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Management of Floorspace in Further Education Colleges

Executive Summary

This document (available as a downloadable paper – below) provides guidance to Colleges on the management of floor space. It is designed to update the advice previously offered by the now dissolved Learning and Skills Council’s (LSC) document: Guidance for Further Education Colleges on the Management of Floor Space (May 2007 – an annex to the Capital Handbook issued in November 2006).

This earlier advice was based upon previously established techniques and upon original research (carried out in 2006). At that time an LSC property team would review a College’s application of these techniques and make recommendations; however, given the present relatively limited availability of central expertise, we have chosen to set out some of the underlying assumptions behind the methods in more detail.

However, our core advice remains the same as the 2007 advice: the Planned Average Attendance (PAA)* on college sites can be calculated by aggregating all students’ Guided Learning Hours (those hours to be delivered during one year, on site during the daytime period) and dividing this total by the number of hours available for delivery, normally assumed to be 1440 hours (8 hours per day x 5 days per week x 36 weeks). Previous benchmarking between colleges indicates that General Further Education Colleges should be able to operate successfully with an estate total floor area of no more than 14.5 m2 per attendee (14.5 m2 multiplied by the PAA). This allowance should be reduced to 13.0 m2 in Sixth Form (or similar environments).

The guidance goes on to suggest how the overall space allowance can be apportioned for different uses, and also a form of additional analysis using the observed attendance over a sample week (either via a physical headcount or register data).

* also known as the “minimum number of workplaces (MNW)”.

Principal Author; Jonathan Herbert.