10 key questions answered about priority school building programme

Making sense of the new Priority School Building Programme has been brought to you by Cotaplan, as we have played a part in helping build better schools to build better learning roots in the teaching discipline. By this, schools are being upgraded with state of the art engineering and architectural design to house a well insulated, heat controlled and design friendly schooling environment in the boroughs of the UK. All aided at helping learners and teaching work in harmony. Studies reported by the Guardian suggest evidence that teaching and learning can improve that takes place in an nice schooling environment that students and pupils like to be in. School education is far different today and can allows a variety of teaching applications. A school classroom that facilitates this will ultimately help a school become manageable and enjoyable.

Fundamentally schools need to meet a criteria key design principles of:

• Functionality
• Health & Safety
• Standardisation
• Future-proofing
• Sustainability

Why is the Priority School Programme an importance to education?

Many schools have been condemned as ill fit and unsafe and a problem that many schools have had to put with in the UK.

How many registered schools are covered by the programme at present?

The first wave of priority school building programme covers all 261 registered schools which are known to be due to be substantially or wholly rebuilt by the end of year 2017 that include primary, secondary and SEN (special education needs) schools.

How much funds is there for Priority School Building Programme?

The government has made available £1.7bn worth of capital funding which is available for the 1st wave of the set programme. Additionally £700 m worth of work will help fund PF2, which is the government’s revamped idea of PFI.

What kind of work which is under Priority School Building Programme has already been awarded?

17 batches of funded schools have already been awarded to some contractors and also the two batches of PF2 funded schools.

Who has already won the most work specifically on the batches so far?

Below is an indication of companies which have already been appointed to capital batches. It includes the following:
§ Kier- 4 batches worth £197m
-East 2 £60 m
-South £30 m
-North East 2 £63 m
-Nottinghamshire £44 m
§ Bam construction – 2 batches worth £57 m
-Midlands 2 £28 m
-London £29 m (the batch was originally worth £75 m but 5 schools which were worth £46 m taken back purposely for reprocurement by the EFA)
§ Sir Robert Mc Alpine- one batch worth £57 m
-North East 1, £57 m
Meanwhile, Kajima and Interserve have been also awarded the Luton, Hertfordshire and the reading batch of PF2 schools worth about £150 m. The Miller has won the North East batch which is worth approximately £120 m.

What kind of capital batches are still to come to the market in the 1st wave?

There are three batches- London 2 (Consists of 5 schools which were taken back from the 1st London batch by EFA), Barking and Brent, Newharm and Dagenham (Currently being bid by the contractors on EFA framework).
The other further 11 capital funded batches are currently expected to be on the market to the main framework of contractors this year. This will have to cover all the remaining schools which were included in PSPB list which have not so far been procured.

What are the available timeframes for wave two of the programme?

The current system for other school stakeholders and local authorities should submit the expressions of their interests in the set programme which is expected to go live imminently.

How likely it is that wave two of this programme will go ahead just in case there is a total change of government?

Though there is a general election specifically before the projects in wave two which have been built, it will be politically unlikely that the coming government would have to cancel the projects whereby funding has already been allocated.

How will the schools be selected especially for wave two of the programme?

The schools which will apply for this funding programme will have to be prioritised for inclusion in accordance to their building conditions. The main process of decision will be informed by EFA’s property data survey which is meant for building conditions. This due to the released report this summer.

How will wave two of this programme be procured?

The registered schools in wave two are expected to be procured in batches and capital funded. They are also expected to be virtually procured through the contractor framework of EFA.

Will wave two of this programme be expected to be similar in terms of standardised design processes to the 1st one?

The answer is yes. The EFA explicitly states in its own guidance notes to the authorities interested in bidding process meant for funding that the baseline designs was developed by EFA and have been used successfully as part of the original programme and the main intention is actually to continue with the ones for the new phase’.

Are all schools in the programme?

No, as some schools have been rebuilt in the last decade. Some schools are named as academies which are privately invested public schools. Schools don’t last forever and with more children born, schools have become largely bigger or over accommodating in the hope of getting into the priority school programme.

How have Cotaplan played a role in the Priority School Building Programme?

Cotaplans modular buildings have facilitated in 2 ways. We have implemented numerous prefabricated modular schools from nursery, primary and secondary that has become invaluable learning space and investment to help schools continue to run efficiently. Secondly, Cotaplan are are able to support contract building companies to allow engineers and builders to work comfortably on site using Cotaplan cabin accommodation to build the necessary school facilities in the priority schools building programme.