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Masterplanning and Rates: What is the Strategy for Schools?

Masterplanning and Rates: What is the Strategy for Schools?

Schools change and develop over time. The extent to which changes occur as part of an overriding strategy is down to how well planned they are. Masterplanning is an architectural process, whereby a school can obtain a better knowledge and understanding of its entire estate.  This then helps with planning for the future. Masterplanning is also enormously helpful when it comes to budgeting and to rates assessments and rates appeals.


Figures and Facts

As the 2017 Rating Revaluation draws near, it is useful for schools to have a very clear idea of future budget figures and their major new builds since 2010.

“There are various factors that can affect a school’s rateable value.  New buildings and refurbishments will alert the Valuation Office to increase assessments, which we can then identify scope for a rates reduction on the back of,” explains Paul Giness of .

Schools often undergo changes to meet new demands in terms of both pupil intake and developments in the curriculum. These changes can have a marked increase on a school’s rateable value once site alterations are undertaken, although savings in rates can be obtained during the disruption period.

“There are also changes to a building’s function that can have a bearing on the rates a school pays,” Paul points out. “Masterplanning can be very useful in this regard, as it provides a clear framework and strategy for schools.  It also allows them to budget accordingly, and it gives them the necessary facts and figures to pass on to their rating agents to liaise with the Valuation Office.”


Masterplanning Benefits

Schools have to evolve but updating the physical infrastructure can appear to be a daunting and costly task. A masterplan can provide an invaluable overview and provide a coherent, strategic perspective on a school’s future development.

“Masterplanning provides the necessary knowledge of the site regarding the general condition of buildings and helps to develop a logical strategy for the school’s delivery requirements,” Alice Parker, Senior Project Architect at Pozzoni Architecture, states.

“There is a mutual benefit here,” Paul continues.  “For example if masterplanning identifies serious maintenance issues on buildings, particularly affecting listed buildings, this might suggest scope for additional rates savings.”

“Masterplanning can also include a curriculum analysis, helping a school determine its physical requirements based on its educational plans. It can also draw on the data provided by property surveyors such as The Beattie Partnership,” continues Alice.

“With masterplanning, schools get a clear picture of how their infrastructure functions, and how it will need to function to meet future requirements,” Paul concludes. “This clarity is enormously useful, in planning, budgetary and rating terms.”


Property Aspects Magazine appreciates Paul Giness’ and Alice Parker’s expert opinions.  To discover more about how masterplanning can benefit your school please contact Paul or Alice via their contact details below: