This section of Bromley Education Matters provides guidance that schools should consult in discharging their duties with regards site and premises management.
Responsibilities for premises maintenance and health and safety are dependent on the type of school. In most instances in Bromley schools are responsible for maintenance and health and safety of their sites. But where the Council is not responsible, it has a shared interest to ensure that children learn in a safe environment.
In Bromley there are 4 types of schools. These have different premises responsibilities and sources of funding.
Most Bromley schools are academies. Academies are independent of local authority. They are the legal Employer and responsible for both maintenance and health and safety. Generally academies either own their own sites if they previously had Foundation status, own all or part of their site if formerly voluntary aided or lease their sites on a long term (125 year) lease from the Council. Academies trusts receive support for maintaining their estate through 2 different routes:
- Larger trusts that have 5 or more academies and more than 3,000 pupils receive a school condition allocation (SCA) from the DfE
- Smaller trusts do not receive a direct allocation are eligible to bid for the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) for projects to maintain their estate
Community schools are maintained by the Council who owns the site and although delegates responsibilities for day to management to schools is ultimately accountable for ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation. They receive support in managing their premises through the SCA allocation the Council receives. Larger works and periodic asbestos and hard wire testing are undertaken by the Council’s facilities management provider Amey.
Foundation schools are a type of maintained school, but own their site and are responsible for health and safety on site. Like community schools the Council receives an SCA allocations for Foundation schools to support maintenance. However, Foundation schools have greater freedom over who undertakes works and are responsible for arranging cyclical testing.
Voluntary aided schools are normally religious in character. They are maintained by the local authority, but responsibility for premises and ownership is usually shared between the Council and the Governing Body. In terms of funding fort capital maintenance the Governing Body is responsible for the premises and the Council the playing fields. Historically VA schools have been supported through the Locally Coordinated Voluntary-Aided Programme (LCVAP) where the Council co-ordinates discussions amongst the local Church of England and Roman Catholic diocese about priorities for funding for VA schools. However, the DfE have indicated that from 2020/21 it intends to move VA schools to the similar arrangements to other schools, with allocations being made directly to diocese.
VA schools are responsible for health and safety on site. Whilst they receive capital support from Government, due to their structure the governing body must usually pay at least 10% of the costs of any capital work.
All types schools receive for Devolved Formula Capital Allocation (DFC). Details of SCA and DFC allocations can be found at the schools capital allocations link on the righthand side of this page.