The current project is based on a school building programme currently underway with a local authority in central Scotland. This local authority has begun a £100 million project to build six new secondary schools. With the support of the Local Authority, the Psychology Division at the University of the West of Scotland have undertaken an evaluation study of this building programme. This evaluation aims to measure students’ and staff perceptions of their old and new school environments. The focus of this paper was to construct a survey tool to measure how students and staff evaluated their school environment. In order to identify what aspects of their school environment were considered important by staff and students, a series of eight focus groups were conducted across two schools. In both schools, a focus groups was conducted with students at S1, S3 and S5 levels (approximately 12, 14 and 16 years of age, respectively) and with teaching staff across a range of disciplines. The number of participants in each year group ranged from 7 to 11 participants, with a total sample of 51 students and 14 members of staff. The focus groups lasted for one hour and followed a semi-structured protocol that was designed by the researchers drawing on earlier research findings (Edgerton & McKechnie, 2004). In each focus group, users were provided with a map and plan of their school and asked to talk through a ‘typical day’ at school i.e. arrival, movement between classes, standard classes, intervals, toilets, practical classes and lunch. Additional topics where added to capture each users experience of all of the facilities within their school such as the library, assembly hall, toilets, extra curriculum facilities and security. The protocol also included an ‘icebreaker’ task. This required participant’s to work in pairs and list the aspects of their physical school environment they liked or disliked. This was fed back to the group and discussed. A closing task required participants to work in pairs and write down what they would like in their new school in relation to aspects of the physical environment. Throughout the focus groups, staff and students were encouraged to present their own views/experiences and to use these to facilitate group discussions. A content analysis was conducted to extract pertinent themes from the focus group discussions. The themes from the student focus groups were grouped into 10 categories and the themes from the staff focus groups were grouped into 9 categories. These categories formed the basis of the survey tool that assessed users’ perceptions of their school environments. These survey tools were then administered to staff and students in a number of schools before, during and after the construction of the new schools. The findings showed between school differences, reflecting the different school environments and a general consensus amongst users groups within the schools. The results are discussed within the context of the validity of the tool as a measure of the physical environment of schools form the users’ perspective.