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Asset management and maintenance

Last updated on 11 January 2021

This training resource has been developed to replace schools training courses. It will help provide schools with information and guidance for carrying out a school managed project. 

School roof maintenance and roof leaks advice

This information is intended to help provide schools with some advice of some day-to-day measures that you can take to both minimise rainwater leaks and know who to call for assistance if they occur.

It is advised that general maintenance of roofs includes clearing leaves, balls, silt etc. from the gutters and drainage channels and should be undertaken a minimum of four times a year. This could be more frequent depending upon weather, proximity of trees etc. Schools may also wish to consider ensuring that any overhanging tree limbs are regularly cut back and that vegetation or growth on the roof itself is removed.

In the event that a school experiences a roof leak or related drainage issues please ensure that any roof outlets / gutters etc. are not blocked with leaves or balls etc. If so, clear the blockage and monitor to see if the problem continues.

After a heavy storm check the roof, where possible, for damage and ponding and clear away any leaves and debris. If a school has had a roof project over recent years, it may useful to refer to the O&M manual for the roof project to assist in planning the schools maintenance schedule.

Please ensure that regular maintenance of roofs, gutters and drainage channels is carried out so that this can be eliminated as a potential cause of leaks/flooding before raising any queries with consultants/contractors.

If you have any questions, please email

ESFA: Good estate management for schools

Asset management

The school’s Asset Management Plan (AMP) is an integral part of the School Development Plan which ensures all decisions are informed by asset management considerations as well as educational and financial requirements.

Schools are expected to identify asset management priorities within their own School Development Plan and to have an up-to-date AMP. The AMP should cover the next five years and be reviewed regularly, particularly when significant work or purchases occur.

Capital funding bids cannot be considered without an AMP. The AMP is used to assess the relative priority of projects and provide evidence of a maintenance/service history.

What is the school responsible for?

Under Health & Safety law, responsibility for managing school assets lies with the Board of Governors and Headteacher.

As the management body of premises used as a workplace, there is a legal duty to ensure that the premises and any equipment, plant or substances used are safe and any risk to the health of those using them is managed and documented.

As knowledge of the asset and funding is increasingly devolved to schools, it is expected that schools will proactively manage their buildings and ask for assistance if needed. An Asset Management Plan is an essential part of discharging this responsibility.

Benefits of good asset management

  • appealing school - Well maintained buildings help create a positive first impression and are one step towards attracting pupils.
  • efficient school - A well planned approach to asset management enables school governing bodies to proactively fund repairs and maintenance, preventing school facilities becoming unusable due to unforeseen failures. Planned facilities repairs are cheaper than emergency call outs as less time pressure allows effective planning and competitive pricing to secure better value.
  • safe school - Poorly maintained buildings are more hazardous, for example, a leaking roof can lead to slips from water ingress or trips from damaged flooring. Consideration of asbestos and legionella risk is also an important aspect of effectively managing the school’s assets.
  • successful school - There is a strong link between poor physical environments and pupil attainment – an environment which promotes positive health and wellbeing can contribute to improved pupil performance.

What is actually yours?

Property ownership is not always clear, especially where there are aspects such as site manager accommodation, community assets, family centres and the like to take into account. If unsure, ownership details can be checked by accessing the Corporate Property Database.

What condition is it in?

A condition survey provides objective information about the condition of the asset. It uses a common grading system and enables fair comparison across sites and effective prioritisation. It is advisable to employ a professional surveyor to assess the condition of the key elements of your building and/or plant.

What needs to be done and when?

The condition survey should identify where work is required. The condition grading given to each item surveyed will provide a guide for prioritising which project should be delivered first.

How much will it cost?

The condition survey should include the estimated cost of remedial works or replacement to assist with budgeting. The estimate can also be used as an outline budget in any school bids for capital funding.

Planned preventative maintenance (PPM)

Planned preventative maintenance is scheduled inspection and maintenance that is designed to improve equipment life and reduce unplanned maintenance activity.

Planned maintenance will also provide the school with an improved understanding of the condition of their assets, along with information on the availability of spares (for older plant), which will assist in the process of planning/programming for future replacement.

Evidence that PPM is taking place will also assist with any bids that schools may submit for funding.

Some equipment maintenance and testing is a statutory requirement, whilst some is recommended good practice. More detail about each of these can be found in the 'support material' below together with a suggested schedule that can be adapted to suit each schools individual requirements.

Schools are advised that consideration should be given to the following when drawing up their annual PPM schedule:

  • be aware of asbestos in every job
  • fixed wiring testing and inspection
  • Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
  • lightning protection
  • automatic doors/gates
  • emergency lighting
  • fire alarm system maintenance
  • fire safety tasks
  • fire equipment
  • routine fire monitoring
  • water risk assessments and legionella monitoring
  • heating/hot water systems inspection
  • lifts and hoists – maintenance and insurance
  • access control, CCTV and intruder systems
  • catering equipment
  • grounds/playground equipment maintenance

Support material

Please note there is no definitive HCC policy on PAT testing. Usually the contractor would risk assess the environment and equipment and make recommendations. Usually, equipment such as IT equipment that is quite low risk and a testing frequency of 36M would possibly be in order, providing daily visual checks are undertaken by the user. Equipment such as site managers' tools and catering equipment etc. are different, and should possibly be tested on an annual basis, but is all down to the environment and usage. There is no one fits all policy and an assessment of each individual situation is recommended.

Health and Safety Executive: Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) FAQs

First published 19 August 2020 - Last updated on 11 January 2021