February 2024


Schools share £18.6m decarbonisation makeover in Fusion21-backed government pilot

Seven UK schools have been selected to take part in an £18.6 million innovative Decarbonisation Pilot, led by the Department for Education (DfE).

The pilot will see schools benefit from new low carbon heating solutions, as well as improvements to the buildings fabric to make the school more thermal efficient, all procured through Fusion21 frameworks.

Energy bills and carbon emissions in the public and higher education sectors shows that schools and universities represent 36% of total UK public sector building emissions.

The transformational work to reduce carbon emissions to make those schools selected as part of the pilot, significantly more energy efficient has recently got underway.

Where necessary, the schools’ building fabric will be improved with upgrades ranging from new electrics, roofs and ceilings to new doors and windows amid a government drive to make educational buildings greener.

The contractors were appointed via Fusion21’s Decarbonisation and Heating & Renewables frameworks which ensures housing, local authority, education, blue light and health sectors maximise social value in contracts. All Fusion21 contractors are committed to ensuring social value is embedded into their work ranging from employing locally where possible to apprenticeships and community projects.

Schools involved in the pilot and the estimated makeover value:


Trust name School Contractor and Fusion21 framework used Estimated total value School location
Waterton Academy Trust West End Academy Kensa Contracting Ltd: Heating and Renewables Framework £3m Wakefield
The Rose Learning Trust Richmond Hill Primary Academy Kensa Contracting Ltd: Heating and Renewables Framework £3.4m Doncaster
North West Academies Trust Acton CofE Primary Academy GRAHAM Asset Management Ltd t/a GRAHAM: Decarbonisation Framework £2m Nantwich
North West Academies Trust Calveley Primary Academy GRAHAM Asset Management Ltd t/a GRAHAM: Decarbonisation Framework £1.8m Tarporley
BMAT Roydon Primary Academy Dodd Group (Midlands) Limited: Heating and Renewables Framework £2.1m Essex
Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership Peasedown St John Primary School Dodd Group (Midlands) Limited: Heating and Renewables Framework £3.4m Bath
St Mary’s Academy St Mary’s Academy Dodd Group (Midlands) Limited: Heating and Renewables Framework £2.9m Hitchin


Today, Oliver Mooney, Head of Category at Fusion21 said: “It is fantastic to have been involved in such an important Department for Education project and to support the schools who used our framework to appoint the contractors for these transformational, multi-million pound improvement works which will vastly improve the buildings, bring huge energy savings and carbon emission reductions and ensure pupils, teachers and parents are playing an important role in decarbonisation and Net Zero ambitions”.

The UK government is committed to climate action and has set out targets in its strategy to 2050. This project will support the drive for existing school buildings to be adapted and new ones designed adequately to respond to climate change and reduce emissions.

The pilot will provide a valuable opportunity to learn more about alternative greener heating solutions and to use the learnings to consider how this can be scaled up to accelerate decarbonisation in the future.

Research found that in 2019 schools alone were spending around £630m per annum on energy – with today’s figure expected to be much higher.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will provide £1.425 billion of grant funding for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures, including schools over the financial years 2022-2023 to 2024-2025.

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