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Case Study – Independent School

How we saved a leading independent school £20k in the first year


The problems

The school consisted of 6 buildings spread around a 12 acre campus.  Cleaning staff were reporting to main building to sign in and out each at the beginning and end of each shift then walking across the site to their designated place of work.

Cleaners were starting their shifts at 3pm, however it was not possible to commence productive work at that point as the pupils did not leave school until 3.30 at the earliest, again wasting several hours per day.

The only control of attendance was a manual timesheet, and that was not verified.  Leaving the system open to abuse, which, whether deliberate or accidental, again costs the school money.

The materials and equipment required by the cleaners was stored centrally, and had to be carried by the cleaners to where they were required, again wasting time and also creating avoidable hazards.

These and other ‘Spanish practices’ which had evolved over the years meant the distribution of workloads was uneven, with some staff having far more work than others in the same time, this led to some roles suffering repeated staff turnover.


SMC Premier’s Solutions

We changed the cleaning shift start time to 3.45, by which time 95% of pupils had left for the day, and implemented our remote telephone/web based time & attendance software so the cleaners could go straight to the building they were working in, and log in there.  Should any not log in as expected the supervisor is automatically sent an alert text message.  The system which links directly to our payroll system, ensure accurate attendance information is recorded.

We provided storage areas in each building so materials & equipment could be delivered direct to each building, and stored locally, saving time and effort, and improving health and safety.

We re-assessed the work areas to ensure a fair distribution of duties.  We carried out a thorough training needs assessment and delivered a tailored training programme to ensure all the cleaning staff had the appropriate skills and abilities for their role.  Following initial training we continued to develop our staff’s skills leading to several gaining NVQ qualifications.

The result

By streamlining the ‘clocking on’ process and removing other timewasting practices we were able to deliver improved standards of cleaning within the school whilst reducing the amount of time, and therefore cost, required.  This resulted in first year savings to the school of over £20,000.


By continuing the process of challenging how things were done, and finding more efficient solutions to a number of smaller issues, we delivered a further £8,000 saving in year two.