DfE launches money-saving estate management guide

A new guide has been released by the Department for Education to help schools manage their sites and keep costs down.

The ‘Good estate management for schools’ (GEMS) guidance includes a set of self-assessment questions to help headteachers and governing boards to gauge where they are doing well and which areas require more attention.

It covers issues ranging from guidance on health and safety management to advice on how to minimise energy and water usage.

There is also information on the important policies and processes that schools should have in place, guidance on how to plan estate projects, and tips on making the most of property assets.

Writing an expert piece for Schools Week, academies minister Lord Theodore Agnew said: “Good management of school sites can help free up teachers to focus on the child in front of them.

“GEMS has been developed with leading technical experts and education organisations and will be a one-stop shop for everything schools should consider when managing the estate.”

In March the government also announced £514 million to help expand and improve buildings and facilities at around 1,300 academies and sixth-form colleges.

The ‘Condition improvement fund’, which is allocated annually, supports expansion building works at academies rated ‘good’ or better by Ofsted, and minor improvements of facilities at others.