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Making the most of SCA Funding

The growth of Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) and, consequently SCA funding over recent years has been huge.  Five years ago, MATs were awarded a total of £97 million in funding (2016-17). In the last full round of funding (2021-22), total awards to MATs were £405 million* – a growth of over 400%. With multiple demands on the school estate, rising energy costs and the impact of the pandemic it is becoming increasingly important to strategically plan your SCA capital programme.

If you receive SCA funding, are you certain that you are investing the income wisely? Many academies fall into the trap of reactively spending the SCA pot on what they perceive to be the most urgent need. However, this may not be the most efficient or effective approach to investment. To get a better understanding of how to run a good estate, the Government has a useful resource on its website  and a useful self-assessment tool, or you could simply talk to an expert.

The team at Barker have been working with trusts for 15 years to allocate and manage funding in a strategic and planned manner to get the best value over the long term. A tool that the Barker team has developed – EO Portal – helps trusts with multiple campuses and building to monitor, manage and report on the condition of the entire estate. The tool helps school leaders and estate managers to prioritise work – ultimately leading to increased cost efficiencies. You can see how the Brooke Weston Trust use this to guide their estates strategy in this short video HERE

The relationship between Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) and Barker exemplifies how the benefits of strategic estate management improves services and financial effectiveness. Since its formation in 2008, AET has grown to encompass 57 schools and over 33,000 students.

Since inception, AET has worked in partnership with Barker, and the services provided include:

• Maintenance planning
• Budget advice
• DDA audits
• Development planning
• Design
• Contract administration
• Project management

Barker has also facilitated the batching up of works to provide even greater efficiencies.

The relationship with AET won the property firm the PFM Partners in Consultancy Award.

At Barker, we’re always willing to have an initial, free, no obligation discussion with your Trust to determine how we can work in partnership to improve your learning environments . Get in touch today via our website: https://www.barker-associates.co.uk/contact

*https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-capital-funding#funding-allocations-for-the-2021-to-2022-financial-year

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