School buildings survey to cost a further £6m

The National Audit Office has published a report concluding that the Education Funding Agency (EFA) will need to find a further £6m to complete their survey of the condition of school buildings across England. The NAO said that this was primarily because the EFA had been given “inconsistent data” by local councils. The NAO also expressed concerns that the agency is in danger of being “overloaded”.

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) was set up by the Department for Education (DfE) in April 2012 in an attempt to improve efficiency, accountability and transparency in the education sector.

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Olly from PSI: Only last year the NAO had found that the DfE were under severe financial pressure because the costs of free schools and overseeing the academisation of the school sector were far higher than anticipated, so the prospect of channeling in more funds to prop up the EFA will not be welcome. Schools buildings has been the one area that the Opposition has effectively attacked the Government’s education record, after the Education Secretary Michael Gove admitted it was a mistake to abolish the  Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. Therefore, the DfE will be under pressure to find the money to support the EFA in its survey of schools (the Property Data Survey programme), which could be at the expense of other DfE projects.