Why going into 2023 with a clear estates strategy will pay dividends

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The past 12 months have been turbulent for all parties working across the academy school sector. A doubling of energy costs, big increases in building material prices and labour/staff rates whilst funding streams have remained at best static.

There has never been a more vital time to ensure that your largest asset is managed as well as possible to any secure available funding and ensure you receive optimum return on your investment.Further, as part of any procurement and tendering process, that wider consideration is afforded criteria such as energy efficiency, life cycle costing and sustainability.

All trusts are now charged with meeting both Good Estate Management for Schools (GEMS) and as part of that DfE best practice, producing a route map to decarbonising their estate.

For those trusts whose only real opportunity to secure large scale investment is via their eligibility to bid for the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF), it is never too early to start engaging with us in order that we can advise what type of projects are most likely to receive CIF awards and what compliance and condition data the trust hold as means of supporting such a submission. This way, any identified gaps can be addressed and surveys and budget costs prepared in good time for board/trustee sign off.

Warneford Consulting advise Multi Academy Trusts (MAT’s) to begin the process of agreeing a long list of potential annual capital projects as early in the new year as possible. These projects require accurate costings before a short list can be presented to the board and any further resources committed towards final specification and scope of works agreed. In order to reach this point, the trust must hold contemporary condition data from which to qualify and quantify their priority programme of capital works.

We work in partnership with MAT’s collecting, collating and analysing their condition, compliance, sufficiency and energy data before representing these often disparate sources in an easy to understand visual format. We also create costed scenarios drawing upon a combination of School Condition Allocation (SCA), Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) and increments of reserves to show a number of options open to the board.

We provide an options appraisal that includes return on investment via energy efficiency savings, life cycle costings and added value sustainability commitments that can be cited for Streamlined Energy Carbon Report (SECR) returns.

We advise on funding options for renewable installations, such as Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) and academies handbook compliant operating leases and power purchase agreements (PPA’s). We are also available to advise on surplus land and other opportunities to attract inward investment.

Warneford Consulting are available to support all trusts, great and small with their estate strategies. Whether you are preparing the groundwork for delivering a programme of capital works or adopting a ‘fabric first’ approach towards decarbonising your estate, we are here to assist you.

We offer a free consultation and demonstration of how we collect, collate and analyse your data in order to provide a quantified and prioritised capital works programme. Our unique software system is dynamic and scalable, so as your trust develops, we provide added value through our estate due diligence service.

[embeddoc url=”https://www.warnefordconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Warneford-monthly-planner.pdf” download=”all” viewer=”browser”]

Why not give us a call to discuss how we can partner you on your journey to achieving Good Estate Management for Schools (GEMS) and transitioning towards Net Zero.

Contact us here for more.