Acoustics and noise in English secondary schools

Bridget Shield, Robert Conetta, Trevor Cox, Charlie Mydlarz, Julie Dockrell, Daniel Connolly

    Research output: Published contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    A recent project has investigated acoustical conditions in secondary schools in England, in order to examine the effects of the acoustic environment on teaching and learning of 11- to 16-year-olds. The project consisted of detailed acoustic and noise surveys of 185 teaching spaces in 13 schools; questionnaire surveys of around 2500 pupils and 200 teachers; and cognitive testing of students in different noise conditions. This paper presents the results of the acoustic and noise surveys of unoccupied teaching spaces, and compares them with the current standards on the acoustic design of schools in England, introduced in 2003. It is shown that the legislation has been effective in improving the acoustic environment in schools. Noise levels measured during 274 lessons in the same 13 schools are summarised, and the levels associated with different subjects and teaching activities examined. The lesson noise levels have been compared with unoccupied acoustic data to identify any influence of acoustic design on operational school noise levels. It was found that the better the acoustic design of the school, the lower were lesson noise levels.
    Keywords: Schools, Noise, Acoustics
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2013
    EventInternoise: Noise Control for a Quality of Life - Congress Centre, Innsbruck, Innsbruck , Austria
    Duration: 15 Sept 201318 Sept 2013


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