Skip to Content

Enlighten Learning Trust: Maintenance Planning

The Enlighten Learning Trust (“the Trust”) is a multi-academy trust focussed on ensuring that the experience of pupils is as rich and engaging as possible at 3 schools in Surrey.

To inform how best to ensure the schools supported that focus while achieving value for money within the available budgets, the Trust tendered a commission for undertaking condition surveys and generating a 10-year Maintenance Plan.

In January 2022 Vercity were appointed to deliver this via the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) framework. A key part of the commission’s success was Vercity’s ability to intelligently interpret the survey findings to support the Trust in providing an environment that supports teaching & learning.

Our 4 Phase Approach to Long Term Planning

Phase 1: Scoping

The Trust’s tender referenced the Department for Education guidance on Good Estate Management for Schools (“GEMS”). Vercity deployed asset management experts to engage with the Trust to develop the tender terms, drawing on the GEMS guidance, and generate a full scope for survey delivery and agreed outputs that would best support the Trust requirements.

Phase 2: Preparing

Before any survey work commenced the Vercity team engaged with the Trust on what the process would entail, the timescales, what the outputs would be and how those would be used.

As part of this phase Vercity developed a client specific Condition Management Tool which the Trust would be able to update in subsequent years to generate new programmes. The tool was a key element of the work; equipping the Trust with the tools to use the survey data and update for re-prioritising in future years was an important output. As a result the Trust could focus any future external support on areas that add value, not the tasks of maintaining the programme itself.

To ensure the Condition Management Tool’s effective use, Vercity prepared a how-to guide and held training sessions with the Trust representatives across all schools responsible for delivering their maintenance requirements, through a mix of group and 1 2 1 sessions.

Phase 3: Surveying

Vercity has a framework of key surveyor partners and evaluated which organisation had the most relevant experience and could best deliver the survey.

With the scope and outputs agreed, and the Condition Management Tool in place, survey delivery commenced. Vercity managed the survey delivery process across the schools whilst liaising with the Trust to keep them informed on progress and key issues.

Vercity understands the importance of pupil’s education and of minimising disruption to it. Working closely with the survey partners, Vercity ensured work was undertaken outside of teaching hours. When the Trust requested prioritised part of the survey to meet their objectives, the programme was reengineered to meet this requirement whilst still ensuring no disruption to the educational environment.

Phase 4: Interpreting

Once in possession of the survey outputs several key areas of immediate risk were identified. By engaging clearly with the Trust on the risks identified and the potential mitigation strategies, Vercity could ensure that an informed decision could be made on how best to proceed.

In one area it was identified that the government Condition Improvement Fund could be used to support funding the works needed. The work delivered from the survey was critical in supporting the application.

How Vercity Added Value

Vercity’s approach is not to tender to win, deliver a survey report and move on to the next client. Vercity commits to establishing productive partnerships and delivering real client value.

With 25 years of experience supporting public infrastructure Vercity understand the challenges of balancing the delivery of critical public services with the need to ensure every pound of spending achieves value for money.

Vercity’s long term planning added value to the needs of the Trust by:

  1. Understanding the outputs needed and developing a scope to deliver them, not revisiting later for fee increases
  2. Developing a bespoke management tool and training the Trust to use it; no hidden costs for updating in subsequent years
  3. Identifying the right survey partner and working closely with them; the best organisation for the work
  4. Drawing on expertise to find solutions to problems, not just identifying them and walking away
  5. Working openly and speaking plainly; no technical speak or acronyms to impress or confuse

Analytic Approach

Vercity added value to the survey commission by analysing and interpreting the survey, taking the time to explain what it meant and the requirements of the Maintenance Plan. This approach allowed the survey to reflect how each school operates and provide a robust output that enabled the management of budget constraints.


After the initial exercise the Trust needed to assess a fourth school before adoption. The same process was followed and a potential structural issue was identified in one area. Vercity technical subject matter experts were available to support and ensure the issue was fully understood and the Trust could approach this with eyes wide open on the risks and the mitigation needed.

Further Reading

  • Survey ManagementAs a specialist area of expertise, many organisations don’t have the internal capacity to deliver survey management. Learn more about how Vercity can help you secure the right outcomes.
  • Contract TransitionLearn more about how Vercity can play a vital role in supporting facilities as they move into a new phase of operation.
  • Education FacilitiesOur in-depth understanding can help you adapt to the challenges in this ever-evolving sector to ensure your operations continue uninterrupted.
  • Framework AppointmentsVercity can be appointed in a simple and transparent way through various public sector frameworks including the Crown Commercial Services Framework.