In the summer of 2014 an initial study of school building costs was undertaken on behalf of EBDOG to inform discussions with the EFA over funding levels for new school places. This dialogue has been very well informed by the output of the exercise. The study was undertaken by Hampshire County Council in conjunction with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and was funded by the Local Government Association (LGA), through the National Procurement Strategy. The data capture comprised of whole projects including associated fees, fittings and furniture. The study has been welcomed and supported by the Department for Education (DofE) and Education Funding Agency (EFA) and are a valuable tool for us all to understand the real cost of building new school places across the country.
70 primary school projects with a combined value of nearly £300m
The report which was published in June 2014 included 70 primary school projects with a combined value of nearly £300m at an average cost per place of £15,000, originating from every region of England. A common standard of cost analysis was used to capture cost data, ensuring a high level of consistency across the sample, while including detailed cost and background data on each project – allowing the costs to be fully understood on an individual basis. The key findings are published in the report that can be found by following the link below.
The report has also recently been shared with the Cabinet Office and featured in the latest Government Cost Data and Benchmarking Group Cost Report. The expansion of this exercise will see a report published in January 2015 which will build a credible case to inform both the market and central government.
We are now conducting an expanded study of this report, which we expect will create a sample in excess of 100 primary schools and for the first time secondary school projects. This comprehensive data set will be significant and will show new details of the actual cost of building pupil places for Local Government, including cost trends, cost per place, gross and net costs.
EBDOG members are actively supporting this work and authorities are very welcome to participate in the new study; further details can be found on the Local Government Association website via the link below: