Posted in: Facilities Management
All premises need some form of facilities management, whether it’s planned maintenance or reactive maintenance. For the most part, this is likely to relate to commercial offices and places of work. However, it can also relate to the education sector.
While the logistics of managing premises is similar from building to building, schools and other educational facilities have their own specific requirements.
Having offered our facilities management services to schools, we thought we’d put together our thoughts on what you should look for when choosing the right FM company to manage your school premises.
Any potential FM company should be aware of the regulations that relate to school premises.
The use of school premises is regulated by The School Premises (England) Regulations and the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations, which set out minimum standards that must be observed for a wide range of issues including toilet/washroom facilities; medical accommodation; acoustics; lighting; water supplies and suitable outdoor spaces for physical education.
The regulations also contain a sweeping statement that: ‘School premises and the accommodation and facilities provided therein must be maintained to a standard such that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of pupils are ensured.’
The teaching and administration staff at a school have enough to worry about, from the daily educational requirements to the general school development plan.
A reputable FM company will be able to manage your premises, freeing up your time to concentrate on raising the standards of education.
Companies that offer facilities management services will ensure that premises are compliant with all regulations, including everything from asbestos management, fire safety and security, to legionella testing, glazing risk assessments, and automatic door servicing.
Some FM companies are able to offer bespoke software which can manage the compliance of your premises.
This ensures that service engineers can attend the school when needed and maintain documentation that members of staff from the school can access at any time.
Find out if the FM company can help you apply for funding.
Academies and sixth-form colleges can apply to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for capital funding from the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF).
CIF’s core priority is supporting condition projects; keeping academy and sixth-form college buildings safe and in good working order is the focus of the fund. Most CIF funding aims to address issues with significant consequences that revenue or Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) funding cannot meet.
These include issues with poor building condition, building compliance, energy efficiency or health and safety. Only applications which demonstrate a high project need, supported by evidence, and which align closely with the priorities of CIF are likely to be successful.
Find out if the FM company provides a ‘building liaison’ service.
If they are RICS Chartered Building Surveyors, they can provide assistance with or organise any building projects, including repairs or improvements. They should also be able to carry out condition/compliance surveys.
It can also be helpful if they offer a 24/7 helpdesk. This can provide access to multiple trades for those moments when urgent repairs are required.
You want a facilities-management company that’s flexible and who can be on site when you need them.
You probably won’t be too surprised to learn that we can offer all of the above.
If you’d like to find it how we can manage your school premises, get in touch today.
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