Why do I need an estate vision and strategy for my academy
The DfE and ESFA have recently published a collaborative guide on ‘Good Estate Management’ (GEM) to help support schools and academies in managing their estates efficiently and effectively.
Good estate management is understandably a complex topic. However, ensuring that best practices are in place, will not only mean that you are able to make the most of your resources but also ensure for a more secure future for your school.
Surveyors to Education (S2e), have broken the GEM guidance down into a series of blogs, focused on different key aspects, with this blog aimed at understanding the vision and strategy element of managing an academy estate effectively.
Having a vision and strategy in place is key
Simply put, having a comprehensive vision and strategy in place for your estate, will enable you to create a solid base upon which you can ensure you are effectively managing your organisation to ultimately meet your education goals and objectives. For example, poor management, as a result of having a poor vision or strategy in place, can lead to several issues such as inefficient resource allocation, safety risks and poorly maintained buildings. These ultimately lead to the disruption in the everyday running of the school and in pupils learning environments.
Having a clear vision in place will inform your academy’s strategy going forward. It needs to be aligned to the educational principles of the school and define exactly how the estate will evolve to meet future demands, for example any additional capacity requirements.
The role of the strategy is to explain how the vision is going to be carried out over the coming 3 to 5 years. Part of setting a strategy will involve undertaking a review of the existing assets, plans and procedures to be able to identify the resources and budget requirements needed going forward.
Communication is not to be underestimated
The vision and strategy are most effective when the whole organisation has been involved along the way and they have been integrated within the business planning process of the academy. As such, communication between stakeholders, and ultimately agreement on any key issues raised as part of the vision setting process, is key in delivering the right strategy for the estate going forward.
S2e can support your school, through the following services:
Strategic review workshop
Area analysis and spatial planning
Health & safety compliance audits
Energy and utilities audits