As with any part of the public sector, hygiene and cleanliness standards for educational facilities must be maintained, as this ensures a safe environment for children to learn and members of staff to educate and work.
Throughout the educational sector, and workplace environment as a whole, there are numerous different legislations protecting the health of both staff and students, ensuring that they receive sufficiently clean and safe environments whilst occupying the work/educational space.
Cleanliness and hygiene play an important role in the health and safety of those who both work and attend school. It helps to prevent the spread of infection, leading to better health and overall wellbeing and productivity. Below are some of the main standards educational facilities, and workplace environments overall, must adhere to.
The standards for the general cleanliness of schools are enforced by numerous different acts, including those as follows:
• The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 – the standards for the majority of workplaces to adhere to, including academies, schools and sixth form colleges.
• School Premises (England) Regulations 2012 – setting the standards for schools throughout England to adhere to concerning their premises.
• Education (Independent Schools Standards) (England) Regulations 2010 – amended in 2013 to mirror much of the School Premises (England) Regulations 2012.
These acts listed above, along with many more, help to maintain the health and safety of all those within an educational facility, including the cleanliness and hygiene of its environment.
Through these and other government regulations, all furnishings must be kept at a sufficiently clean level, with waste only being allowed to build up in the appropriate disposal facilities, e.g. bins.
Dirt and other waste should also be cleaned from inappropriate areas (e.g. non-disposal areas) every day. Floors should also be cleaned weekly at the very least, and spillages or other dirtying of surfaces cleaned when necessary. The way in which cleaning is conducted throughout the school must also not pose a risk to those within it.
Other related health and safety standards
Aside from the general cleaning regulations educational facilities must adhere to, there are also other health and safety standards promoting the levels of hygiene within schools, including the regulations surrounding educational washroom facilities.
For student toilet and washroom environments, schools and other educational facilities must have both male and female washrooms for students aged eight or over, and these facilities must be separated. The only exception to this is when the school provides a toilet facility that can be locked from the inside, and is only to be used by one student at any given time.
Washing facilities must also have soap, both hot and cold running water, and towels or hand dryers. These washing areas must also be kept in a good condition, being clean, well ventilated with sufficient lighting.
By ensuring that these standards are implemented and maintained, educational facilities can help to promote health and safety throughout their schools, providing a better working and learning environment for all those within it.
Daniel Tannenbaum is from the marketing team at Tudor Lodge in partnership with Trovex