Academies

Asbestos

The Education Funding Agency has published new guidance on GOV.UK aimed at schools, local authorities and trusts in understanding their obligations and duties in relation to asbestos management in schools. The guidance can be found on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/asbestos-management-in-schools--2 .
The guidance was first published in March 2015 and has been updated with more information, including new supplementary guidance on where asbestos may be located in schools.

The following key changes have been made:

  • addition of further information on how duty holders can assess risks associated with the presence of asbestos in their schools, to prioritise management actions

  • provision of further information for duty holders on the consequences of not complying with The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, reminding them that, as duty holders, it is their responsibility to manage asbestos in their respective schools

  • inclusion of new supplementary guidance, to help duty holders understand where asbestos may commonly be found in schools, so that they can work with qualified professionals to make an assessment of the risk of damaging or disturbing the asbestos

EFA strongly recommends that all local authorities, leaders and governing bodies of maintained schools and trusts read the guidance and review the asbestos management plan they have currently have in place to ensure that asbestos is being managed effectively in their schools. There are three interesting and useful documents available through the link above.

Compliance

The aim of the compliance document, School Tests Inspection Checklist, is to provide a summary of relevant responsibilities and to assist Headteachers and premises managers in implementing appropriate testing and inspection of systems and equipment within the school premises.  

Not all items may be applicable to your specific site and the list is in no way definitive, but is a guide to covering key areas.  This document cannot replace professional advice and Headteachers and premises managers are strongly advised to obtain such advice where required.

CIF Announcement

Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) announced by the newly formed Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for 2017/18. Schools who have been successful in the Diocese of Leeds are...

 

A full list of successful capital allocations can be seen through the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/condition-improvement-fund-2017-to-2018-outcome

Undertaking a Building Project

Before you undertake a buildings project the relevant approvals must be obtained.  After the governing body have approved the works, the trustees of the academy and, if applicable, the trustees of the Multi-Academy Trust, and the Board of Education must also approve the proposed works.

A Project Authorisation Form and a Project Information Form should be completed and returned to the Education Team, together with copies of any quotes received and, where applicable, specifications and copies of plans of the proposed works. Forms can be found at the bottom of this page.

Professional Fees

In order to be more competitive with ESFA CIF bids the diocese have adjusted our fee scale on all academy projects (from 1.5%). Professional Fees payable to Leeds DBF for all schemes on diocesan school sites as part of the statutory approval process and in accordance with consultant agreements are as follows and based on net build values:

  • Up to £5,000                           £200
  • £5,000 - £20,000                     £300
  • £20,000 - £50,000                   £500
  • £50,000 - £200,000                 £700
  • £200,000 - £500,000               £900
  • £500,000 upwards                 £1,000

Invoice for Fees will be raised following approval of the scheme by the Trustees and Board of Education. The level of Diocesan support will be tailored to individual school need on a scheme by scheme basis.

Buildings Development Plans

All schools and academies are encouraged to use a Buildings Development Plan when planning budgets for the school year.  Governing Bodies are asked to use these in conjunction with their Asset Management Plans when planning what building works should be undertaken in each financial year.  The Buildings Development Plan is a five year plan and, once utilised, can become a valuable tool in assisting you with forward planning in allocating funds.  There is a plan for each category of school and academy and The plan for an academy can be found at the bottom of this page.

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations were amended in 2015.  It is incumbent upon governing bodies to ensure that their client duties under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 are carried out before the proposed works commence. 

Client Duties

Under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 a commercial client is defined as an organisation or individual for whom a construction project is carried out that is done as part of a business.

Clients must make suitable arrangements for managing the Health & Safety aspects of any building project.  This includes ensuring that other dutyholders are appointed as appropriate, which will usually involve at the very least the appointment of a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor at the relevant stage of the process.  Clients are also responsible for ensuring that sufficient time and resources are allocated to the process.

As a client you will need to ensure that:-

·        Relevant information is prepared and provided to other dutyholders.

·        The Principal Designer and Principal Contractor carry out their duties.

·        Welfare facilities are provided for contractors on site.  This can be within the school if appropriate or the contractors could provide a cabin and portaloo in the grounds.

Construction Phase Plan

Under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 a Construction Phase Plan is required for every construction project.  This is to be prepared by the Principal Contractor but the Client is responsible for ensuring that this is prepared with sufficient, relevant, site specific information. 

It does not have to be complicated but at the very least it should include details of the site, specific site personnel, details of the work to be carried out, method statements and risk assessments and any other relevant health and safety information.  This list is by no means exhaustive as each site and project will have different requirements and professional advice should be sought if you are unsure.  Your Principal Designer should be able to assist in the first instance.

The work involved can be as simple as replacing your windows to something more complicated such as structural alterations. A simple plan before the works commence is usually enough to show that you have thought through about what is going to happen and about health and safety.  There are number of documents to assist you:

·        Needing Building Work Done? - A short guide to the CDM Regulations 2015

·        Summary of Duties under the CDM Regulations 2015

·        Managing Health and Safety in Construction

·        Construction Phase Plan - What builders need to know

These documents are attached below and further information may be found on the Health and Safety Executive website

Reducing Energy Bills - Salix Funding opportunity

If you are interested in reducing energy bills this may be a funding avenue you wish to consider click on the link below for more information.

Funding for Academies and MATs
http://www.salixfinance.co.uk/loans/SEEF

The window of opportunity for academies has now closed for funds in 2017 but should open again in November so, keep an eye on the Salix pages nearer the time. I would recommend reviewing this now for your school so you are ready to submit an expression of interest at the appropriate time.  

Links

Academy funding
Parish Buying Scheme
Governors Handbook
Health and Safety in the Construction Industry
Planning Portal
Buildings Regulations Portal
Display Energy Certificates
Asbestos Management
Fire Safety
Work at Height