Understanding School Maintenance and Why It Matters

As schools in Kent and London age, they face an ongoing challenge of maintaining the facilities within the school at a level where staff can continue to meet and exceed pupil needs and expectations. School maintenance is vital to ensuring that Kent and London (and across the UK) school buildings, classrooms, kitchen, halls and toilets are maintained to a high standard.

Without school maintenance many schools will start to deteriorate and fall into disrepair which in turn will make it harder to teach to the exacting standards required for 21st century pupils. Irrespective of whether a school has just been built or if it’s housed in an older building all schools require maintenance. This may be especially true of older buildings which will require more maintenance.

UK Government and Essential School Maintenance

This view is also recognised by the UK government who have published a number of papers including the “Essential School Maintenance – A Guide for Schools” (PDF) explaining that “all school buildings should facilitate education within a weather tight and safe environment. The environment has the potential to adversely affect education, but this risk can be significantly reduced with appropriate maintenance. Deferred maintenance often results in substantial costs required in the future.

School buildings are important long term assets that are often also used as community facilities. Every type of school building should have effective stewardship and a maintenance regime to ensure safe condition and a secure environment.”

In order to have effective and timely school maintenance all schools need to have school maintenance arrangements in place to ensure that school buildings are “safe, warm and weather tight” and able to provide an appropriate learning environment. To this purpose the government spent around £18 million on school buildings between 2010 and 2015 including £5.6 billion which was sent directly to schools to allow them “to take forward their own building improvement programmes.” The government plans to invest a further £23 billion on schools between 2016 and 2021 to help ensure “that children can learn in the best environment possible, helping them to achieve their full potential.”

The government goes onto say that the advice in the “Essential School Maintenance – A Guide for Schools” document identifies the “key legislation” that all schools should follow as the associated statutory and maintenance requirements however schools should also undertake any work beyond that stipulated where that work is required to maintain the high standards that all schools should work towards.

Effective School Maintenance In Schools

Schools should draw up and follow a plan for identifying and carrying out maintenance. It’s also vital that there are plans and contingencies in place to deal with emergencies promptly and efficiently. Arrangements also need to be in place for inspection and testing of plant and equipment at appropriate times.

Part of the plan should identify where professional advice and/or contractor qualification checks are required. It’s important that schools provide contractors with relevant information in order to carry out their work safely. As part of this, all schools, as employers, should understand their health and safety responsibilities.

Health and Safety

As with any type of maintenance work health and safety must be a consideration. All maintenance work must be carried out and completed safely and the end result must be safe for teachers, children and school visitors.

The basis of UK health and safety law is the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 which is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the UK. It’s sometimes known as HSWA, the HSW Act, the 1974 Act or HASAWA. The HSWA places overall responsibility for health and safety on the employer.

In schools health and safety responsibilities are likely to be discharged by the headteacher or a nominated member of staff. This person is also likely to be responsible for ensuring that statutory maintenance is undertaken when required within the school.

Planned Preventive School Maintenance / Facilities Management

Planned Preventive School Maintenance is a great way of circumventing maintenance issues before they arise. By having a routine maintenance schedule in place any likely issues or imminent issues can be quickly and efficiently rectified without waiting for failure or damage to occur.
All schools are different and may require different types of maintenance. To this end JBH Refurbishments offer comprehensive school maintenance packages. Each school maintenance package can be tailored to meet the individual needs of each school and school budget.

JBH Refurbishments school maintenance takes into account the most common school maintenance jobs including:

  • General wear and tear repairs
  • Decoration
  • Carpentry (fitting fire doors, building furniture)
  • Electrical testing (PAT testing, lighting, cabling, data cabling)
  • Flooring (repair or replace)
  • Plumbing (replacing broken toilets, repairing leaking taps)
  • Air Conditioning

JBH Refurbishments will work with you to create a schedule of works and maintenance visits to maintain and repair areas within your school. Emergency repairs will be carried out as and when required.

Why Choose JBH Refurbishments?

JBH Refurbishments have 30+ years of expertise in carrying out Sussex, Essex, Kent and London school maintenance and repair work. When you choose JBH for your school maintenance you will be assigned a dedicated project manager, who will be your single point of contact for all maintenance work, repairs or refurbishment projects. They will work with you to ensure your school is maintained to the highest standards.

We have a bank of testimonials praising our high quality refurbishment services which can be accessed on request. Here is what a couple of our school customers have said:

“We would like to say a big thank you to JBH for supplying and fitting our classroom ceiling. You not only supplied a very competitive price, you accommodated us with fitting the ceiling at the best time convenient to a school, half term! We would not hesitate to recommend you and would certainly use your company again.”

“I would like to thank you for all your hard work. JBH Refurbishment have successfully fulfilled our needs from fitting external ramps for a disabled student to making and fitting doors for a gym equipment in our auditorium. I’m extremely pleased with the quality of the work and hope to continue to work with you in the future. Many thanks.”

JBH Refurbishments School Maintenance and Refurbishment Contractor

To take advantage of JBH Refurbishments expertise contact us via our contact form or calling us on 0333 207 0339.

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