"Examples of when poor project management proved to be a risky and costly business to schools and academies"

Poor project management is a costly business

The following are recent examples of work carried out in schools where problems have occurred because of a failure to have the project professionally managed:

1)   In a recent court case, an Academy Trust was fined £26,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000, for failure to control the potentially lethal risk of asbestos exposure by not identifying the type, location and condition of any asbestos containing materials within the fabric of the school, and in failing to implement suitable precautions to prevent its disturbance.


2)   An independent school were recently fined £40,000 after they pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations.  A worker fell from a roof and it was concluded that there were no supervisory arrangements, and that the work was not carried out in a safe manner, in accordance with Construction Design and Management (CDM) legislation.


3)   A school installed an all-weather sports area believing it was suitable for playing games. It transpired after installation that it was unsuitable (incorrect specification supplied by the installing company, who then claimed not to have been properly informed of the intended use for the play area). To correct the problem, the existing surface will now need to be pulled up, removed and replaced with more expensive product, at the cost of the school.


4)   A school used a contractor to fill in a disused outdoor pool, and although the job was completed cheaply, it has now been discovered that the material used was hard-core contaminated with asbestos. To correct the position by safely removing the material and using appropriate material to fill the pool in will cost in excess of £30,000.


These examples demonstrate that when corners and costs are cut, risks increase. To minimise risk of costly and potentially disruptive issues arising during, or after, construction projects, help should be sought from appropriately qualified professionals. To avoid these risks, call us on 01743 281079.

Steve Carpenter, PSG Manager