The Department for Education (DfE) and the Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have launched the good estate management for schools (GEMS) guidance and tools, a new manual and toolkit to support schools with good estate management. The resource brings together new and existing guidance on school estate management, and it sets out the following:
- The fundamental policies and procedures needed to manage your school's estate effectively
- Guidance on strategic estate management, organisational oversight, understanding your land and buildings, energy and water management, and managing projects
- Updated guidance on health and safety, compliance and maintenance (replacing existing guidance in essential schools maintenance)
- The skills organisations need access to, links to tools and resources that can help.
The manual is broken down into the following sections:
- Strategic estate management
- Overseeing the estate
- Health and safety
- Maintaining the estate
- Understanding the land and buildings
- Energy and water management
- Estate projects.
Depending on your role, you may not need to review every section. Some sections are of particular relevance to leaders, governors and trustees of schools. Some are aimed more at school business professionals and those involved in the day-to-day management of the estate.
The manual also includes a number of tools to help you assess and manage the estate. This includes the following:
- Organisational self-assessment
- Top 10 estate checks for boards
- Required knowledge and skills
- Tips for managing energy and water usage.
First published 26 April 2018