This article explores the relevance of school design in providing an important social-spatial context for promoting citizenship in young people. Drawing on a small-scale study that investigated the perspectives of pupils and teachers, it contrasts the ways in which the social control and monitoring of pupils differed in two secondary schools. Comparing features of everyday life in one new and one old-build school, this study found that school design could either heighten or lessen the need for teacher control of pupils. As a consequence the layout of the schools could enable or restrict young people’s opportunities for self-determination, as well as encourage the normalization of the acceptance of control by others. The implications of this for the production of autonomous and self-governing citizens will be addressed.