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Schools building survey extended with final report delayed to summer 2014

The government’s Property Data Survey has been extended to cover all schools in England and will not report until summer 2014, almost a year after it was due to be completed.

The surveys were originally due to be finished by autumn 2013 and provide a complete set of data on the condition of school buildings in England, as recommended by the James Review in 2011.

Construction News understands around 90 local authorities were asked to submit their own condition data to the Education Funding Agency to reduce the cost of the surveys.

Education secretary Michael Gove said the information provided was deemed inconsistent with new surveys and he has now commissioned surveys of an additional 8,000 schools.

Aecom, Capita and EC Harris are carrying out the condition surveys.

Mr Gove said the extension of the Property Data Survey means that in 2014/15 he will continue to allocate maintenance funding to schools on a per pupil, rather than a needs basis.

Construction News understands the EFA is considering implementing a system of checks when the full set of data is collected to ensure schools use their maintenance allocation only for refurbishment and repair works.

Speaking to Construction News last month, EFA director of capital Mike Green said the Property Data Survey would give the EFA an “idea of the cash we need to get the school estate in order”.

He added that more can always be done to improve the condition of the schools estate, but “if repairs are really critical, then we get them done”.

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