Schools Structural Maintenance Programme Preparation

Issue date February 2017


The School Structural Maintenance Programme (SSMP) was established in 2011/12 to address the highest condition based priorities within the school estate, enhancing the school stock condition and reducing the backlog maintenance, consistent with government guidance. At the Capital Investment Board meeting on the 6th March 2012, approval for prioritisation of the SSMP on the basis of the authority’s PUF rating (P for performance, U for effect on the user, F for further effect on the fabric of the building) was granted.  This methodology continues to be the approach in setting the annual programmes.

The Approach to Programme Planning & Delivery

Stage 1 – On-going Commitments

The funding available in year is set having accounted for on-going commitments and/or plans bought forward from previous years as follows:

  • Carry forward projects that were identified in previous years programme but were not carried out due to budget or other pressures
  • Carry forward projects where budget was only allocated for design services to allow the work to be carried out in the next financial year where a long lead in period was needed due to the listed status of the building
  • Known demand for boiler replacements based on age (where data is available). Note many schools do not use the Single Service Provider for reactive repairs and servicing which does affect extent of data available.
  • Include work identified  from structural surveys, fire risk assessments etc carried out in current year highlighting priority work that needs to be carried out
  • Include other unforeseen works that were not identified in the condition survey
  • Include work required due to changes in legislation e.g. LPG regulations banning underground steel pipework.
  • Include a contingency sum to carry out remedial works identified as part of the asbestos management surveys
  • Include a contingency sum to cover reactive asbestos repairs identified through the year
  • Include a contingency for unforeseen work that will occur through the year e.g. boiler replacement due to breakdowns where repair is no longer possible, structural failures.
  • Include a budget for design development for future years.

When all of the above has been resolved the remaining budget will be allocated based on the priority systems below. The two systems complement each other.

Stage 2 – Programme Development

  • An initial filter of the PUF rating (from the stock condition database) identifies the highest priority condition items in line with the current agreed prioritisation principles for the programme; Data is prioritised in 2 ways PUF ratings (local more detailed base data) and Grade & Priority (central governments base data)
  • All sites identified by the initial filter are then assessed for similar works (same trade activity) within the next condition priority;
  • The value of the programme is recorded (less contingency and contribution to the energy reduction programme).  This will set the base budget for year 1 of the programme;
  • The basic need programme sites are then cross referenced against the holistic priority records to review opportunities for synergy.  Where the investment year coincides or it makes sense to bring forward or delay the priority repairs from the SSMP this is recorded for discussion with the basic need programme and project managers for consultation with the school;
  • An assessment is then made with the Schools Access Initiative programme on the same basis as above to look for synergy;
  • All options are considered in accordance with energy reduction and carbon emission impact (boilers will be reviewed for biomass and/or removal of fossil fuels such as oil where costs and emissions are high).

Once a programme is defined it is submitted to the Councils Capital & Asset Programme Board for review and approval; usually in February / March each year. Following approval of the programme the FM Service Provider will make contact with the schools who have projects in the programme to arrange for the initial feasibility and costing assessments to be carried out

The condition data has been ranked in two different ways:

  1. Priority Rating Format

Oxfordshire County Council use a rating format to determine prioritising defects based on Physical Condition [P] Effect on the User  [U] and Effect on the Fabric [F]  as follows


Physical Condition

User Effect

F Fabric Effect


Failed or about to fail





Likely to fail in the next two years


Significant effect on protection and security

Significant effect on structure


Between two and five years life left


Some effect

Some effect on structure


Forecast to fail or require replacement in five to twenty years


Little or no effect on user

Little or no effect on structure


  Grade and Priority basis. (This is a system introduced by DfE): 







Good: Performing as intended and operating efficiently



Satisfactory: Performing as intended but exhibiting minor deterioration



Poor: Exhibiting major defects and/or not operating as intended



Bad: Life expired and/or risk of imminent failure






Urgent work that will prevent closure of a premises and/or address an immediate high risk to the health and safety of the occupants and/or a serious breach of legislation



Essential work required within 2 years that will prevent serious deterioration of the fabric or services and/or remedy a less serious breach of legislation



Desirable work required within 3 to 5 years that will prevent deterioration of the fabric or services and/or to address a low risk to the health and safety of the occupants and /or remedy a minor breach of legislation



Long term work required outside the 5 year planning period that will prevent deterioration of the fabric or services