The core function of effective management of resources includes the school estate, the buildings and the grounds.

Whilst the day-to-day management of the school estate is carried out by executive leaders, school business and property professionals, the governing board should maintain an appropriate level of oversight to ensure that it is safe and secure for everyone, provides efficiency, sustainability and the effective management of resources.

At a maintained school it is the governing board who are responsible for controlling the occupation and use of the school building during and outside school and or deciding how school facilities are used.

Academy trusts are responsible for the day-to-day running of the school land and buildings and health and safety of the pupils.

In the majority of schools set up through private finance initiatives (PFI), the construction of the buildings is funded by a private sector contractor and their funders. The buildings are then operated and maintained by that private sector contractor for an agreed period, typically 25 years.

Maintaining oversight of the estate at governing board level

Department for Education guidance on good estate management says that the governing board’s oversight of the school estate could take place through regular, in-depth consideration by a relevant committee, which in turn reports to the full governing board.  Some governing boards establish a premises management committee or include this function in the terms of reference of another, resource focused (e.g. finance or health and safety) committee.

NGA has produced a list of suggested questions for governing boards to ask in order to establish whether the school estate is in good condition and how well it is being used.

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