New regulations have been laid before Parliament to set standards for the premises of maintained schools in England (but not Wales). The School Premises (England) Regulations 2012/1943 are due to come into force on 31 October 2012. There will be parallel amendments to the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010. The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 will continue to apply to maintained schools in Wales.
The new regulations are significantly shorter than the previous version and are intended to reduce bureaucracy. The general approach is to require a feature of premises (e.g. medical accommodation, acoustics or lighting) to be suitable. This is defined to mean that it is suitable for the pupils in respect of whom it is provided, having regard to their ages, numbers and sex and any special requirements they may have. The Government also intends to publish supplementary guidance.
Rachel Kamm, 11KBW