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Supporting Schools With Their Education  Environments

Development Planning & Fundraising


Schools across the country are experiencing considerable pressures on their capital and revenue budgets. Whilst striving to improve their education standards the quality of the teaching is naturally of the greatest importance, however the environments in which it is delivered is often neglected.


To add to this, funding at both Central and Local Government level is also reducing and due to austerity measures investment in education assets is often not possible.


As a result, the quality of the education environment is often impacted and over time does not receive either the attention or investment in order to be maintained and improved effectively to support the delivery of the curriculum.


1st Planner take great pride in helping schools to understanding the sufficiency, efficiency, suitability and condition of their assets by using the tools and processes that we have developed.


We not only help the leadership teams identify issues across their estates but also produce prioritised development plans and programmes that allow improvements to be made.


We also support the schools to raise funds to achieve their aims and objectives and support with planning applications, approval processes and the project management of the development plan.


Key to this process is that we ensure that we improve their financial situation.


The first stage of the creation of any development plan is the completion of a detailed sufficiency review. By comparing the school's Number on Roll (NOR) and Published Admission Number (PAN) to the DfE's Building Bulletin. (BB103 for mainstream schools and BB104 for special schools, resource bases and alternative provision.)


This exercise allows us to identify where there are any surplus or shortfall in space, which can be either utilised to cater for additional pupils or alternatively where any capital investment is required from the LA or DfE to provide the necessary facilities.


Where there is a surplus of space, this provides the opportunity to increase the number of pupils and therefore revenue for a school where there is a demand for additional places. Where there is no demand opportunities may exist for alternative uses, which may support with the generation of additional revenues.


Suitability and accessibility audits are then completed to identify where changes need to be made to support with the effective delivery of the curriculum and to provide the right facilities for any pupils with special needs.


Condition surveys are then completed to identify risks with the assets and maintenance priorities.


This information is collated and shared with the senior leadership team and governors and the works identified prioritised and costed, which forms the basis of the development plan and programme. This is shared with Pupils, Parents and Local Community.


Once this programme is in place, fund raising for the works can commence. Match funding, government grants, community events, social enterprise, charitable donations and community use are all opportunities to support with the delivery of the development plan.

Case Study
Lea Primary School, Derbyshire
  • Sufficiency, Suitability, Accessibility & Conditional Analysis
  • Development Planning
  • Fund Raising
Outcomes & Achievements

Over £300,000 Raised for Capital Improvements

  • MUGA Pitch

  • Trim Trail

  • Playground Resurfacing

  • Horticulture Facilities

  • Structural Repairs

  • Window Refurbishment

  • Heating Replacement

  • Hall & Staff Room Refurbishment

  • Roof Replacement

Client Testimonial

Lea Primary is 150 years old and 3 years ago we were in desperate need of some improvements been made to the building and environment – both structurally and for improving our educational facilities and opportunities. 1st Planner supported our school with the completion of a detailed sufficiency, suitability, accessibility and condition review and the production of a comprehensive development plan. It was a fantastic tool for us to base our future plans. After many discussions and meetings, they continued to support us by masterminding and managing the fundraising programme that has allowed us to extensively modernise our community primary school. They even helped us to find relevant grants and available funds.


Since 1st Planner became involved, we now have a MUGA pitch, trim trail, have resurfaced part of the playground, had extensive structural repairs, replaced the heating system, modernised the staff room and hall areas, installed horticulture facilities including an outdoor learning area and outdoor education space and hopefully next year a completely new roof!


Without 1st Planner’s dedicated and valuable input, we would not have been able to provide such a wonderful environment for our pupils. Thank you 1st Planner!


(Karen Maycock, Head Teacher, Lea Primary School, Derbyshire)

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