The Department for Education has recently launched a new tool to help schools and trusts improve their estate management practices: the estate management competency framework. This framework is aligned with the good estate management for schools (GEMS) guidance, which provides practical advice on how to manage the school estate effectively and efficiently.

The estate management competency framework sets out the functions, skills and knowledge required by those who are involved in managing the school estate, from operational tasks to strategic planning and leadership. It covers different levels of competency, depending on the role and responsibility of the individual. It also helps individuals to plan their own personal development and career progression in the estate management sector.

The framework is based on insights from schools and industry experts and aims to support the professionalisation and capability of estate management roles in schools. It recognises the diverse range of technical experience and expertise that exists within the sector, and the valuable contributions made by those who work to keep the school buildings safe and well-maintained.

The framework is an important addition to the department’s existing advice and guidance on estate management and complements other tools and resources available to schools and trusts, such as the condition data collection, the school resource management self-assessment tool, and the school buildings and grounds security guidance.

By using the framework, schools and trusts can benefit from:

– improved estate management practices and standards

– better use of resources and value for money

– enhanced health, safety and sustainability of the school environment

– increased staff satisfaction and retention

– greater collaboration and sharing of good practice across the sector

The framework is available to download from the department’s website. We encourage schools and trusts to use it as a reference point for their estate management functions, roles and responsibilities, and to support their staff development and recruitment processes.