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Supporting education
to generate ongoing savings.

Beattie Parnership ISBA 2017 V4 from MediaGuru™ on Vimeo.

Dealing with property matters in the education sector presents a very specific set of challenges. As well as the accepted administrative and practical difficulties associated with running premises, the education market requires that decisions take account of other considerations, such as pupil numbers, legislation changes and the increasing involvement of external public sector agencies.

Yet despite these differences, educational establishments must also monitor the bottom line – in a time of reduced education budgets, it is therefore essential that every area of a school and college runs as efficiently as it can in order to reduce costs. Business rates, can represent a significant proportion of any running costs, even with charitable relief, which many schools and colleges receive.  These costs can be particularly high where rates can increase significantly following newbuild constructions and a review should be considered to reduce costs. As a school's single largest asset, its premises play a key role in the cost management process.

Meticulous attention to detail and formidable tenacity are our hallmarks as we strive to make savings for our clients and streamline the complex processes involved in managing educational property.

Minimising council tax liability for schools

Where elements of school premises serve a domestic purpose – such as housemasters' accommodation, matrons' flats or pupils' boarding accommodation – these are subject to council tax payments.   The amount of tax to be paid depends upon the council tax bands for each property, as well as the circumstances of each occupation.

It is important to note that while the calculation of rates for most domestic properties is very simple, the rules are significantly more complex when applied to mixed-use properties such as schools.  The intricacies of this system are second nature to our experienced team, who will work to identify potential savings at each and every stage so as to minimise unnecessary expenditure.

AutoCAD and plan redrawing

Many schools possess only a rudimentary collection of plans for their buildings – a seemingly inconsequential fact, but one which can have a range of implications when it comes to establishing the value of a school estate.  Our extensive use of AutoCAD systems means that we can professionally redraw plans for our clients, offering a clarity and precision they may never have seen.  The newly redrawn plans can be supplied electronically, reducing the need for large plan chests, but can of course always be reproduced if the need arises.

"The Beattie Partnership has been highly professional and diligent in helping us to control our costs in this important area."

Harrow School

Case Studies

Fairley House School, London

Dealing with the business rating for Fairley House School required specific expertise of handling schools with children with special needs.  We have worked with the school for many years and have achieved consistent savings from an understanding of the rating legislation surrounding specific learning difficulties.

Savings for educational property are negotiated from a variety of different perspectives and not necessarly from conventional valuation methodologies.  Through our experience of working across the education sector, we have often identifed alternative routes to savings for our clients.  We have worked on all sites for the school resulting is total savings exceeding £35,000.

Click here for a pdf containing more details of the success we obtained for Fairley House School.

Ramillies Hall School, Cheshire

Our firm have acted for Ramillies for a number of years and as the School itself has adapted over time, so has our rating advice.  For each revaluation, we appealed the rating assessment to reduce the schools ongoing rating liabilities.

We reviewed each part of the School site to establish which buildings could be exempted during the 2005 and 2010 revaluation periods and collated a full breakdown of the pupils and any specific learning difficulties.  The total savings during the revaluations amounted to over £53,000.

Click here for a pdf containing more details of the success we obtained for Ramillies Hall School.

Kimbolton School, Cambridgeshire

Educational establishments always need to keep an eye on the bottom line – it's essential that expenses are kept to a minimum wherever possible. However, this highly specialised area is difficult to monitor and can, over time, become a significant hidden cost.

Kimbolton School engaged The Beattie Partnership to review their business rates liability for the 2000, 2005 and 2010 revaluation period. With over 30 years of experience in the field, our team was able to negotiate with the Valuation Officer and secure a series of reductions. After mandatory relief, the school was able to save over £28,000.

Click here for a pdf containing more details of the success we obtained for Kimbolton School.

Stockport Grammar School, Cheshire

The many demands placed on academic staff and school governors mean that it can be difficult to keep up with the everyday essentials of running a school, let alone spending time trying to save money on business rates liability.

The high standards upheld by Stockport Grammar School deserved a high standard of service, as well as excellent results. The Beattie Partnership's experience in identifying savings opportunities, coupled with our tenacious approach to negotiations, meant that we were able to secure savings which, after mandatory relief, amounted to over £30,000.

Click here for a pdf containing more details of the success we obtained for Stockport Grammar School.

Heythrop College, London

A key substance of business rates for educational property is the basis of valuaiton.  The majority are based on the contactors basis of valuation linked to rebuild costs, although increasingly in the South East the Valuaiton Office have been valuing on the rentals basis which produces much higher rating assessments.

Heythrop College was based on the rentals approach and therefore we developed a case to the Valuaiton Office that the assessment should be valued on the contactors basis.  This case was presented at Valuaiton Tribunal due to retiscence by the Valuuation Office to accept our case.

We took the case on both 2005 and 2010 Rating Lists and we were successful on both cases and the benefits continue into the current revaluaiton as well.

Click here for a pdf containing more details of the success we obtained for Heythrop College.

City College, Norwich

City College Norwich is a prestigious educational establishment, keen to maintain the highest of standards in all areas - including finance. The College engaged the Beattie Partnership to review their business rates liability for the 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 revaluation milestones, with the aim of saving money which would be put to better use elsewhere.

Determination was the watchword, as the Beattie Partnership used our experience in the education sector to identify crucial savings and then apply these in negotiations with the Valuation Officer. After mandatory relief, the reductions in the rateable value led to savings for the College of over £31,000.

Click here for a pdf containing more details of the success we obtained for City College Norwich.

Education Sector - What You Need to Know

Now that the 2017 Rating Revaluation has commenced you will undoubtedly have questions surrounding the new process, dealing with correspondence to the authorities and whether any savings can be obtained. 

We have therefore put this What You Need to Know guide to help answer some of your queries.

Many schools are valued according to building costs and prices are subject to significant volatility with international influencing factors, the cost of materials and labour plus specific trends within different sectors of the construction market.  Therefore, data needs to be handled with a degree of scepticism but it can be a useful pointer to market trends.

Independent schools will to some extent be influenced by general construction market trends, however, there will also be more localised factors which will influence their construction costs. 

As the negotiations with Valuation Office progress we can refine the budget forecasts for projected changes in liability over the forthcoming Revaluation period.  We do also occasionally update our Guide, so check back soon for our latest update.

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Our clients include
Education surveying services from the Beattie Partnership School property surveying from the Beattie Partnership Surveying services for educational establishments from the Beattie Partnership