Scotlands School Estate Conference 2013

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Scotland’s School Estate Conference 2013

This years School Estate Conference was held at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh on Monday 25th November 2013. It brought together those tasked with creating successful places that support learning. As Ian Mitchell said in his opening address, this year may be the last ‘school estate’ conference – perhaps next year we’ll be talking about the ‘learning estate’.

The Conference explored a number of key themes, including the current legislative programme, and the practice of briefing for education benefit in the school estate. A summary of proceedings can be found in the resources section of this article.

The morning sessions looked at the role of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 and the implications of legislative changes.

The afternoon session looked in detail at the opportunities for better briefing for education benefit, and how this might be evaluated. Six case studies were explored in a World Café session, which provided delegates the opportunity to hear from experiences across Scotland of how local authorities have developed processes to link the education and spatial brief through collaboration. A summary paper of these discussions can be found here.


An overview of all sessions with links to videos and presentations can be found below.

Breakdown of Sessions | View all videos

Challenges and Good Practice
A facilitated discussion to derive an understanding of challenges faced in the delivery of change in the school estate.
View Presentation

Determinations – Then, Now and Future
An overview of the role of the Scottish Government in the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.
View Presentation| View Video

Amendments to the 2010 Act
Covering the legislative changes that are being taken forward from the recommendations of the Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education.
View Presentation| View Video

Identifying Educational Benefits
Outline of the role of HM Inspectors within the school closures process set out in the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.
View Video

Briefing for Education Benefit

Focussing on learning from an international context about the processes of briefing for education benefit in the built environment and education estate.
View Presentation| View Video

A panel discussion following the above presentations can be viewed here.

World Café Sessions
Cases studies of briefing for benefit in Scotland, and how we might evaluate how the benefits were achieved.
View Summary Note | View Presentation | View Video

Grounds for Learning
Exploring outdoor spaces and playgrounds by asking ‘what is it ok for children to do’, and how can young people benefit from using the outside. The Good School Playground Guide was also launched.
View Presentation| View Video

The Redesign Option
Looking at how we might re-imagine our existing school estate to deliver Curriculum for Excellence, and the new demands it places on existing spaces. The Re:design Option exhibition was on display at Victoria Quay to coincide with the conference, the content from which can be found at
View Presentation| View Video

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