Since 2013, the ESFA has built new schools, rebuilt and refurbished existing schools or blocks, some 500 in total. Over the last 3 years, in-line with the recommendations of the Farmer Report, we have focused much of our efforts on delivering our school to a higher standard, faster and at a lower cost.
The objectives set included:
- Making best use of local labour nationally, becoming less reliant on a migrant workforce,
- Reducing the reliance on the declining skill sets in the industry by increasing standardisation and repetition,
- Providing greater long-term career development opportunities by delivering national through local manufacturing and assembly hubs,
- Increasing standardisation by careful preparation and delivery of a standardised approach to school designs, and
- Helping to rebalance the economy by engaging national manufacturers to increase market interest.
Whilst undertaking significant work in developing and delivering the new Contractors Framework for schools (approx. £1b), a separate team was set up to focus on the creation of an off-site solution, engaging with the manufacturing sector and the delivery of three separate procurements of around £500m in total.
The delivery of this Modular Programme has required wholesale change to the processes of engagement, procurement, design, procurement and delivery of schools. As such, the Programme has been subjected to intense scrutiny and approval at every stage.