Planning a Clean, Hygienic and Safe Return to School

August 2nd, 2022 Category: Uncategorised

Everyone’s looking forward to the end of term and the long summer holidays in the sun. Right?

But if you are in charge of the school estate before you can relax and enjoy a break, you are probably wondering what you can do to get the school buildings and grounds ready before everyone returns to school.

Here’s our list of 10 things to consider to get your school clean, hygienic, and safe, ready for the Return to School! You can also download our checklist at the bottom of the blog.

1) Building Maintenance Work

Summer is often a good time to catch up with grounds and building maintenance but think about the impact it will leave behind and make sure your cleaning team know what’s planned, when it’s happening, and what impact it will have, so they can schedule their periodic work to make sure it’s visibly clean for the start of term. There’s nothing worse than the cleaning team telling you they’ve completed a deep clean, just before the maintenance team moves in leaving behind dust, mess and disruption.

2) Window Cleaning

If you didn’t give the windows a thorough clean in the Spring and Summer term when, let’s face it, the sun really shows the dirt, it’s time to get your window cleaners in to clean the glass and the fascias, getting rid of cobwebs, streaks, fingerprints and dead insects. Working in tandem with your cleaning team to do internal windows and sills, you can be ready for the return of the school community – so that when they are looking longingly out the window wishing for the return of carefree summer days, they can at least see the outside world clearly.

3) Graffiti Removal

We know that many schools can’t escape a little graffiti and if you are lucky enough to be able to keep on top of this during term time, you’ll probably only need to give a quick check. For others who experience more of a problem – both inside and outside the school building, Summer is the time to tackle it. Call in your cleaning team who can use specialist removal tools to get your school cleaned up and remove all the evidence of the annoying low-level vandalism.

4) Floor Maintenance

Whether it’s your sports hall, entrance or long corridors, the summer holidays are a good opportunity to strip and seal any polished floors. Or to give your flooring a really deep clean. Machinery can be booked and delivered in advance to give your floors a good scrub – if this isn’t something you do during term time – and your cleaning team will be happy to swap their normal routine activities to buff and polish the floors ready for September.

5) Chewing Gum Removal

If you are anything like us, you’ll wish the stuff would be banned, but for the time-being, we’ve got ways and means of removing it from stairwells, tables, under chairs – in fact anywhere you know. Your cleaning team will probably be aware of the main chewing gum areas around your school and it doesn’t take much effort – just a little time – to remove it.

6) Upholstery and Curtain Cleaning

Often planned as part of an end of term deep clean, it’s good to freshen up your upholstery and curtains getting rid of the stains and grubby marks. In the summer break, you have time to use environmentally-friendly protective coatings that create a better wearing surface meaning that spills can be wiped off rather than soaking in, leaving your chairs and staffroom (yes, we know they are often the coffee spillage culprits) looking like it’s ready to start another year. Talk to your cleaning team about whether they can deploy some of the chemicals. At Nviro we use surface enhancement on upholstery and we’re happy to give you a simple demonstration to show you how it works. We guarantee you’ll be impressed!

7) Grounds Maintenance (Including Jet Washing and Pest Control)

The grounds have probably been a focus during the Summer term, but now it’s time to replace any paving, mend any holes and check the safety of equipment in any playgrounds. With a little extra space (and hopefully good weather), you can pick up the jet washing to make sure your grounds are just as clean and safe as your building. And don’t forget to make an appointment for your pest control advisers – if they aren’t someone who is regularly on site – for a quick check of your hygiene levels and to bait and remove while there aren’t so many people around.

8) Trophy Cabinets

If you’re lucky enough to have a bulging trophy cabinet, and it’s not part of your regular routine, could you use the summer break to get your cleaning team to give them a good polish and make sure they are sparkling and clean, so everyone can be proud of their achievements ready for the start of another successful year?

9) Consumables

Your cleaning team can help with this, but it’s a good time to check what stock you have left over and review what you’ll want to order in the months ahead. There are lots of suppliers offering an increasing range of environmentally friendly options – from recycled products to closed loop ordering (where packaging is collected and re-used and delivered again) and although costs everywhere are increasing, there are some bargains to be had. If you order through your cleaning company, they’ll often refill and re-order for you, giving you more time to focus on other things.

10) Decontamination of equipment

Ahead of the Autumn term and the circulation of the inevitable winter bugs, could you use this time to give some of your equipment a really good, thorough clean, setting yourself up for infection control. Particularly in nurseries, infant and special schools, sensory areas can’t get the focus you need them to have during term time. So summer is a good opportunity to clear out ball pits, play mats and other sensory equipment and make sure that it’s squeaky clean ready for the return! With hygiene testing also increasingly available, you can also provide evidence that it’s clean, hygienic and safe for another term!

To help plan for a clean, hygienic and safe return to school – check out our Return to School Checklist below:

Return to School Checklist