Efficient and regular building maintenance is essential for the safety and longevity of your facilities while ensuring that any maintenance issues do not cause disruptions or other problems for businesses operations. When it comes to school facility management or other educational environments, it can be quite the task, and it’s often the case that schools do not know where to start. Not to mention the importance of compliance, for which many schools risk fines and more because they are simply unaware of whether they are compliant or not.
When performed correctly and to a high standard, school building maintenance positively impacts the school, its culture, and the educational experience students receive. So, it’s safe to say it’s a process worth investing both time and energy into. But how do you get started? That’s precisely what we’ll be covering today in this helpful guide to school facility management.
What is School Facility Management?
School facility management is the process of managing and overseeing the maintenance of all facilities and assets within or owned by a school. The inner workings of a school have many moving parts, and maintenance is a crucial part of ensuring efficiency and providing a safe and productive educational environment.
Effective facility maintenance and management gives governors, staff, parents and students the peace of mind that comes from knowing the school surroundings are secure and offer everything they need, allowing staff to focus on educating and students to focus on learning.
Many assume that school facility management and maintenance are primarily for safety and compliance. However, it also has a lot to do with ensuring their school is a place where both teachers and students are happy to spend time. When you consider that close to 50% of teachers think their workplace harms their mental health, it’s well worth the time and effort to improve the school environment in any way you can
Why is School Facility Management Important?
As we mentioned, effective school facility management goes above and beyond keeping the building safe and efficient. It has the potential to influence everything from the culture and pride within the school and offer students and teachers an environment in which they feel confident and happy to spend their days. But if you need a few more good reasons why school facility maintenance is crucial, here are a few more benefits:
Reduce Facility Management Expenses Make maintenance budget saving by realising the full intended lifespan of property and Assets
Of course, this is a critical benefit of effective maintenance management. Efficient maintenance management techniques and tools, such as software to implement preventative maintenance, is a key way to properly care for the building and reduce costly reactive maintenance issues. You should aim to plan as much maintenance work as you can, rather than carrying out work reactively. It is recognised as good practice to allocate planned preventative maintenance and reactive maintenance budgets in the region of a 70:30 ratio. 1
Preventative maintenance establishes a system where maintenance is scheduled to prevent issues before they have a chance to occur. Unfortunately, many businesses and building managers fail to see the benefit in this approach, opting for a reactive approach that takes care of problems as and when they happen. As you can imagine, this is a more expensive solution and can lead to additional issues such as downtime or inability to use the facility until the problem has been fixed.
Reduce Facility Management Expenses
Efficient school facility maintenance allows you to save money. It’s also crucial for allocating budgets wisely and ensuring a positive impact. Investing in building maintenance and management processes improves efficiency and, in the process, cuts costs.
Thanks to the insight and scheduling capabilities of maintenance software, you’ll have a clear overview of your building’s requirements. As we mentioned above, it also plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance. Failing to ensure compliance with legislation comes with its own range of issues, many of which can spell financial implications for any school, other Educational institution or business. Compliance should be the bare minimum of your maintenance efforts.
Provide the best possible School Experience for Students & Teachers
Much like a person's home, an individual can be heavily influenced by their school environment. The quality of a school facility can impact students' motivation, desire to participate and how well they learn. A school that's an effective and efficient environment to learn provides students with confidence in those teaching them and, therefore, more confidence in achieving their goals.
By ensuring key maintenance tasks are taken care of, you prevent disruptions, safety concerns and also improve the morale of teachers and pupils. But it’s vital to recognise the importance of compliance here. Without it, every school risks serious repercussions and even legal issues if accidents should occur due to poor maintenance. By maintaining the school to high standards, shows support to the staff and pupils, thereby improving morale, dedication and attendance levels.
Improve Maintenance Planning and Organisation
A thorough plan for managing all maintenance work helps to minimise risk and disruption to the running of your school premises. For example, summer holidays, half terms and other holidays provide ideal opportunities to perform maintenance without disrupting pupils and teachers.
Of course, you can’t predict unexpected maintenance needs — it’s called reactive maintenance for a reason. But by making sure all of your planned maintenance is scheduled at the best possible times, you minimise the disruption and fallout of reactive maintenance
For this reason, preventative maintenance scheduling can prove to be a vital tool for maintenance professionals, especially in an environment such as a school where there are many assets and other factors to consider. Find out more about preventative maintenance in our helpful guide.