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Making Best Use of Your Resources to Provide Additional Spaces

Timetabling Analysis


The DfE's Building Bulletin 103 provides guidelines on the type, number and area of spaces that should be provided for mainstream schools as an overall total, which is significantly more detailed than the existing net capacity process and provides a reliable benchmark against which comparisons can be made.

These standards however do not reflect exactly how
individual schools deliver their curriculum and also which areas of the school are not utilised to their full potential.


1st Planner have developed a timetable analysis tool,
which realises a completely different level of value for our Clients by not only making best use of the rooms within the school but also a school's most expensive resource - the teachers.


Working closely with individual school's Senior
Leadership Team and through extracting and utilising the data contained within their timetabling software, we are able to complete the exercise.


In times where:

  • Local Authorities are needing to find capacity within their secondary estate with limited capital funding allocations.

  • Schools are struggling with reducing revenue
    funding and being forced into making ongoing savings.


1st Planner's timetable analysis satisfies both demands.

Client Testimonial

In order for the timetable analysis to be completed a BB103 sufficiency review needs to be completed in advance.

1st Planner begin by gathering data sets including school specific, staff and pupil information directly from the Timetabling Software used by the School.

This data is then reviewed and a confidence report is produced to highlight any missing elements or inconsistencies that will affect the outcome of the report.

1st Planner utilise a process called heat-mapping to visually present information at two levels:

  1. Utilisation %

  2. Density %


The utilisation and density of spaces are shown as colours on a heat map; this is how often a timetabled space is utilised and clearly highlights under-used spaces.

A considerable number of graphs and charts are included within the report that present this information in a number of different formats.

Together with the heat maps, graphs and charts a very clear picture of utilisation is seen across the school in a very granular manner.

Similar exercises can be completed with staff resources and cost of curriculum; as long as staffing costs and pupil revenue information is provided as part of the data return.

Case Study
City of Wolverhampton Council
Detailed Timetable analysis of 17 Secondary Schools to establish:
  • Location of Under-Utilised Rooms
  • Type of Under-Utilised Rooms
  • Potential Capacity within Existing Classes
  • Departmental Utilisation
Outcomes & Achievements
  • All of 2017/18 additional secondary pupil requirements were catered for within existing classes with no requirement for extensions/refurbishment - at zero cost, equating to £6m capital savings.

  • Every school reviewed had General Teaching areas that were not included within the timetable.

  • Average General Teaching utilisation was 68%

  • Average Science utilisation was 82%

  • On average there were 140 General Teaching spaces available across the 17 schools.

"The partnership between the City of Wolverhampton Council and 1st Planner has successfully supported our evidenced based approach to school place planning. The series of bespoke products provided by 1st Planner offer a great starting point to both maximise the use of existing facilities and support the development of future plans."

(Tom Knott, School Organisation Manager, City of Wolverhampton Council)

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