Good estate management for schools

Information, training and tools

Links to further information about good estate management including training, skills and other guidance

The sections below signpost different sources of information and support, to help you manage the estate.

For information about specialist organisations for estate management, review the sector organisations.

Please note that:

  • this page doesn’t list all organisations that provide training and support. Other organisations may supply similar courses that may be suitable for your needs

  • neither the government, Department for Education (DfE) or Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) endorses the organisations, publications and courses that we’ve listed below. You should not take the information on this web page as an endorsement by the government, DfE or ESFA of any course or training provider

  • schools and academy trusts wishing to do training with any course provider should follow their own procurement processes, and should make sure that any training or support that they choose is appropriate to their needs

Sector organisations

The following provide training and support for school leaders.

Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) is a leading professional body representing school, college and education system leaders across the UK.

British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is a professional body for facilities management, supporting professionals in attaining, developing and maintaining essential skills in the discipline of facilities management.

Catholic Education Service (CES) acts on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference to support Catholic education and provides information, guidance, resources and model CES documents.

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is the professional body for people in public finance. Their services include specialists who provide training, tools and guidance on strategic (property) asset management matters. CIPFA has developed a free download guide on Compliance Monitoring for School Premises Management.

Church of England Education Office works in partnership with the dioceses to support Church of England schools in England and Wales.

Educational Building and Development Officers Group (EBDOG) represents local authorities on all issues associated with education, property and capital planning.

Freedom and Autonomy for Schools - National Association (FASNA) is a national school membership network that promotes school autonomy and highlights where self-governance has been a success. Among its services for members are training and practical guidance publications for multi-academy trusts (MATs) and all school leaders.

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent regulator providing support to businesses to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health. It provides guidance and advice to help employers to manage risks correctly, including in the occupation and use of land and buildings.

Hub4Leaders offers policy and compliance solutions for school leaders and governors. This includes TheSchoolBus, an online support service offering advice and templates for school leaders and governors.

Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) represents and supports the school business management profession in the running of efficient schools. It promotes a suite of professional standards to support the development of school business leaders. These incorporate some of the principles of good estate management.

Local authorities - most local authorities offer training in financial management for their local schools and may offer services to other schools too.

National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) is an independent trade union and professional association whose services include direct support and training on resource management.

National Governance Association (NGA) is an independent charity that supports and promotes good governance in schools. It provides information, advice, guidance, research and training.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) are a global professional body, promoting and enforcing the highest international standards in the valuation, management and development of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.

The Key for School Leaders is a national information service providing guidance and practical resources for school leaders.

The Trust Network (TTN) is an independently run organisation that helps members develop effective, efficient and economically sustainable systems that maintain and develop building estates that enhance teaching and learning.

Strategic estate management

Information

For more information about strategic estate management review:

Training and support

For more information about resources to help develop your strategic estate policies see:

Tools

Assess your orgainsation’s approach to good estate management using the Good estate management for schools: self-assessment tool.

Governance

Information

For more information about the core role, function and duties of governance review:

Training and support

For more information about resources to help develop your governance practices see:

Tools

Make sure the estate land and buildings are managed efficiently using the Top 10 estates checks for boards.

Budget and finance

Information

For more information about whole life considerations review:

Find out more about option appraisal at:

For more information about TISonline Asset Management by visiting the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

Make sure the school’s resources are managed efficiently using the Top 10 planning checks for boards.

Performance management of the estate

Information

For more information about performance measures used to help schools improve their financial management and efficiency review:

Non-statutory area guidelines for school buildings and sites are available to help you understand your space needs and use of space:

Tools

You can use the Top 10 checks for boards to help make sure that schools manage their resources efficiently.

You can benchmark some of your property measures against other organisations. In respect of energy, you could use Technical Annex 2H of the Generic Design Brief. It sets out the required technical standards and performance criteria for energy in schools.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) offers an energy benchmarking tool for all building users.

The Trust Network has case studies which provide further information.

The Schools, Students and Teachers Network has case studies giving examples of how Business Intelligence dashboards can be used to help assess condition, compliance and energy usage data.

Procurement

Information

The DfE has information on how to plan and run an efficient procurement process to buy goods, works or services for your school.

Training and support

The DfE offers procurement training sessions for school staff who are responsible or accountable for budgets or buying.

The DfE is testing a new service in the North West and South West to support schools with procurement. Schools wishing to participate should register directly through the regional Hub websites.

If your school is outside the hubs pilot area, one of your local senior business leader/manager networks could provide the buying support you need. To find out if there is a local network near to you, email CGcommunciations@education.gov.uk

Tools

The DfE has made a number of national deals available to schools, to help them save money on some of the things they buy regularly.

You can procure professional services using the Crown Commercial Service - Estates Professional Services Framework Agreement (CCS). CCS also offer the frameworks for:

  • Building Materials and Associated Services (RM 3747)
  • Facilities Management Services (RM1056)
  • Project Management and full design team services (RM3741)

All of these can be accessed by searching under ‘find an agreement’ using the relevant RM number.

You may also want to consider buying goods or services using the ESFA’s Regional Framework.

Emergency planning

Information

Find information about how schools and other educational settings should plan for and deal with emergencies including severe weather and floods.

Health and Safety

Information

For more information about health and safety you should review:

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provide more information on CDM and HSWA.

Training and support

For more information on health and safety training see:

Tools

The Health and Safety Executive offer help and guidance in the health and safety toolbox - how to control risks at work.

Statutory compliance

Information

You should hold information and certification for the following items. These are the items most likely to be in your buildings, but there may be more.

Training and support

For information on statutory compliance training and advice see:

Tools

The Key for school leaders has further information and a compliance tracker.

The Trust Network has case studies which give examples of how Business Intelligence dashboards can be used to help assess compliance, condition and energy usage data.

Electrical and lighting systems - checks and testing

There can be many items of plant and equipment in the school estate. You will need to check and inspect them.

A summary of the main items are included below. You may have other items of plant and equipment requiring maintenance checks.

Lifts and lifting equipment - checks and testing

Find out more about the maintenance checks and testing required for lifts and lifting equipment.

Heating and cooling systems - checks and testing

There can be many items of plant and equipment in the school estate. You will need to check and inspect them.

A summary of the main items are included below. You may have other items of plant and equipment requiring maintenance checks.

Legionella – checks and testing

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have published information about Legionnaires disease:

There is additional Legionella technical guidance which is broken into 3 parts. This includes specific duties and systems within each part.

Building fabric – checks and testing

A summary of the main items are included below. You may have other items of plant and equipment requiring maintenance checks.

Asbestos

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 places responsibilities on employers. Further guidance is available on the checks and tests around asbestos.

A free e-learning module for governors, trustees, school leaders and anyone concerned about asbestos in schools is available from the Modern Governor.

Glazing

Further guidance is available about glazing.

Working at height and fall protection systems – checks and testing

Further guidance is available on working at height and fall protection systems.

Safety and security systems – checks and testing

A summary of the main items are included below. You may have other items of plant and equipment requiring maintenance checks.

Extract systems – checks and testing

A summary of the main items are included below. You may have other items of plant and equipment requiring maintenance checks.

Chemical Storage – checks and testing

A summary of the main items are included below. You may have other items of plant and equipment requiring maintenance checks.

Other site management matters – checks and testing

There can be many items of plant and equipment in the school estate. You will need to check and inspect them.

A summary of the main items are included below. You may have other items of plant and equipment requiring maintenance checks.

Maintaining the estate

Information

The Key for school leaders provides information on the maintenance of school premises.

Training and support

For information on maintenance training and advice see:

Condition Surveys

Information

For more information about condition surveys you should review:

Health and safety law and maintenance

The Health and Safety Exeuctive (HSE) provide Information on safe maintenance of the estate.

Understanding land and buildings

Information

For more information about land and buildings you should review:

For more information about land and building condition you should review:

For more information about land and building sufficiency you should review:

SEND and alternative provision: area guidelines provides more information on:

  • special schools
  • alternative provision
  • specially resourced provision and units

Training and support

For more information on land and buildings training see:

Tools

Find out more about land transactions in school property.

Energy and water management

Information

For more information about energy and water management for pupils and staff, you should review:

The ESFA’s Generic Design Brief includes:

  • Annex 2I Controls – suggested controls for primary and secondary schools

  • Annex 2E Daylight Electric Lighting – lighting specification to make sure that any new lighting will provide a quality lit environment and save energy over the long term

  • Annex 2H: Energy - good practice benchmarks for energy end use and guidance on the best way to monitor your energy end uses

The National Energy Performance Contracting Framework includes information on:

  • energy efficiency retrofit
  • local energy generation

For more information about delivering building performance you should visit UK Green Building Council.

Training and support

For more information about energy and water management deals review Buying for schools – energy deals.

For more information about interest free loans for energy efficiency works visit Salix Finance.

For more information on national deals that are available to schools to help them save money on energy and water supplies visit Buying for Schools.

The Department for Education has compiled some top tips for sustainability in schools.

Tools

A range of tools are available to help you understand your energy and water use.

Estate project delivery

Information

Capital projects may have revenue implications that you need to consider in your decision making. The Constructing Excellence – whole life costing factsheet provides more information on how to consider operational costs alongside capital costs, during the lifecycle of the building.

For more information about The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) visit:

For information about procurement, review:

Crown Commerical Service (CCS) provide access to frameworks to support your procurement activity, including:

  • The Buildings Materials framework (RM3747)
  • The Estates Professional Services (RM3816)
  • The Total Facilities Management framework (RM1056)

More details are available on the Find an agreement page.

Further information is available to support the delivery of estate projects, including:

Training and support

The Department for Education offers procurement training sessions for school staff who are responsible or accountable for budgets or buying.

For more information about qualifications in project management visit the Association for Project Management.

Tools

RIBA Plan of Works is a framework document and process for the design and construction of building. It includes separate work stages which detail the relevant tasks.