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The Educational Facilities Standards & Guidelines (EFSG)


The Educational Facilities Standards and Guidelines (EFSG) are intended to assist those responsible for the management, planning, design, construction and maintenance of new and refurbished school facilities.

The EFSG is a suite of information to aid in the planning, design and use of NSW Department of Education school facilities. The information includes:

  • NSW Department of Education school types with content on educational principles, accommodation recommendations, design intent on rooms and spaces, relationships between accommodation components and associated technical data.
  • Technical Design Guide
  • Technical Specification Guide
  • Links to relevent industry design and specification information


The NSW Department of Education currently has in excess of 2200 schools across the state, many of which were in existence prior to the creation of the EFSG. The EFSG is not developed to be a minimum standard or an indication of entitlement. It should therefore not be used as a benchmark by which current schools are assessed.


The EFSG provides information to assist those responsible for or with an interest in, the management, planning, design, construction and maintenance of school facilities. Particular areas of the site are written with the most likely user in mind ie. the Design Guide and Specification Guide refer to and are written in a Nat Spec format, being the Industry Standard for specification in construction. The Design Intent for Rooms and Spaces, however are very much focused on Educators and School Management. The documents are designed to assist:

  • NSW Department of Education staff and in particular those involved in school planning and design.
  • School staff and in particular those interested in the rationale of school design, the design intent and pedagogical implications of the various spaces.
  • The school design team including project managers, architects, engineers and other specialist consultants involved in school planning and design.
  • Construction and maintenance contractors
  • The wider community with an interest in school planning and design.

While the EFSG documents provide matters for consideration and minimum standards for the elements of a building project, the materials and building practices detailed are not exhaustive. These documents are not intended to limit facilities planners and designers, in consultation with project stakeholders, from exercising creativity in providing alternative solutions within the available project budget.

To ensure that the EFSG remains current into the future the Department has implemented a continuous improvement process to regularly update the documents so as to reflect change and promote the latest best practice.  Users are encouraged to regularly check this website for updates.