Things are looking up for school’s as the government pledges £1bn over the next ten years towards ‘crumbling’ schools. Sean Coughlan from the BBC reports that this money will be used to help 50 major school buildings, and a further £560mn for extra crumbling schools. The corona virus outbreak seems to have encouraged the government to kickstart a notable backlog of £6.7bn of repairs that are needed across 21,000 schools.
The school regeneration scheme will tackle the problems of dilapidated, ageing school buildings head on. It is about time! As Paul Whiteman of the National Association of headteachers states there has been a “decade of underinvestment” and noted that educational funding must “never be allowed to fall into such a perilous state again”. There has been a notable lack of funding for schools over the last decade, however, now is time to focus on the positives after a time of negative outcomes. Despite the funding being overdue, it is important to think about the now and realise how beneficial this could be for schools going forward. We think it is important to use the money wisely and have some top tips of how to make the funding go as far as possible:
- Use a certain budget two-fold – for example when reinstalling the roof, ensure you are using an energy creating roof which will save money in the long run. This could be done by installing solar panels.
- Work out the potential risks and uncertainties early. It is hugely important that risks are set aside with a budget to start with to save you time and money as the project goes on. If this is not done it is a lot harder to work out the potential impact they might have.
- If part of the regeneration for your schools is the need for new technology, shop around and buy in bulk. By using the same reasonably priced company there are more opportunities to get deals on many technologies e.g. computers, smart boards, iPad, laptops.
- Choose the contractor wisely. Choosing a contractor that will quote you a fair price with a high quality of work is essential. Meeting three and choosing between them will give you a range of what the price should be for the work that needs doing. After that, calculating costs and saving on overspending should be easier.
- If the bathrooms need reinstalling try to use existing soil pipes where you can, and when adding a new one, make sure it can be joined to another. To move a drain is expensive.
The new commitment by the government to help schools repair old buildings and damage could be life changing for many schools, some of which have become so run down they were not far off closure. There has been a commitment to increase school spending by £7.1bn by 2022-23 which the institute for fiscal studies says will reverse previous cuts to school budgets. It is great that the government is funding this, however, it is up to schools to now use the money wisely. We hope this has helped and we would love to hear any more tips and tricks you might have up your sleeve to save on spending throughout the regeneration process as well. Please don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com