Premises & Sites
Responsibility foreffectively managing and maintaining school buildings lies with the school and is the responsibility of the Governing Body. Advice can be found from a variety of sources including these webpages. The EFA has published the following guidance on “Essential school maintenance” which can be downloaded from gov.uk:
All schools are advised to have in place procedures for dealing with property related emergencies. Further guidance is included below.
Property Related Emergencies
The County Council does not provide an emergency response service and therefore all schools are expected to retain the services of a property consultant to support them in the event of a critical incident. The County Council’s Property Consultancy framework can be used to engage with an appropriately qualified consultant.
It is the individual school’s responsibility to make the necessary contractual arrangements to undertake repairs and put in place temporary solutions as required. During normal office hours the County Council’s Building Management Team are available to provide advice and support to help you to manage the incident.
For schools taking out the HCC insurance further advice can be sought from the Insurance team.
The following steps should apply in the event of a property related emergency:
- Contact the relevant emergency service
- Contact your retained property consultant
- Notify the relevant insurer(s)
- Notify HCC using the critical incident helpline 01438 737261 (Monday to Friday 0830 – 1730 and Saturday 0900 – 1600)
- Register the closure information on the County Council's Closure Notification System (Snowline) - www.intra.thegrid.org.uk/info/snowline/
- For VA schools, notify the Diocesan representative.
Procedures to follow in specific emergencies are detailed below:
- Call the Transco Emergency Number (0800 111999)
- An engineer will visit the site. If there is a gas leak they may fix it or are more likely to make it safe in the short term (i.e. shut off the supply). The engineer should provide a job report which will include an assessment of the cause of the problem, recommended corrective action and a job reference.
- If the engineer has not fixed the problem, a follow up visit must be booked:
- A follow up visit by the energy provider should be arranged via HCC’s Energy Management team on 01992 556513 (Comnet 26513).
The SLA for follow up visits is 4 hours (schools do get some level of priority). A follow up can only be requested during office hours. If the problem is reported late in the day it is likely that the visit will not be until the following day.
- Before taking any action, check the fuses to eliminate this common cause of power cuts.
- If fuses are ok, contact UK Power Networks (UKPN) on 0800 783 8838 or 01243 508838. They can advise if this is a network problem or site specific.
- If the problem is site specific, call out your electrical engineer/contractor (eg. Oakray). If it is post meter the engineer should be able to fix it. If it is identified as being an issue with the meter or the phases, contact HCC’s Energy Management team on 01992 556513 (Comnet 26513) to discuss further action.
Notification of School Building Changes: Landowner’s Approval Process May 2016
When a Community School proposes building changes for its school premises, the process for the Landowner’s Approval should be followed.
Please email all requests with reference to changes planned for Community School buildings to firstname.lastname@example.org with a completed application form.
Landowner’s Approval Process Application Form
Please provide the relevant drawings and documentation concerning planning permission from the Local Planning Authority (if relevant) with the application in your email. The checklist in the application form provides details as to what the County Council requires to approve school building changes. Provided we have all the information that we require we aim to provide you with a response within two weeks of your request.
Landlords Consent Simple Process Map
Capital Funding & Works Applications
Capital Funding Guidance
All maintained schools are able to apply to the County Council for capital funding using the process below. Funding is allocated on the basis of condition need. All successful schemes attract a financial contribution from the school. Guidance is updated annually and the latest version can be found here.
Since 1st April 2014 all primary schools in Hertfordshire have received additional revenue funding in their budget that had previously been held centrally for capital maintenance.
As a result of receiving this funding, schools now have greater capacity to undertake capital works themselves and are expected to take forward elements of their school Asset Management Plans (AMPs).
Guidance and advice on the preparation of AMPs and the processes of commissioning and managing works can be found on the Premises & Sites page on the GRID:
Schools are required to make a financial contribution to centrally managed schemes programmed before 1st April 2017.
Works Applications Process
Applications in conjunction with condition data are reviewed termly by the Building Management Team, with priority being given to large capital items (e.g. roofs and boilers). It is vital that any request for funding is accompanied by supporting evidence.
All schools applying for capital funding are asked to provide the following documents:
- A One Page Business Case outlining the scope, cost and expectations of the works. Click here for blank form:
- An up-to-date copy of the school's 5-year Asset Management Plan Click here for blank plan:
- A Condition Survey describing the condition and an estimate of the costs of repair. See attached guidance for further information.
- When submitting a bid to replace boilers/hot water systems, additional questions on the pipework condition must be answered. Click here for additional questions.
These should be sent by email to: email@example.com
||Term Start Date
||Bid Deadline Date
Notes on completing applications
- Schools can submit bids at any time and whilst the current year's programme is largely committed, these will be reviewed and a decision made about their relative priority. Each term, all bids will be reviewed after the deadline date for submission (see above).
- The information in each Asset Management Plan is also used to better understand a school’s planned works for future years.
- Receipt of your application will be acknowledged within three working days.
- Schools will be contacted in the week after half term to confirm whether the bid has been accepted.
- Acceptance of the bid does not constitute funding approval however it is an important first gateway for your project. Schools will be given an indication of when the project might be progressed but this will be subject to budget. It is not uncommon for there to be 18 months between approval of a bid and the project being implemented.
- If you have any questions about the process please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your query.
Accessibility Plans (Equalities Act 2010)
The Equalities Act 2010 requires all schools to prepare and publish an accessibility plan for their site setting out how schools will increase the accessibility, over time, for disabled pupils.
In order to prepare the plan, a school must first have an access audit undertaken
Access audits for schools relate directly to the Ofsted Framework Section 8 which states that Ofsted will be looking at 'the extent to which the education provided by the school meets the needs of the pupils at the school and in particular the needs of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs.'
An accessibility audit will assess the site and identify what is required in order to comply with accessibility requirements and how these might be prioritised. An accessibility audit is a live document which will inform schools of all areas of their site which do not meet the requirements of Equality Act 2010. It will help the school to identify a programme of work that it could reasonably be expected to progress.
There are a number of companies who are willing to undertake accessibility audits for schools. Further advice can be requested by email to email@example.com . Most audits will help to provide a prioritised, pragmatic approach to improving accessibility across your site.
Improving the physical environment of schools will involve improving access to existing buildings through reasonable adjustments. This may involve, for example, the creation of safe spaces, calming areas, and individual workstations, as well as providing a suitable physical environment for children and young people with disabilities. Improvements to physical access might include ramps, handrails, lifts, widened doorways, electromagnetic doors, adapted toilets and washing facilities, adjustable lighting, blinds, induction loops, well designed room acoustics and way-finding systems. All new school buildings have to comply with current building regulations and should be physically accessible to pupils with SEND.
All schools need to consider the reasonable adjustments which may be needed for pupils with SEND generally and also for specific pupils including those expected to transfer into the school.
The responsibility for funding lies with the school but where major works (i.e. over £15k) are likely to be required in exceptional circumstances, schools can submit a business case for additional funding as part of the wider Schools Capital programme.