Each school needs appropriate professional advice to guarantee compliance with regulations and to ensure that the best building solution is achieved. This advice is provided by a consultant, selected by the governors and approved by the DBE. Their work is monitored by an independent technical adviser working with the DBE. Apart from unforeseen repair work, building work should form part of a building development plan produced with the agreement of the governors by the school’s building consultant.
Most of the work explained in this section is undertaken by either the school’s building consultant or DBE officers. However, the consultant’s role is to advise; it is for governors to make decisions. At every stage, the governors must be informed by the consultant and where appropriate give their agreement.
The funding of such work comes from several sources depending on the type of work. Some (revenue work) is funded directly from the school’s delegated budget from the LA, some (capital work) receives grant of up to 90% from the ESFA (with the governors finding the other 10%), some may be funded from other sources (such as special Government or Local Authority (LA) initiatives) and some must be paid for entirely by the governing body (such as areas entirely for Church use). Governors may also undertake capital work funded entirely from the school’s delegated budget.
- Have the written approval of the DBE before undertaking any capital work;
- Inform the DBE office as soon as work is contemplated, but prior consultation by the governors or consultant acting on their behalf is usually most helpful. The consultant should apply on the form Capital Bid) for work in the following year which the school cannot fund from its DFC;
- Ensure that anyone undertaking building work in schools has adequate and appropriate professional indemnity insurance. All DBE-approved contractors have this.
- Has a duty to ensure all regulations are met and appropriate procedures followed;
- Receives, co-ordinates and administers the SCA Capital Funding;
- Acts for the governors paying all bills;
- Holds the school's DFC and completes the ESFA year-end assurance form;
- Completes the ESFA year-end assurance form for SCA;
- Oversees the work of the school's consultant;
- Provides legal advice on all matters of education law relating to school buildings and land.
Work begun without
- The approval of the DBE or against the advice of the Board’s officers would leave governors responsible for the payment of all bills. Such work would contravene the Diocesan Boards of Education Measure 1991;
- The appropriate health and safety conditions could lead to the governors facing action by the Health and Safety Executive.