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Ormiston Academies Trust realises “significant cost savings”, whilst reducing risk and achieving compliance

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Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) has a large and diverse estate with responsibility for 43 academies nationwide, comprising a mixture of secondary, primary, AP and special schools. Louisa Sharpless, Estates Compliance Manager, is responsible for leading the compliance and safety of all schools within the Trust and supports the team in each academy to embed the central approach and process to maintaining assets and keeping academies safe.

The Trust faced four key issues

For caretakers and site supervisors, maintenance is just part of their role, they’re there to do many other important tasks, such as opening and closing the building, ensuring that classrooms and halls are set up with the required furniture, supporting educational activities, etc. All too often, they lack the required knowledge and expertise when it comes to building and asset maintenance tasks.

The guidance provided by government via Good Estate Management for schools (GEMs) provides information on what needs to be done but lacks the detail on how to complete the required tasks.

OAT observed that there wasn’t a consistent approach to maintenance across their estate. Each school was ‘doing their own thing’. To tackle this, the Academies chose to contract out 60% of building maintenance work but, as the overall cost of the contract was too high, the academies ‘picked and chose’ what tasks would be completed.

As the Trust began to analyse their maintenance regime in detail, they identified that their maintenance was not fully aligned with SFG20 – the industry standard for building maintenance specification.

The benefits Ormiston Academies Trust have enjoyed since starting to use SFG20:

Previously, Louisa used regulatory guidance - such as HSE, team expertise, combined with manufacturer’s guidance to create maintenance task instructions which took a considerable amount of her time.

  • SFG20 has provided OAT with an easier way to identify what is a legal requirement versus best practice in a check list which can be used by both internal site staff and external engineers.
  • SFG20 provides the Trust with the information that they need to be able to confidently audit work done by contractors, to check it is correct and in line with legislation and regulation.

The Trust now hold their assets and compliance and health & safety data centrally within a CAFM system called iAM Compliant so they can monitor the levels of compliance of each school and provide maintenance tasks centrally, ensuring that work is carried out in a consistent, safe and compliant fashion and to SFG20.

Using SFG20 benefited our Academies through significant cost savings realised by increasing the amount of work that is completed in-house versus contractors. We now have a consistent process across our schools and the ability to manage and control our risk across the estate 


Ormiston Academies Trust is confident that by using SFG20 and aligning it within the trusts managed CAFM system they will be able to maintain their assets more effectively to provide safe compliant academies for students and staff.

OAT believe that by using this planned preventative method, using in-house staff to carry out some compliance tasks, and standardising its maintenance approach it will benefit everyone by working smarter which will ultimately result in cost savings.


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