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Making Best Use of Your School Resources

School 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. This is significantly more detailed than the existing net capacity process, providing a reliable benchmark for comparison.

These standards do not reflect how individual schools deliver their curriculum nor which areas of the school are not utilised to their full potential.

1st Planner have developed a timetable analysis tool that adds a new level of value for our Clients, allowing them to make best use of the rooms but also the schools most expensive resource - the teachers.

Working closely with individuals schools Senior Leadership Teams and extracting the existing data contained within timetabling software we are able to complete the analysis to a high level of detail.

In times where schools are struggling with reducing revenue funding and being forced into making ongoing savings 1st Planners timetable analysis can identify:

  • Potential additional pupil revenue within existing resources.

  • Areas where spare assets can be commercialised to create additional revenue.


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.

The 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 use a process heat-mapping to visually present information on 2 levels:


  • Utilisation %

  • Density %

The utilisation and density of spaces are shown as colours on a heap map; this clearly highlights and under utilised spaces.

A variety of graphs and charts are used in the report, that, when used in conjunction with heat maps, provides a clear picture pf utilisation at a granular level. 

Similar exercises can be completed with staff resources and cost of curriculum if the data is provided.

Case Study
Highfields School, Derbyshire
Detailed timetable analysis of split-site secondary school to establish:
  • Location of under-utilised rooms.
  • Type of under-utilised rooms.
  • Potential capacity withing existing classes.
  • Departmental utilisation.
  • Staff utilisation.
Outcomes & Achievements
  • Overall utilisation = 66%

  • Average utilisation

    • General Teaching = 59%​​

    • Science = 59%

    • Design Technology = 31%

    • ICT / Business Studies = 57%

    • Creative Arts = 39%

Client Testimonial

"Highfields School has benefited enormously from the support 1st Planner have provided in a range of areas. 1st Planner have worked over an extended period with senior leaders at Highfields to analyse the extent to which we make effective use of our resources. This has included sufficiency, accessibility and timetabling analysis, which enabled us to identify specific areas with additional capacity to inform short and medium term improvement planning to increase efficiency. Alongside this, 1st Planner are providing professional expertise in working with the school community to produce a long term development plan, supporting work towards building a collective vision for the future of the school.

In addition, 1st Planner offer our Key Stage 4 students experience of the range of disciplines involved in their work, through high quality work placement opportunities. These placements provide students with invaluable experiences and skills which support progression towards apprenticeships and further education in areas including construction, property, manufacturing and business administration. We are delighted to have formed such an effective partnership with 1st Planner and look forward to working together further in the future."

(Ben Riggott, Highfields School)

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