Last edited 04 Nov 2020

Baseline designs for schools

The baseline design for schools guidance was developed by The Education Funding Agency (EFA) in response to a recommendation in the Review of Education Capital, in April 2011 which identified the requirement for a set of standardised drawings and specifications that could be used across a variety of educational institutes. The EFA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Education (DFE).

The guidance documents are aimed at contractors, local authorities, school promoters and school building teams, along with other interested parties including governing bodies and leaders of schools. They are suitable for both primary and secondary schools.

They provide assistance with good practice design for the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) and are detailed enough to enable environmental modelling and to establish building costs. The PSBP was established in 2011 to address the needs of those schools in the worst condition that required urgent repair. The programme is centrally managed and procured by the Education Funding Agency.

To deliver 'the maximum benefit for schools', the cost per square metre in the guidance has been reduced to £1113/m2 (excluding external works, fees and certain circumstances). The area has also been reduced, according to the guidance, 'without compromising the educational facility'. In secondary schools, teaching spaces and non-teaching areas are within the same minimum limits as before, but in primary schools the ICT room has been omitted, due to the widespread use of portable ICT equipment in classrooms.

There are a suite of designs available together with associated drawings and technical analyses:

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