The latest government figures (to August 2018) confirm that there are close to 7500 academy schools now open in England with a further 1134 Local Authority schools in the process of converting to academies.
Converting to become an academy school can be a lengthy process and there are several stages that the head teacher, management team and governors/trustees must pass through. Although converting to an academy gives greater autonomy and puts the decision making power back in the hands of the school’s staff and governors, the downside is that several other aspects of operating as a company also become part of the school’s direct remit.
For example, the process of converting to an academy sees the responsibility for financial accounts and insurance move away from the local authority to the new academy itself, to run their own academy as a business. As such, accurate Valuations of the school buildings / sites need to be obtained for accounting and insurance purposes.
Lea Hough’s Chartered Surveyors are familiar with the process of conversion from secondary or primary school to academy status and can provide specialist valuation and surveying advice to those schools either considering an application or already part way through conversion. We can provide Valuation Reports for both insurance and financial accounting purposes and we can work directly with the converting school (or we can sometimes be instructed by the school’s accountants / financial advisors).
As part of our Valuation service, our specialist Chartered Surveyors will visit the school and conduct a site inspection of the land and buildings. Our investigations, which usually take around a day on site, involve us taking a record of site layout and location, building floor areas, building types, age, life expectancy and condition. Before preparing a Valuation Report, we will also take into account planning status, land values, building types, replacement costs and tenure details.
Accurate valuation costs are particularly important when a school converts to an academy because the liability to insure the premises fully for example, in the case of fire or flood, lies with the academy as the tenant. The academy must have adequate insurance cover in place for reinstatement purposes and the building assets must be valued for audit/accounts purposes.
As Chartered Surveyors and members of the RICS, our team are highly qualified and must meet strict standards of ethics and ongoing training and development. This includes conforming to the RICS Valuation Professional Standards 2014 which regulate the approach to valuations for financial accounting purposes. As well as this, we have extensive experience of school buildings, all of this means you can be reassured that the Valuation Reports we provide meet the highest standards of accuracy and quality.
For more information on our services in this area, or to instruct our team to conduct a Valuation of an academy school, please contact us.