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Designing entrances and exits

What we see when we arrive somewhere can change how we feel all day. This is true when children arrive at preschool or kindy, and when students arrive at school.

What it is

Entrances and exits can be designed in ways that give students the best chance of having positive experiences in that environment.

Noise and traffic can cause delays and extra stimulation. It can make people feel anxious. The extra traffic at drop-off and pick-up times can make things worse.

Mini-buses, taxis and cars need to be carefully managed at some sites. The speed limits inside and in nearby  streets also need to be looked at. It’s important to consult with the local community, site staff, local council and facility planners during the planning and design phase to help identify and fix logistical problems. This is particularly important to do when an early years centre is located on the same site.

How it can help

Entrances and exits that are well designed can help make all students feel less anxious. Good entrances and exits will increase the safety for everyone.

Some sites have extra accessible car park and other parking for families close to where people enter. This is an example of going beyond the minimum requirements to make an inclusive environment.

Design features

Some specific features can maximise ease of access and safety while at the same time reducing anxiety for children and students arriving at and departing a facility.

Traffic flow

  • Make it so children and students with disability can be dropped off directly to the main sheltered entrance of the building.
  • Space for 2 cars heading in opposite directions at vehicle entrance points, with signage for traffic flow.

Car parks

  • Sheltered and accessible car parks that are close to the main entrance of the building.
  • Car parks that have appropriate gradients for ramps.
  • Space for future expansion of car parks.
  • Areas for drivers and passengers to load and unload away from passing traffic and with enough space to use wheelchairs and prams.
  • Accessible and sheltered taxi and bus parking close to the main entrance.
  • Kerb ramps to connect parking spaces and drop-off areas to paths.
  • Contrasting colours on bollards to make them more visible.
  • Seats near drop-off and pick-up areas so people can rest while waiting.

Paths and entrances

  • A continuous accessible path from car parks to the main entrance that's safe and easy to use.
  • A pedestrian crossing for safe entry into the site, if parking is not available or if children arrive by public transport.
  • An alternative entrance that's close to the main one, for children and students who need a quieter and calmer entrance.
  • A series of gates that filter people with different access needs for safe and calm arrival and departure. For instance, secured child-proof gates in early childhood sites.
  • Building and landscape features that help the main building entrance stand out.

Asset Standards and Environmental Management

This information was provided by the Ministerial Advisory Committee: Children and Students with Disability which ceased in 2019.

For advice on building standards contact:

Phone: 8226 3497
Email: education.standards@sa.gov.au

For advice on inclusive legislation and policies contact:

Inclusive Teaching and Learning

Phone: 8226 0521
Email: education.DPP@sa.gov.au