From early 2017 to Autumn 2019, the ESFA’s Condition Data Collection (CDC) programme will visit every government maintained school in England to collect data about the physical condition of school buildings and how they are managed. The CDC Programme replaces the previous Property Data Survey (PDS) Programme which ran from 2012-2014.
The CDC is a data collection programme; it is not a full condition survey. The CDC is designed to be used by ESFA to enable a fair distribution of capital maintenance funding to academies and Multi Academy Trusts, to identify school blocks in need of replacement and to provide evidence to justify capital bids to treasury.
Although the CDC data is not designed to replace a full condition survey or asset management plan, the CDC data may;
The CDC data does not and is not intended to replace detailed building condition surveys or asset management plans. The CDC report cannot provide enough information to support a comprehensive condition report for any individual establishment that is suitable for asset management planning because:
The CDC programme has divided schools into four tranches. Tranches 1 and 2 were completed from Sept-Dec 2017. Tranche 3 was surveyed Jan-May 2018. Tranche 4 is due to be surveyed May-Sept 2018. To find out which tranche your school is in, download the lists using the links at the end of this article.
The online School Questionnaire needs to be completed by schools at least two weeks before the agreed date of the CDC site visit. It can be completed at any time after a school’s CDC Portal account has been set up. A link to the questionnaire will be emailed to schools after their CDC Portal account has been created. A full list of the information requested from schools is contained in the CDC Guide to completing the School Questionnaire which can be downloaded via the links at the end of this article.
You will be informed by ESFA when you have access to the CDC data via the portal. If the surveyor has noted a significant Health & Safety issue, you will be informed before the release of the full CDC report.
Your actions following receipt of your CDC data will depend on the content of the report and the provisions you already have in place to manage your buildings.
It is important that your CDC data accurately reflects your building condition. There were widespread reports of inaccuracies in the previous PDS programme which the ESFA have tried to address with the current CDC programme. However, it is inevitable that there will be instances where you do not agree with the findings.
It is important that schools raise perceived inaccuracies with the ESFA as the CDC data will be used to allocate future capital funding. Mistakes in the CDC data could lead to schools not being granted the funding they require through Condition Improvement Fund bids or he School Condition Allocation (SCA) programme.
For matters of fact, schools and responsible bodies may contact ESFA directly to have errors corrected. For matters of opinion that require judgement, it may be necessary to seek advice from an independent expert such as a Chartered Surveyor to assess the issue and provide evidence to present to the ESFA.
As well as using the data at a local level and collecting more detailed condition information, Multi Academy Trusts will need to collate condition data for their estate portfolio in order to make strategic decisions.
The complexity of the systems you put in place will depend on the size of your MAT, future growth plans and in-house capabilities and resource. Barker Associates can offer advice on highly cost-effective solutions which can be delivered without adding overheads to the trust. A case study on how this works in practice is available via the links at the end of this article.