5 Laboratory facilities and equipment

Schools should have enough laboratories to make it possible for every teacher to do frequent practical science safely. Each laboratory should have sufficient equipment for students to work in small groups.

  • there should be enough laboratories so that the availability of labs is never a barrier to carrying out practical activities in the science subjects taught.
  • laboratories should be large enough to safely accommodate the size of classes that will occupy them.
  • the spaces should be flexible enough to allow students to work individually, in pairs and in small groups.
  • there should be sufficient equipment to make it possible for teachers to do standard practical activities expected in their specialist subject at that level.
  • there should be ready access to the technology required to enable collection and analysis of digital data.
  • laboratories should be accessible to students with any special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) encountered in the school.
  • the school should have laboratory facilities such that students can carry out extended practical science investigations (see Benchmark 8).
  • there should be a preparation space or spaces with well-organised, safe storage with easy access to laboratories.
  • there should be an accessible outdoor space where practical activities can take place.