Schoolzone | How schools manage capital and revenue spending

How schools manage capital and revenue spending

Date: 29.04.2020

This research from the DfE, based on 40 telephone interviews was to:

  • Understand how schools decide how to use funding to maintain and/or improve the condition of their school buildings;
  • identify the types of funding schools are using for school maintenance and capital;
  • understand how responsible bodies decide how to allocate condition funding to schools; and
  • assess whether there is a relationship between capital and revenue funding and spend – for example, is there a potential trade-off?

The interviews highlighted a wide variation in the relationships between responsible bodies and individual schools, and to some extent this reflected the different types of responsible body. The smaller trusts in the sample tended to have close relationships with individual schools and worked with them to identify needs. 

This was less evident amongst the larger trusts, and in local authorities the relationship was further removed. Decisions taken by the responsible body in relation to capital spending were still driven by an understanding of the school estate, through the use of surveys and data. Whilst schools reported that they generally managed day-to-day maintenance, a number of responsible bodies said that they were involved in all types of building maintenance decisions. Again, the extent to which this was the case related to the size of the responsible body, with smaller trusts being more likely to be involved in all types of decisions than larger trusts.


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