Published guidance

SCABAL has been commissioned to work on a range of research projects, publications and government guidance in relation to environments for education.

“The current campaign to rebuild and refurbish most of our school buildings offers an extraordinary opportunity to improve the education of future generations’ Producing the best Possible buildings should be a national priority'”

Richard Feilden, CABE Enabler

Governance by Design

This book brings together the notions of material school design and educational governance in the first such text to address this critical interrelationship in any depth. In addressing the issue of governance through analysing current and historical material school designs, it looks at the intersection of politics, economics, aesthetics and pedagogical ideas and practices.

CABE’s Being Involved in School Design

Designing school buildings and grounds can be a complex and involved process, but everyone, whether they are a pupil, teacher, parent, governor, funder, local authority officer, architect or building contractor, has a unique and important part to play.

lf all these different people come together and work as a team, schools can be created that have a real sense of purpose, place and function. Without collaboration, projects run the risk of being mediocre, uninspiring and dull. Build collaboration in and all the benefits will not only be reflected in the final building, but along the way.

RIBA’s A Client Guide to developing School Buildings

This 4-part guide, previously published under the title The Guide for School Governors is now in its third edition, is intended to help school governors and others in the client group appreciate what is involved in looking after and developing the buildings in which our children are educated. Lt’s also for a wider audience such as groups involved in Sure Start Children’s Centre projects and Early Years facilities of all descriptions.

DfEE’s Building Bulletin 94 Inclusive School Design

Accommodating pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in mainstream schools- ISBN 0-11-271109-X

This bulletin provides advice and guidance on how to accommodate pupils with special needs and disabilities in mainstream schools.

It will be of interest to governors and managers of primary and secondary school, architects and landscape architects, other building professionals, local education authorities and other education providers as well the wider community of people who use school buildings and grounds.

Alongside Building Bulletin 91, the illustrated text examines issues of physical access. It also addresses how to meet the design needs of pupils with sensory, learning, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Practical recommendations are now included with case studies that demonstrate how becoming more inclusive can bring benefits to the lives of all pupils who study, rest and play in mainstream schools.   

Institute of Education’s Building Education

The Role of the Physical Environment in Educating, Teaching and Research by Helen Clark. ISBN 0-85473-652-2

Good infrastructure is truly at the base of a quality education. For a society searching for ways to address the educational needs of the future, the building itself is a good start. (M.Berner, 1993)

For the first time in decades substantial capital is being allocated to school buildings: the present government has acknowledged the importance of the quality of the environment in raising standards.

The neglect of school buildings in the past corresponds with a lack of educational research into their use. This book examines the reasons behind this, drawing on international research, governmental literature and practical projects. It discusses:

  • the relationship between school buildings, attainment and behaviour
  • user participation in the design process and ways in which the school building can support learning
  • the implications of opening up school buildings to the wider community
  • the role of the physical environment in the inclusion of children with special educational needs
  • the future of school buildings in relation to ICT, procurement and sustainability


Building Education will interest educational researchers and professionals working in and with schools, particularly senior managers and governing bodies. It will also be of value to architects and LEA managers.

HELEN CLARK wrote this as Research Officer and Project Co-Ordinator of the Makeover at School project, part of SENJIT at the Institute of Education and CULLINAN AND BUCK ARCHITECTS LTD.

DfEE’s City Academies Design Guide (Draft)

Every child, wherever they live, deserves an excellent education’

The Government recognises the need for a dramatic increase in the number of successful schools in our cities. It also recognises that there are many different reasons why schools perform poorly and, as a result, that different forms of support are needed. The City Academy initiative confronts the problems faced by poorly performing secondary schools in major urban areas. City Academes will be excellent schools.

Registered as independent schools, inspected by OFSTED, but charging no fees, they will be all-ability secondary schools, taking over from schools with poor track records or meeting a demand for new places, situated at the heart of their communities, with state of the art facilities. The initiative provides for considerable freedom of management structures such as developing links with other schools, organisations and places and extending the school day.

They will be schools which develop in their pupils the qualities of enterprise, self-reliance and responsibility, which aim to secure the highest possible standards of achievement, with a broad curriculum…………….

The Ace Foundation’s Principles of Primary School Design

Six short stories on film. Towards a common vocabulary of practice, this research study based around the work of Mary and David Medd, is for architects and educators designing education for the 21st century. It aims to stimulate interest among local authorities and others engaged in school new build or re-design, in the principles and processes of design that were established in the past when primary schools in the UK were the envy of the world. With Cathy Burke, Peter Cunningham, Rob Walker, Rachel Sayers, Alison Clark