Results will help government identify capital projects

Aecom has kicked off a series of surveys to assess the condition of school buildings across the UK.

The engineer is starting data collection site visits this week at eight schools as part of what is being claimed as the largest building surveying project in the UK.

Under the Education Funding Agency’s (EFA) Condition Data Collection programme, which Aecom was awarded earlier this year, the company will visit around 5,500 schools in England over the next three years to collect condition and management data, a move designed to help the EFA prioritise its future capital funding strategy.

Aecom said its surveys would provide “high-level contextual data about each school, the site and the buildings within it, as well as condition data for each building and information about key building management and compliance documentation”.

Earlier this month Jonathan Slater, Permanent Secretary for the Department for Education, told the Public Accounts Committee of MPs that a property data survey carried out between 2012 and 2014 had identified that spending about £6.7bn would have brought the estate up to a “satisfactory condition”, and that a second survey was underway.

“By the end of this Parliament, we will have spent about £14bn since then on improving the estate. At the same time, of course, the estate does not stand still; it depreciates over time,” he added.

Slater also told MPs: “It is vital that we are able to tackle the condition of existing schools; that we provide an additional 500,000 or so places every Parliament, because that is what the population demonstrates is required, and that we achieve the manifesto commitment of increasing choice. We have to do all those three things.”