LSBU research on school acoustics highlighted by Parliamentary and Scientific Committee
15 June 2015
London South Bank University (LSBU) research into the effects of classroom noise on teaching
and learning has been profiled by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee in its Science in Parliament journal.
The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee is a major
focus for scientific and technological issues, and links MPs and Peers to scientific
bodies, science-based industry and the academic world.
The current journal outlines research by Professor Bridget Shield, Professor (Emerita) of Acoustics, examined the effect of noise and acoustic
design in primary and secondary schools in England. Noise impacts on pupils' capacity
to hear and understand their teachers, and on teachers' ability to speak easily
without forcing their voices, which can lead to vocal damage over time. Professor Shield's research provided evidence to link noise
and poor acoustics with lower Standardised Assessment Test scores, for instance
in urban schools with high levels of background noise from road traffic or
police sirens. The research also made recommendations as to what is
needed to provide a better acoustic environment in a school context.
In an interview in Science
in Parliament, Professor Shield highlights how recently updated government regulations
are helping to improve the standard of acoustic design in schools. The regulations, updated to reflect the current understanding of school acoustic design, mean that the majority of new school buildings now provide appropriate
acoustic conditions for pupils and teachers. With the regulations also now applying to the
refurbishment of older schools, it is hoped that all schools will soon provide
a satisfactory acoustic environment for both pupils and teachers.