We at Plastic Surgeon have always known that to repair damaged building components has always been more cost-effective than replacing them, so we were not really that surprised when, as part of its austerity package, the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, scrapped Labour’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme in 2010, describing it as “wasteful and over-bureaucratic.”
After Tony Blair declared his three main priorities to be “Education, education, education,” Labour’s admirable ambition was to rebuild every secondary school in England; but at an estimated cost of £55 billion to the taxpayer; and it perhaps became simply unaffordable, forcing the present government to rethink how dwindling funds are to be allocated.
Michael Gove said: “In tackling the challenges we face on school building, I have been determined to use the capital funding at my disposal to best effect, seeking value for money and efficiency from every pound spent.
“Sebastian James’ review of capital recommended a complete overhaul of the system for allocating capital investment so that we can focus on the repair and refurbishment of schools in the greatest need, alongside meeting the pressure for new, good school places.”
So we have seen the launch of the Coalition’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), whereby Mr Gove set up a review of all school building plans, which reported in April 2011. One key recommendation was a new survey of the condition of all schools in England, so that only the most dilapidated schools would get access to the £2 billion funding for a complete rebuild.
Over the last two years, the government also allocated £2.8 billion for the maintenance of educational estates – an area where Plastic Surgeon is heavily involved; in addition to our carrying out snagging for new schools, colleges and university buildings.
We are regularly called in to repair washbasins, toilets, sinks and bathroom tiles, as well as cladding, doors, windows and floors – in fact, just about everything you can think of that involves the remediation of an educational establishment.
In one case recently one of our Finishers spent a week saving a bathroom pod which had been damaged by fire when the student placed a lit candle in the soap holder. Less dramatically, we also smooth scratches out of glass windows and doors – and can even tint mismatched bricks to provide an aesthetically more pleasing appearance.
But what really pleases our clients in the educational business – teachers, facilities managers and local councils – is the fact that we are flexible in our working hours. As well as being able to undertake our repair work in the holidays, we are more than happy to make our Finishers available out of normal teaching hours.
Furthermore, for a government looking to stretch its budget on education, Plastic Surgeon’s Finishers must seem like the Seventh Cavalry riding to the rescue – while our repair techniques also constitute a sustainable alternative to replacement.
587 schools applied for the revamped programme on the basis of their condition need. Mr Gove has confirmed that 261 schools will be rebuilt, or have their condition needs met through the Priority School Building Programme. We wait the call to see how many will require our building repair skills.
Plastic Surgeon can restore almost any damaged interior or exterior surface in commercial or residential buildings. Thanks to specialist training the company’s finishers are expert in repairing and fine finishing practically any material including;