Realising the potential of your academy buildings: Are you thinking strategically?

Since the Academies Act of 2010, more and more schools have left LEA control to convert to academies and as a result a new phenomenon is emerging.

For example, Alfriston Special Girls’ School in Buckinghamshire, left LEA control in 2012, inheriting a varied collection of historic buildings in different conditions, not all designed for educational purposes. Alfriston is having to look beyond the current financial year and needs longer term strategic advice and guidance. 

Instead of remaining stand-alone, these academies have joined forces to form multi-academy trusts (MATs) for mutual support, initially in twos and threes but now as many as 50 or 60-strong. MATs are fast becoming multi-million pound enterprises responsible for extensive estates.

MAT trustees now need to think at the strategic level about delivering services and getting the most from their assets, including grounds and buildings.

Ensuring health and safety compliance and keeping the grass is cut is no longer enough; MAT’s also need to fulfil the true potential of every academy within their remit in order to grow.

Working with a strategic partner

Specialist premises companies in the MAT sector, such as Surveyors To Education (S2e), are increasingly being asked to look at longer term objectives and how academies can model existing facilities to develop and improve them.

They offer a wide range of services to enable mid and long term planning:

  • Asset management
  • Condition surveys
  • Floorplan surveys
  • Energy efficiency surveys
  • Space planning studies
  • Infrastructure strategies
  • Bid preparation for capital funding
  • Project management
  • ICT development

For example, Alfriston Special Girls’ School in Buckinghamshire, left LEA control in 2012, inheriting a varied collection of historic buildings in different conditions, not all designed for educational purposes. Alfriston is having to look beyond the current financial year and needs longer term strategic advice and guidance.

Through S2e, Alfriston School has successfully bid for CIF funding for major improvements in infrastructure, security and fire safety and is undergoing a programme of improvements as part of a long term infrastructure plan.

S2e has built a high level of expertise in mid and long term planning in the academy sector, offering strategic advice and guidance to trustees and managers. This enables students to enjoy a safe and conducive learning environment today and MATs to realise the full potential of their property into the future.

If you'd like to know more about how we can help you, please contact S2e, call 01530 276127 or email enquire@s2e.org.uk.