January 15, 2020 | by Ayappan Nair, Manager School Operations, Dubai

Good facilities maintenance is an important piece of the jigsaw in the running of a highly performing school. The precise definitions of responsibilities and budgeting may vary from school to school, but the below elements are interdependent, related actions in one area having profound implications for another. There is therefore a need for integrated planning and co-ordination.

Premises Strategy

Capital planning

Funding bids & applications

Condition surveying

Managed schedules

Competent contractors

Project delivery

Statutory compliance

QHSE and GAP analysis

Property Maintenance

Repair initiation

Performance management

It is only when things go wrong that people tend to notice and mostly it is when there is a “maintenance gap”.

Several factors contribute to the “maintenance gap”. They include insufficient funds, poor management of funds, and provision that do not match educational needs. Poor maintenance increases running costs, such as for energy and cleaning. Energy expenditure, for example, can amount to more than one third of premises–related expenditure; reducing energy consumption can help not only to save money but also to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other forms of pollution.

Other consequences of poor maintenance are:

  • deterioration of parts of the building.
  • an unsafe and unhealthy environment.
  • a lower quality of teaching and learning.
  • a lower quality of living.

There are also educational, social and environmental advantages of good maintenance:

  • educationally – the condition of the environment indicates society’s support for education.
  • socially – it sets an example to pupils, that the environment in which we live should be cared for.
  • environmentally – good maintenance promotes the aims of education.

Establishing a regular Condition Survey system to assess needs and priorities help to a great extent. Gathering and analyzing the data based on the survey and establishing resource and funding allocation mechanism to Act promptly to repair damage and sticking to planned maintenance schedules delegates responsibility for the condition of the facilities to the concerned service provider.

Whether you are the business manager at a primary school or the duty-holder at an expanding college,  understanding how challenging it can be to make sure your academic buildings are in good repair and operational readiness, when juggling your other responsibilities, it is required to always work with a competent maintenance service provider who can deliver you with everything from fully outsourced premises support to on-demand emergency site cover.

In conclusion, it is facility maintenance efforts that keep the places our children visit the most and depend on in a safe and functional condition.

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