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.
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.
Undertaking a Building Project
Although Voluntary Controlled Schools are maintained by the local authority they are still Church Schools and, therefore, in accordance with the Diocesan Board of Education Measure are required to obtain Trustee and Board of Education approval before undertaking any building work with a net value of £2,000 or over.
A Project Authorisation Form and a Project Information Form should be completed and returned to the Education Team, together with copies of all quotes received and, where applicable, specificiations and plans of the proposed works. Approval is normally obtained within a 7-10 day turnaround period. Forms 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.
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
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 and support with the Governors' 10% contributions. There is a plan for each category of school and the plan for Voluntary Controlled Schools can be found at the bottom of this page.
Reducing Energy Bills - Salix Funding opportunity
If you are interested in reducing energy bills this may be a funding avenue you wish to consider further. The deadline for maintained schools to express interest is very tight (17/03/17) so please complete the expression of interest form straight away, guidance and forms are available on the opportunities available to you through the link below.
Funding for Maintained Schools
Parish Buying Scheme
Schools Capital Funding
Health and Safety in the Construction Industry
Buildings Regulations Portal
Display Energy Certificates
Working at Height