School cleaning providers now face new challenges when servicing academic institutions; not only is there an on-going focus to create an engaging environment but also one that is hygienic. Cleaning providers to stand above competition, must now provide adequate solutions to overcome cross contamination of sickness within schools; specifically viral outbreaks.
OFSTED ratings and funding provided by local councils are now more so assessed on absenteeism rates. Therefore more than ever it is crucial that cleaning providers are integrating the wide range of innovative technology available to create school cleaning solutions that are both financially viable, but also positively assist schools in managing their non-attendance rates to prevent funding cuts.
Whether or not everybody agrees with the process in which OFSTED operates, their purpose is to ensure that all schools are providing exemplary services whilst delivering engaging curriculums in an environment that is stimulating and clean. For schools that are under achieving, OFSTED focuses attention on providing the required support to bring these schools to a suitable standard. Their independent evaluation enables parents to confidently determine whether a given school is one that will ensure their child has equal opportunities available to excel, whilst receiving any support required during terms times, to ensure the highest possible level of engagement and achievement.
OFSTED Ratings and Council Funding
One area that has been a focus for OFSTED is absenteeism. With headmasters prohibiting children being removed from school during term time without given permission. Parents who have failed to abide by these rules now face disciplinary action. It is evident that perhaps one reason for this, besides the obvious that children who are not present in school face academic challenges with teachers now having little time to recap on content that is missed. OFSTED as part of their comprehensive inspection include absenteeism rates as part of their determination of how responsive a school is in ensuring their pupils are adequately following the outlined curriculum.
OFSTED ratings also offer local councils a means of measurement to determine how much funding will be provided to a given school. A rather simple, yet questionably harsh rule is followed that schools will receive adequate funding for students that are registered in the classroom. Funding will not be given for students who are continually absent. With budget cuts occurring across all sectors, it is no surprise that the education system is suffering. Therefore, for a school to continue to receive sustainable funding from councils, to continue to attract parents and give reassurance in teaching quality, strict consideration must be taken when choosing a school cleaning provider. Costing is always a deciding factor therefore, providers must create true value for money in all contract quotes, value that is above only monetary terms.
Cross Contamination and Viral Outbreaks
Schools are a prime place for the harboring of bacteria and germs that cause flu and Norovirus outbreaks. The latest data on school absenteeism for the UK found that illness was the main driver of overall absence rates accounting for 55.3% between 2016/17. Reinforcement of hand-washing, proper hygiene and the use of disinfectant wipes can be used to provide assistance in preventing germs. However, with minimal guarantee that all students are following these protocols strictly, smarter cleaning solutions are needed.
We understand schools are under financial pressure to find cost effective and time efficient cleaning methods. Professional cleaning companies are now able to monopolise on the innovation led transition the industry is currently moving through. Focus has been placed on reducing labor hours and therefore cutting costs, whilst maximising return on investment with any machinery that is required. Furthermore, there is a just expectation that school cleaning providers must consult Facility Managers on what market leading initiatives are available outside of cleaning solutions to assist in management of viral outbreaks.
Abelian integrates innovative cleaning solutions which focus on cross contamination control. Examples of our methods are:
- Antibacterial Door Handles: The covers very simply snap onto door handles, with universal sizes available, which kill 99.9% of bacteria. Viruses on door handles are able to spread within an hour throughout an entire building. The 6 month life span of these handles make them the perfect complimentary addition to sanitisation, proving to be a cost and time effective addition.
- Electrostatic Spray Systems: this technology is capable of sanitising a room within minutes dependent on size and surface coverage. The spray technology creates a mist of sanitisation fluid, creating no damage to electrical equipment whilst offering 360 coverage of all surfaces and hard to reach areas with high levels of bacteria and virus causing pathogens. This method reduces labor hours and the number of cleaners needed for operation, as reflected in the contract price. Services with this technology are able to be carried out on a reactive basis or as a periodic scheduled action to reduce the risk of outbreaks and spreading of viral germs. Just think, this method takes only moments to sanitise toys, table tops, toilets and the surrounding room.
- Biodegradable Cleaning Products: There are ongoing conversations regarding the need and use of toxic chemicals when cleaning environments where children play. Abelian is able to provide a comprehensive cleaning schedule that uses toxic chemical free cleaning agents. Not only reducing the risk to children should they come into contact with said non-toxic chemicals, whether by touching surfaces or within the air molecules, these methods also go towards helping schools to reduce their environmental impact.
Parents that seek to send their children to specific schools are those that are ensuring a safe environment for their children is being created and sustained. Attention is being paid to the methods of cleaning and the proactive approach a school has to ensure viral outbreaks are reduced so children aren’t retuning home ill and more crucially won’t need to be away from the classroom. Likewise our methods are a sure way of, in terms of cleaning, ensuring that with regulatory inspections the cleanliness and appearance of the school will be expertly managed causing no risk to OFSTED ratings.
As an introductory offer Abelian are providing demonstrations to school Facility Managers, or those who take responsibility in finding school cleaning providers, enabling visual evidence of the impact and results our innovative methods have. We are also able to provide a complete cleaning quote for all services required inclusive of school cleaning, daily janitors, window cleaning, waste management and pest control. As now it is more important than ever that the right school cleaning provider is selected to assist in the management of sickness cross contamination.