LocatED buys and develops sites for free schools in England. With around £2bn to spend on the land and buildings needed for 500 new schools, the company will grow to become one of the largest purchasers of sites in the UK. LocatED is a commercial organisation, wholly owned by the Department for Education. It is responsible for negotiating complex acquisitions and development schemes in order to secure the sites required.
What types of sites are acquired for free schools?
Working directly with the country’s biggest landowners, agents and developers, LocatED is responsible for buying sites across the length and breadth of England. Individual acquisition budgets range from £500k to £50m+ depending on the exact requirement and local market conditions. Transactions are rarely straightforward. They operate at pace and require complex negotiations with multiple partners across the private and public sectors.
LocatED requires sites for primary, secondary, special education needs and alternative provision schools from 10,000 to 175,000sq ft. (gross internal floor area). Not all school sites need playgrounds or fields – successful free schools have been delivered in buildings of all types. LocatED may be interested in:
- part buildings with development/extension capability
- smaller sites that may form part of a split site solution
- space as part of wider developments
- development sites capable of mixed use development/part disposal
- land, derelict and heritage buildings
- D1 space in major developments (or D1 replacing commercial or other space)
- sites of all planning designations, both subject to planning, with planning or to be sold fully unconditionally
- on and off market sites
To meet the significant demand for new free schools, LocatED pursues a wide range of acquisition and development opportunities. These include mixed-use schemes and the company has opportunities in its pipeline that include the provision of new free schools alongside residential provision ranging from 20 to 150+ units.
Significant industry figures played a major role in informing the government’s plans for LocatED. Key members of an advisory group that has supported the development of the company include Mike Strong, former Executive Chairman of CBRE Europe, Middle East and Africa, Philip Bell-Brown, Group Property Director at Dixons Carphone and Ric Lewis, Chief Executive of Tristan Capital Partners. The input of these individuals has been central to developing a commercial operating model and culture that deploys leading edge private sector skills to deliver an essential public service – finding and securing land for new schools.
Free schools: the facts
Free schools are non-profit-making, independent, state-funded schools, which are free to attend but outside of local authority control. Free schools can be set up by groups such as:
- academy trusts
- community and faith groups
- teachers and parents
- Independent schools
The free schools programme was introduced in England by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition following the 2010 general election. 254 free schools were opened over the course of the last Parliament and, as of May 2016, a total of 383 schools had been opened. The government has ambitious plans to open a further 500 free schools by 2020.
Your opportunity to shape future generations
LocatED is shaping a distinct way of working that’s best suited to achieve its aims. The company is committed to a high performance culture, and is innovative, dynamic and fast-paced. To attract the sector leading talent required LocatED is able to offer highly competitive packages to the right candidates.
LocatED is recruiting a multidisciplinary team, with highly specialist skills and extensive property sector experience, in order to secure the best possible deals for free school sites on behalf of taxpayers. For new starters, it is an exciting time to join LocatED and a real pportunity to influence how the organisation takes shape. The LocatED team is proud to play its part in the delivery of world-class schools for new generations of children.
LocatED has opportunities at all levels, from interns and graduate surveyors to the executive team responsible for leading and taking forward the objectives of the company. Is the time right for you to join Britain’s biggest property start-up?
To find out more about the roles and (highly competitive salaries and bonus scheme available please email Julie Noble, HR Lead: firstname.lastname@example.org no agencies please).