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Managing Education Estates with Barker

01st July 2021

Managing Education Estates with Barker

Over the course of the last year and a half, the pandemic has taught us that remote learning and digital tools are essential to modern education, however the built estate remains highly relevant. Effectively managing educational estates is crucial to providing a warm, safe and effective environment for learning.

But how do we ensure this is possible? At present, schools across the UK must be able to adhere to a set of requirements defined by the Department for Education. To succeed, a board or MAT management team should provide effective and well-rounded evidence to the following 10 questions:

  • Are we managing the estate effectively?
  • Who is responsible for the estate?
  • Do we have the necessary skills, knowledge and capacity to manage the estate?
  • How do we manage the estate?
  • What is the condition of the buildings?
  • Are we complying with our legal responsibilities?
  • What do we do in emergencies?
  • What funding is available for investment in the estate?
  • Are we spending wisely on the estate?
  • Can we become more efficient with our expenditure?

It can feel daunting for an organisation to approach the DfE’s requirements on their own – so what’s the best route? We sat down with Barker Partner and Education Estate Management expert, Robert Gould to find out more:

“With all our clients, we want to ensure that we can support them in the best way possible to ensure they’re able to provide inspirational space for learning. Before getting into the many technical and practical aspects of estate management it is important to understand and define the objectives of the organisation so that we can target resources effectively and engage with the whole organisation to amplify our actions.

Once we have helped develop a vision or strategic plan we can start working on delivery. To do so we will firstly get to grips with their systems and review existing data, identifying any critical gaps. This ensures that we’re able to streamline their operations, minimise rise and save money.

Every organisation is at a different stage on the journey, but we utilise an integrated approach, offering a complete range of services from surveying to project management, compliance tracking and energy management. We also assist with the development and implementation of planned maintenance programmes, and the management of statutory compliance obligations.

Technology is central to our approach. Our innovative estate management tool, EO Portal collates, analyses and reports on your building’s data in a simple and engaging way to enable better decision making and efficient allocation of capital resources.

By monitoring and auditing your energy usage, we can help you transform your energy management strategy to generate financial savings and meet sustainability and carbon reduction targets.

Finally, we look for opportunities to secure inward capital investment and help clients navigate through this constantly changing landscape. This could be through the Condition Improvement fund, energy efficiency funding through Salix Finance, emergency funding or funding for the growth of successful schools and trusts. We keep on top of all of the current initiatives and align these with clients’ need to help them delivery the best environments for learning.

At Barker, we offer an optimum education estate management service. Our team applies sector-specific expertise across all stages of the property life cycle, from pre-acquisition through to estate management and development planning.

Interested to learn more about education estate management at Barker? Be sure to click the links  below.