Gas based hot water heating is often very inefficient because the system circulates hot water permanently in a loop around the school so hot water is immediately available when someone turns on a tap. The circulatory pipework used to do this is often poorly insulated and loses heat. Often these types of systems are only 20% efficient compared with direct point-of-use water heaters which are often over 90% efficient.
Energy Sparks would recommend switching to point-of-use electric water heaters, particularly when you are refurbishing toilets, but if this is not possible, we recommend that you ensure that your hot water pipes and tanks are well insulated. In the short term, you can also make savings by improving the timing of your hot water system. Does it need to be heating and circulating hot water when the school is closed, outside school hours during the week, at weekends and during holidays?