Total Property Management information

DBE Services is owned by six educational charities that have specific responsibilities for Church of England Schools. Through DBE Services they provide support and an advice service to all schools. The advice is independent and offered at no cost in the interest of supporting schools to do the best they can for the communities they serve.

Through its Total Property Management Service (TPM4Schools) in addition to providing an advice service to schools on all building related matters, it is able to offer services specifically designed for individual schools, to ensure that they remain compliant and have easy access to specialist contractors for both regular servicing and reactive maintenance. It also provides a service if schools wish to have a development plan which identifies ongoing maintenance and possible future developments to the school.

Schools have a varied and complex range of requirements and every school is different. The TPM4Schools scheme treats every school as unique and offers advice and devises service and maintenance schemes related to that school. In order to provide the wide range of services schools require, DBE Services has done due diligence on a wide range of contractors ensuring that all the necessary documentation is in place and up to date. It regularly reviews costs charged by contractors to ensure that they represent best value which balances both cost and service. The requirements placed on contractors by DBE Services is based on a risk based proportionality view believing that the size and levels of public liability and indemnity insurance relate to the service being provided. For example, a contractor who services the heating plant of a school needs to have a number of competencies and a high level of public liability and indemnity insurance whilst a person asked simply to paint the Head’s office could be a sole trader with the basic level of public liability insurance.

When a school wishes to use our compliance service we work with them to complete what we call an annual service contract (ASC). We jointly work out exactly what it is that they require and how best that can be provided to their school. We then provide an estimate of the annual cost of these services which we base both on our long experience and what we believe would be a worst case scenario. This will hopefully ensure that at the end of the year the cost will be slightly less than we estimated which is the case for over 90% of schools in our scheme. We ask the school to lodge this money with us in order for us to pay for the servicing as it occurs but this money remains the school’s money. At the end of the year we provide a detailed statement showing exactly how much each service has cost. Monies left at the end of the year are returned either in cash or as a credit towards the next year’s services. To provide these services we charge a management fee which is clearly identified as a separate amount.

If schools require reactive maintenance we have a 24 hour, 7 day a week service which can be accessed in a number of different ways. We make no separate charge for this service and schools receive the contractor’s invoice once we have checked it and verified that the job has been satisfactorily completed.

If schools require estimates or quotes for work prior to deciding to proceed we provide those at no cost. We do ask schools to be clear about whether or not the work they are considering is speculative or likely to happen. If it is simply speculative we will obtain an estimate which may not mean a contractor visiting the school. If the work is likely to happen or it is being seriously considered, we will provide detailed quotes which will be binding on the contractor.

We believe that we provide a high quality service at a very competitive price. We are so confident in our service that we provide every school which the mobile number of our Chief Executive. We are not aware of any other provider that does this.

We do not understand the need for long term contracts and notice periods. We want to work with schools who are happy with our service and content that it is meeting their needs. Schools can join and leave when they like; all that we ask is that the school gives us a month’s notice, in writing, so that we can cancel any future servicing contracts. Once we have all the invoices in for servicing that has been carried out we provide a detailed statement of cost and any surplus money is returned to the school.

There has been the odd occasion when we discover a school has left simply when they turn away a contractor. If we are not informed in writing then we will make a charge to cover any costs that we incur.

Our service works best when we can have dialogue with the school to ascertain its needs at any moment and for the long term. We will strive to offer our best advice and guidance to Heads and Governors to allow them to make informed decisions about their school.

If you would like further information on this scheme please contact the School Buildings Officer at the York Diocesan office on or 01904 699513 or go to