borough of Lewisham
Portland School Sunderland
Castle Green School Sunderland
Cromwell School Tameside
Dovestone Centre Tameside
Braidwood School Birmingham
Hazelcourt School East Sussex
Filsham Valley School East Sussex
Cornfield School West Sussex
Warmley Park School South Gloucestershire
Briarwood School Bristol
The Meadows School Sandwell
Osborne school Hampshire
Woodlands School Luton
Whitefield Schools London Borough of Waltham Forest
Manor Green School West Sussex