Good Practice

You could reduce the cost of repairs by ensuring that you have a programme of planned preventative maintenance ( PPM) in place. 

Regular inspections through PPM ensures that emerging issues (or risks) are identified early and addressed promptly. Reactive maintenance can sometimes be more costly as significant damage may have already been caused through neglect of a minor issue . More importantly, it may impact on the health and safety of your pupils, visitors or employees which could be picked up by Ofsted during an inspection. Preparation and planning will ensure you are fully informed about the property that you are responsible for, and should Ofsted ask, then you will be able to show the planned schedule for repair and maintenance of your building. We can assist you with the preparation of the PPM for your school.

When commencing projects, select your contractors very carefully. Considered contractor selection is a fundamental process in ensuring the project is delivered on time and within the budget. Credentials should be checked to ensure they are appropriately qualified to advise you or to carry out the work you request. They should also have liability and indemnity insurance cover (minimum £2m). If they intend to do hot work or demolitions then the cover should be minimum £10m. Remember, you can reduce the stress as we can deliver projects of all sizes and we check and monitor all the relevant insurance covers and trade accreditations.

We have experience of schools asking to us to rectify works carried out by private contractors. They have been caught out in the belief that they had got a bargain when in reality it has cost them dearly. It is important to bear in mind that the cheapest quote is not always necessarily best value.

If you intend to carry out alterations, modifications, refurbishment or major building works (e.g. extensions) then you must get permission from your Landlord. In most cases, that is the Council. If you do not acquire the relevant permissions prior to commencing the work then you may end up incurring additional costs to rectify substandard or unapproved projects. Failure to comply may result in the Council (or your landlord) taking appropriate action to put right any breach.

Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations changed in 2015. Health and Safety Executive is now putting more onus on the client. These changes are far reaching. Don’t get caught out if you are managing any projects. 

Here are some of the other areas that should form part of your regular inspections/service/maintenance as part of the PPM which the SLA does not cover:

  • Service and maintenance of convector heaters - fan assisted and natural
  • Fire alarm (test different fire points to ensure it is in working order)
  • Drinking water dispensers (change filters at least monthly)
  • Door maintenance (check door closures, hinges, locking mechanisms, general condition and operation)
  • Gutter and roof cleaning (clear debris and check joints)
  • Gully cleaning
  • Window maintenance (ensure hinges and mechanisms are oiled and glass is in good order). For timber window frames ensure checks are carried out prior to painting. Painting should take place every 3-5 years as part of the PPM.
  • Pathways (check for uneven surfaces, subsistence, weeds or lichen)
  • Steps and handrails (check for loose fittings and slip/trip hazards) 
  • Fences (check general condition)
  • Grounds (trim shrubs, control weeds, cut grass) 

These checks should be appropriate to the task/risk therefore some may need to be carried out more regularly (daily) than others (annually).