What is GEMS (Good Estate Management for Schools)?

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What is GEMS (Good Estate Management for Schools)?

GEMS, an acronym for Good Estate Management for Schools, is guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) for the best practice design, construction and maintenance of educational estates. Its purpose is to help you manage your school’s land and buildings effectively and maintain a safe, healthy and sustainable school environment. 

What does the GEMS guidance cover?

GEMS covers a broad range of topics related to all aspects of building, managing and maintaining school estates. That includes everything from energy efficiency and sustainability to health and safety management. 

As well as step-by-step guidance, it provides tools to assess your current arrangements and identify what you can do better. There’s also information on the policies and procedures you can implement to develop a more effective estate management model.

Good Estate Management for Schools provides guidance on:

  • Taking a strategic approach to estate management to ensure your estate supports your educational goals
  • Planning and organising your estate resources with documented processes and procedures
  • Understanding your land and buildings and the documentation you’ll need
  • How to measure, manage and improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of your estate
  • Maintaining your estate and getting value for money
  • Meeting your legal responsibilities for health and safety through policies and processes
  • Planning, managing and delivering estate improvement projects

Who is the GEMS guidance for?

The Good Estate Management for Schools guidance is an essential reference point for schools, academies and muti-academy trusts when planning and managing their facilities. It also provides useful guidance for other stakeholders in that process, such as builders, engineers, architects and facilities managers.

The guidance is updated in line with changing building codes, regulations and best practice tips and advice. It was last updated in June 2023. Here’s the latest version of the GEMS guidance (2023)

How can the GEMS guidance help?

Although it’s not legally binding, GEMS guidance is considered to be best practice in the management and maintenance of school estates. Adhering to the advice can bring many benefits across your estate, such as reducing your running costs, making better investment decisions, reducing the rate of accidents and improving the appeal of your spaces. 

Following the guidance can also help you manage your estate’s energy and water usage more effectively, reducing your bills and making your budgets stretch further. Better school estates are also linked to improved learning outcomes.  

Enhancing your estate management practices

Putting the fundamentals of good estate management in place can help you make the most of your resources and provide the best possible learning environment for your students.

At Eddisons Education, we have the experience and expertise to support you with every aspect of your school estate management, from conducting condition surveys and estate management planning to obtaining funding and project managing improvement works. Get in touch to discuss how we can make your vision for your school estate a reality.  

Contact Eddisons Education

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