DfE survey reveals cost of repairs or replacements needed to update schools

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1st June 2021 13:55 - Central Government

DfE survey reveals cost of repairs or replacements needed to update schools: A survey by the Department for Education has found that schools in England need repairs amounting to a cost of more than £11bn to bring them up to a satisfactory level.

The much-anticipated Condition of School Buildings survey has taken four years to be executed and published and involved assessors visiting 22,000 state schools in England.

While in 2017 a National Audit Office report estimated around £6.7bn would be needed to carry out the necessary upgrades to school buildings, the final report by the DfE recommends that £11.4bn is needed to "repair or replace all defective elements".

Looking at the various elements in need of repair at various schools across England, the survey found that electrical services (including mains switch panels, lighting and IT infrastructure) had the highest condition need (£2.5 billion), followed by mechanical services (boilers pipework and air conditioning) with a need of just over £2bn, and external walls windows and doors needing £1.7bn spent to repair or replace to an acceptable standard.

The survey revealed the fourth area of need was school building roofs (just over £1.5bn), followed by site areas and external areas ( including drainage systems, boundary walls, tarmac or grass standing areas -- just over £1.5bn);  fixed furniture and fittings such as science, technology & ICT equipment areas and storage (£600m); floors and stairs (£500m); and internal walls and doors (£200m). Other areas in need of repair or replacement were playing fields, ceilings, and redecorations. Sanitary ware had the lowest condition need, at £18million needed for repairs and replacements across the estate.

Looking at the distribution of conditions needs in percentages, the findings were as follows:

Electrical Services - 22%

Mechanical Services - 18%

External walls, window and doors - 16%

Roofs - 14%

Site area and external areas - 14%

Fixed furniture and fittings - 5%

Floors and stairs - 4%

Internal walls and doors - 2%

Playing fields - 2%

Ceilings - 2%

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