Ken DalyThe management of school buildings can be very onerous so we hope that the information given on these pages will be of use. 

If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Tel :    07471 355 537


Ken Daly

Consultant Buildings Officer


Details of the arrangements for funding capital works in schools and academies will be announced at the beginning of 2017.  In 2016, NRCDES was given a formula allocation from the Condition Improvement Fund to spend across eleven academies and we anticipate a similar arrangement for 2017/18.   In 2016/17, LCVAP and DFC allocations have been held at similar levels to previous years, allowing for changes to the number of schools becoming academies.  The Condition Improvement Fund ran only one bidding round.


Schools and academies considering making applications for funding capital projects in 2017/18 should contact Ken Daly to discuss their plans before they engage in any formal discussions with consultants or architects.  Proposals should be submitted via the attached Proposal Form.


Guidance on the planning and management of a capital project can be found elsewhere in this section of our website or is available from Ken Daly.  Schools and academies are reminded that no capital work can be undertaken without the consent of the Trustees.


Requests from Voluntary Aided Schools for details of DFC payments or up to date balance statements can be made to Jennifer Charleson on 01332 293833 x 204 or  Jennifer will also be the person to contact relating to payments from the Condition Improvement Formula Allocation.


Download this file (ProposalForm1718.docx)ProposalForm1718.docx

We are always on the lookout for case studies which we can publish on our website to show colleagues how some schools have tackled particular building and capital projects successfully.  Several schools have had major projects this year and it would be helpful to see how the LCVAP and DFC funding has been used to good effect.  If your school has had work done to address a particular issue and you would like to share your experience (and maybe show off the result!) please download and complete the proforma attached to this article.  Once you have completed the proforma, give it a name, save it and e-mail it to so that it can be uploaded to our site.

Download this file (CaseStudyStructure.ppt)CaseStudyStructure.ppt


Any building work in school is fraught with difficulty and I hope that this short guide will be a help in finding a route through the various stages.  A number of changes to an earlier version to take account of the move to Academy status and recent legislation have been highlighted in bold green italics for ease of reference.


The Guide also includes a list of consultants and contractors who have worked with our schools and although these are not formally recommended by the Diocese, we have added a note where relevant giving the name of those schools with whom the consultant or contractor has worked in case you want to make contact and receive first hand information.


For reference I have attached a copy of The Blue Book which is the DfE guide to funding capital projects in Voluntary Aided Schools.


I am always happy to receive feedback on projects which have gone well (and on those that have met with problems) so that I can share experiences with colleagues in other schools.  I also welcome feedback on the attached document.


Schools are reminded that, in most cases, the buildings are managed by the Governors on behalf of the owners (either the Diocesan Trust or a Religious Order) and that work should not be authorized until it has been approved by the relevant Diocesan or Religious Order representative.


Local Authorities contactors may appear with an order to carry out some work but they should not be allowed to do so until the project has been properly agreed.  The most common misunderstanding relates to Disabled Access work which, in Voluntary Aided Schools, is the responsibility of the Governors (and therefore liable to VAT and a 10% contribution), but which many Local Authorities assume can be carried out automatically – beware!


If Governors or the Headteacher wishes to carry out work to the fabric of the building this should be in accordance with the school’s Asset Management Plan and condition survey and any scheme should be drawn up in accordance with the Diocesan guidelines (cf “Managing a Capital Project in Schools” a copy of which is available on the Education Service website).  Schools should notify the Diocese (via Ken Daly) in advance of beginning any work.


Once work has been completed it is the responsibility of the school to inform the Local Authority and the Diocese of any changes to the layout of the school building or any alteration or extension which has taken place as these may affect net capacity and the routes for emergency services.  Please see Appendix 8 of the Guidance for the relevant form.





All Voluntary Aided Schools and Catholic Academies need to ensure that the Diocesan Trustees can be confident in the insurance arrangements for the buildings from which the school or academy operates in the event of a major disaster.   Currently, different Local Authorities offer a range of cover (sometimes to 100%) but there are often excesses which in the event of a claim can cause problems.


Our strong advice to Catholic Voluntary Aided Schools is (a) take out separate insurance to cover the Governors’ 10% contribution to any capital repair and their other liabilities (most schools in this Diocese use CCIA) and (b) read the small print of the Local Authority policy very carefully to identify what is and is not covered (e.g. drains, fences, consultants’ fees).  There is a slight additional cost but it is better to let the loss adjusters argue about responsibilities rather than find you are not fully covered. 


In the meantime, information about insurance in academies has been received from the CES and is attached to this article. The CES and the Church of England Diocesan Board of Education have agreed a range of cover through the Risk Protection Arrangements offered by the EFA and academies are encouraged to join this scheme.  Since the EFA will only fund academies for the cost of the RPA, should Trusts decide to take out a more expensive commercial option, they will have to bear the excess cost.  Academies need to ensure that they read the guidance on the RPA as it applies to Church Schools (copy attached).   All academy Governors, Headteachers and Bursars are asked to read this document carefully.




Governors and the Headteacher have various statutory responsibilities for Health & Safety in their school and should be fully aware of these responsibilities.


Attached are two exemplar Health & Safety Inspection checklists used in some of our schools.  The most common areas of concern relate to the management of asbestos (advice attached), legionella and Fire Safety.


Schools are urged to ensure that they meet all the requirements of Fire Risk Assessments and carry out appropriate evacuation drills etc on a regular basis.


Guidance on Health & Safety in Schools can be found on most Local Authority websites or at and is also available on


Responsibility extends to the management of gates and fences on the boundaries of the school and regular checking of these areas is strongly recommended.


Schools should consider keeping a log of Health & Safety training received by the relevant staff including site staff and catering staff.  Visitors should also be made aware of important health & safety procedures.