Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE)

CELE and EIB provide guidance on strategic investment planning in school buildings


An update on the OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) and European Investment Bank joint project on strategic investment planning for educational infrastructure.


In 2009, the OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE), in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB), launched an international project on "Strategic investment planning for educational infrastructure". The purpose of the project is to assist national, regional and local authorities to improve the process by which decisions are made relating to large-scale investments in educational infrastructure, with a view to maximising the benefits of countries’ initial investment in education.


This aim of the project is to develop guidance for countries on strategic investment planning that identifies how countries can plan for, and evaluate, their educational infrastructure needs.  This applies to new and existing school building stock, taking into account physical, cultural, environmental, health and economic considerations.


Two small OECD/CELE experts’ meetings took place in Paris in 2009 to develop the project, involving experts from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, United Kingdom (Scotland), United States and UNESCO. At the first meeting, the group agreed on a project development plan and data collection framework. A short questionnaire was developed to collect information on the planning process; decision makers in the planning process; and the principal guidelines or regulations used to inform the planning process in school construction projects in different countries. Questionnaire responses from eight countries were discussed at the second meeting, which was also attended by the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB). Results were analysed, and broad guidelines for the investment planning process were developed.


The next stage in the project will include an International Workshop on Strategic Investment Planning for Educational Infrastructure, to be organised in mid-2010. Through a series of presentations and workshops involving those who participated in previous meetings and new delegates, including representatives from European economies to which EIB and CEB are currently lending and representatives from other OECD countries, three themes will be explored:

  • Optimising the planning process using principles of good governance.
  • Collecting critical information to assist planning: developing inventories and conducting property condition assessments.
  • Developing effective "educational specifications". "Educational specifications" outline a school’s educational objectives and planned activities in order to inform spatial requirements and design.

A report on this project is forthcoming.


For more information, contact Hannah.vonAhlefeld@oecd.org.



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