Budget Plus and Unforeseen Work funding for school property work

Budget Plus and Unforeseen Work funding is available for urgent health and safety work or essential infrastructure work if your school does not have enough 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding to cover the cost. As a board of trustees, you must apply to the Ministry for this funding and meet the criteria for it.

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Getting Budget Plus and Unforeseen Work funding

You may have urgent priority 1 or 2 work (health and safety or essential infrastructure work) but you don’t have enough 5YA funding to cover the cost. In this case, you can apply for:

  • Budget Plus funding
  • Unforeseen Work funding.

To find out more about spending priorities, go to 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP).

Budget Plus and Unforeseen Work funding is for services, such as plumbing, or essential infrastructure, like roofing. You cannot use the funding to buy furniture or equipment.

When you can apply for Budget Plus funding

You can apply for Budget Plus funding when work that must be done immediately will cost over 50% of your total 5YA budget. If your application is successful you must contribute 50% of your 5YA funding to the project and we will provide the additional funding needed. If you have already used over 50% of your 5YA funding, you may be eligible for unforeseen funding.

How to apply for Budget Plus funding

Contact your Ministry property advisor if you wish to apply for Budget Plus funding. Your property advisor will work with you to prepare the Budget Plus application. You will need to confirm that:

  • the work is not maintenance work that you should pay for using your Property Maintenance Grant (PMG)
  • the work will cost more than 50% of your total 5YA funding allocation
  • you have received expert advice that the project is urgent or essential to keep the school open and operating properly
  • you have received expert advice on the best options to remedy the problem, such as whether you need to replace or fix the boiler.

Approval for your application

We approve Budget Plus applications on a case-by-case basis depending on the necessity of the work and whether you can reprioritise other less urgent 5YA projects.

Managing a project funded by Budget Plus

If we approve your Budget Plus application, you must do the work like any other property project. This means you must follow all our:

When you can apply for Unforeseen Work funding

Unforeseen Work funding is for priority 1 and 2 work that you could not have foreseen when preparing your 10YPP.

This is work that must be done immediately to:

  • protect the health and safety of the people at the school
  • remove an immediate risk to the safety and welfare of people at the school
  • preserve the walls and roofs
  • keep buildings open
  • keep the school running.

For example, you may not have not planned to replace your boiler in your 10YPP based on expert advice at the time. However, in Year 3 of your 5YA, your boiler may fail and need to be replaced urgently so the school remains heated over winter.

You cannot usually use Unforeseen Work funding for the removal of dangerous trees. Use PMG funding to pay for tree removal. Talk to your property advisor before committing any non-maintenance funding for tree removal or major maintenance work.

How to apply for Unforeseen Work funding

Contact your property advisor immediately if some urgent unforeseen work arises at your school. They will consider the following options, in this order, to find funding for the work.

1. 5YA funding contingency

5YA budgets are no longer required to include a 10% contingency to cover any unforeseen work, but if you have chosen to set any aside, please use your 5YA contingency (external link) first.

2. Reallocate funding from other 5YA projects to fix the problem

Reallocate funding from lower-priority 5YA projects.

3. Consider Budget Plus funding

If the unforeseen work will cost more than 50% of your total 5YA funding, you may be eligible for Budget Plus funding.

4. Apply to the Ministry for Unforeseen Work funding

If all the above options are not available, you may be eligible for Unforeseen Work funding.

Returning unspent Unforeseen Work funding to the Ministry

If you have any unspent project funds from Unforeseen Work funding, you must return them to the Ministry at the end of the project.

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