Your cleaning FAQs – answered!
Cleaning tends to be one of the largest, and most important contracts a school or Trust will put in place, due to level of spend, the health and safety requirements, and the direct impact it has upon the health and wellbeing of children and staff.
We’ve answered your most frequently asked questions to help you secure your best cleaning contract:
- When should I start the process? Cleaning tenders can require a significant amount of time to complete due to their complexity and the number of affected stakeholders, such as pupils, staff, governors, parents and the cleaning team themselves. We suggest you start looking at your cleaning contract renewal at least eight months before your existing contract expires.
- What are the benefits of outsourcing your cleaning contract?
- When you outsource your contract, all equipment and products used for cleaning are purchased by the contractor, giving the school access to technology and products they may not be able to access otherwise.
- Outsourced contractors will often have larger buying power, meaning that they will be able to purchase supplies at reduced prices.
- Outsourcing also allows for better budget planning as all the cleaning costs are known in advance for the duration of the contract.
- You can customise an outsourced contract to include specific terms such as Key Performance Indicators and monthly service reviews. The goal here is to not only address cleaning issues, but to also develop a partnership between the school and contractor.
- You can also work sustainability goals into the contract, such as eco-friendly products and environmentally responsible cleaning methods.
- Typically, larger cleaning contractors provide detailed training to their employees. This helps improve cleaning efficiency and helps to reduce costs.
- What do I need for the tender process? You will be asked for a map of the school site/s, dimensions of the building/s, information on any lettings, if you require weekend cleaning hours, how often you require deep cleaning and workforce data for the TUPE process. Have this ready to streamline the process.
- What about TUPE? One of the most important considerations for cleaning contracts is the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, or TUPE. Whether your current cleaning staff are in-house or provided by a contractor, it is highly likely that they will transfer over to the new supplier if you decide to outsource. It is therefore important to leave enough time within your mobilisation period to give suppliers enough time to comply with the TUPE process, which can be even more complex if staff are part of a Local Government Pension Scheme. Depending on the number of staff transferring, TUPE could take up to 8 weeks, or even longer in more complex situations. We therefore suggest you start looking at the renewal of your cleaning contract at least six to eight months before your contract expires.
Schools’ Buying Club can help your school source its best cleaning provision. We offer three compliant routes to market – direct award, mini competition and full tender, all designed to help you achieve best value. We can even provide you with a personalised timeline to keep you on track. If you’d like more information, simply email us here.