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Keep your School Maintenance up to Scratch

November 22, 2017, 9:57 GMT+1
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  • If you’re struggling to stay on top of your premises management, start keeping that vital info in one place
Keep your School Maintenance up to Scratch

Remembering when you last had your fixed electrical wiring tested, or when your last lighting protection test was taken isn’t easy.

Keeping all this information in one safe, accessible place can help SBMs ensure they’re compliant and save time flicking through last year’s files for vital information. It’s also a huge help when reporting and evidencing.

My own spreadsheet system consists of several workbooks: ‘3-Year Premises Improvement Plan’; ‘Premises Maintenance’; ‘Contracts & SLAs’; ‘Health & Safety Staff Responsibilities’ and ‘Policies’.

The hardest part of this is creating it in the first place, because that’s when you’ll need to flick through those old files and consult your MIS for specific dates – but once that’s done, maintaining it is simple, and you be assured of knowing exactly where to find the information that at some point will be asked of you by governors, auditors and health & safety officers.

3-year plan

This is a rolling document, updated annually, that lists your priorities for premises improvements over the next three years. It should detail the relevant items, areas in school, estimated costs (plus contingency) and timescales.

Make sure it shows the dates of when improvements were carried out, the chosen contractor and final cost. This part of the spreadsheet is especially helpful when producing premises and financial management reports for governors.

Premises maintenance

Here, I list all the maintenance works that need to be carried out and indicate whether they’re ‘statutory’ or ‘good practice’. I use Excel’s ‘conditional formatting’ function to highlight all the statutory tasks, so that I can quickly see what needs to be done under the law.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency’s ‘Essential School Maintenance’ document (see is a useful tool for this. Update the spreadsheet whenever a task is completed, so that the details are easy to obtain when compiling reports for governors.


Remembering when contracts started and when they’re due to end can be a logistical nightmare, so record them in your PM document. This workbook should include all the items or areas the school has a contract or SLA for, the start/end dates and specific contractor.

It should also show whether or not it’s a rolling contract, and detail the reason(s) why that contractor was chosen. Having this to hand means you’ll be ready to respond promptly come the next internal audit.

Health & safety

This tool will be particularly helpful for other members of staff in the event of the SBM’s absence or departure from the school. It should list the various areas of H&S responsibility – from fire alarm tests and risk assessments to gym inspections – and which member of staff is responsible for ensuring compliance in each.


This should list all of the school’s policies relating to premises and H&S, accompanied by hyperlinks to the relevant documents, and must be made accessible to all staff.