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School design

We help clients, such as local authorities and schools, to create well-designed learning environments.

Westminster Academy, London

Westminster Academy, London
Photo by Tim Soar

Read our school design publications for practical advice.

We also promote built environment education among teachers through our education programme and Engaging Places.

School design at CABE

Creating excellent primary schools

Helping primary school clients, working in either the local authority or the school itself, to make the most of new capital investment in their buildings.

Creating excellent secondary schools: a guide for clients

A guide for all involved in the design and building of new secondary school projects, providing practical advice for each stage of the schools building process, from vision to completion.

School refurbishment

The design quality of a refurbished school can make the difference between a successful project and an expensive failure. Here we offer introductory advice to help teams avoid common mistakes and get the most from their refurbishment projects.

New from old: transforming secondary schools through refurbishment

Explaining how to realise the potential of your buildings and give them – and your school – a new lease of life.

10 criteria for successful school design

As a design proposal develops, it is important to test it - against the specific brief for the project and against some universal principles of good school design.

Designing a free school

Advice for people setting up free schools including the skills you will need, the people you should involve and how you can get the best design quality for your school buildings and grounds.

Assessing secondary school design quality

CABE's research report into the design quality of schools built between 2000 and 2005.

Being involved in school design: a guide

A guide for school communities, local authorities, funders and design and construction teams to being involved in the school building process. Its 10 case studies provide examples of efficient involvement across a range of school building projects.

Achieving well-designed schools through private finance initiative (PFI)

Uses CABE's experience and knowledge of best practice to help the main stakeholders, particularly the client, private sector partner and the school community achieve well-designed new and refurbished schools through the private finance initiative (PFI).

Minimum design standard for schools

CABE first called for a minimum design standard in 2006, and worked with the Department for Children, Schools and Families and Partnerships for Schools to make it a reality.