The National Audit Office found a large number of school buildings in England in need of substantial repairs.
In February 2017, the National Audit Office – a body that scrutinises public spending for Parliament – found that a large number of school buildings in England required substantial repairs. It is estimated that it will cost £6.7Bn to return all school buildings across the country to a ‘satisfactory or better’ condition, and a further £7.1Bn to bring parts of school buildings up to a ‘good’ condition.
These estimates are rooted in a Department of Education property data survey, completed in 2014 – four years after the launch of the £4.4Bn Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). This programme is set to run until 2021 with the aim of rebuilding or refurbishing a total of 537 primary, secondary and special education needs schools across England.
Now in the second phase – £2.4Bn of the original budget has been allocated to PSBP2 to rebuild and refurbish individual blocks at 277 schools. The scale of the task is vast and only through using innovative construction solutions can the Priority School Building Programme be delivered.
The Priority School Building Programme relies heavily on standardisation to reduce costs. So, will the use of offsite manufactured classrooms and other education facilities increase?
Richard Crosby, Director of Education at management consultant Blacc and an independent consultant to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) – believes it will, saying:
“I see modular construction playing an even greater role in PSBP2, this phase presents opportunities for modular construction. The ESFA understands the need to design and procure for offsite construction and they are working on a component solution of standard blocks that can be assembled to create bespoke schools without compromising on quality of design or specification. The ESFA’s modular schools will look and feel like traditional build schools in a fraction of the time onsite.”
Learn more about offsite construction and the opportunities in the education sector from the key speakers – Richard Crosby will be presenting at the Explore Offsite Education conference, taking place on 11 July 2017 at Westminster, London. Joining him on the speaker platform will be Rachel Stephenson, Programme Director Education & Skills Funding Agency; Keith Waller, Senior Advisor at the Infrastructure & Projects Authority, Bryan Evans, PSBP2 Project Director and a host of experts from the offsite sector.