Physical environment as a factor in schools’ performance and efficiency: A review of previous research

  • YEAR
    Vaz-Serra, Paulo
    Dangol, Neeraj
    Tirumala, Raghu Dharmapuri
    Tiwari, Piyush
    2022 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


The physical environment can considerably influence the efficiency and functionalities of facilities and spaces. Some recent studies examining schools’ efficiency consider several factors such as human capital, parents’ socioeconomic background, perceptions of teachers and parents towards schools, and financial status. However, very few studies have investigated the influences of schools’ physical environment and facilities on their efficiency and students’ academic performance. This research aims to review the recent studies on factors influencing schools’ efficiency and student academic performance, and the importance accorded to physical environment. The research database, Scopus, is searched using combinations of relevant keywords and various studies that identify the influencing factors. A preliminary analysis of most of these studies indicates that the physical environment’s influence on school performance appears peripheral. However, it was identified that physical environment, facilities, and services influence students’ academic performance directly and indirectly. One of the limitations highlighted was that many of the studies, which include the physical environment factors in examining schools’ efficiency, were based on a single country. The studies were mainly focused on the USA, and only a handful was based on Australia and the rest of the world. This paper identifies the need for more such studies that can contribute to bridging the knowledge on the efficiency drivers of the schools. A better understanding of the drivers for better school performance is needed to lead to an efficient allocation of funding, particularly for public schools in Australia.

Keywords: Efficiency, Literature Review, Performance, Schools, Students.


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