Back to school: cleaning considerations for educational facilities

Friday, September 11, 2020

It’s no secret that we’re all adapting to new protocols within our work and leisure environments and those working in the cleaning sector have been instrumental in keeping public places hygienically clean and germ-free to help control the spread of Covid-19.
However, as educational facilities open once again, the focus is now on schools to implement a cleaning routine that will keep staff and students safe, preventing the spread of the virus.

Watch Robert Scott’s Tracy Kirkpatrick and Pete Jones’ recent webinar on back to school cleaning considerations webinar including daytime regime and the right tools for the job.

Watch the webinar here. 

This new landscape sees students and teachers adapting to the new normal of heightened health and safety measures in line with government guidance. However, each school comes with its own set of unique challenges that must be considered to protect the health and safety of staff, students and their families.

Robert Scott’s Tracy Kirkpatrick and Peter Jones give their expert advice on cleaning considerations for schools and educational facilities that are navigating the challenges of reopening in a clean, safe manner.

Cleaning in the classroom

When cleaning a classroom, the approach of cleaning from top to bottom is recommended and why most of the product training we deliver at Robert Scott starts with equipment to clean high to reach areas, followed by mid surfaces and finally floors.

Always remember to clean and then disinfect, there is a difference. Cleaning simply means the physical removal of dust and dirt first while disinfecting then reduces and destroys both bacteria, germs and viruses.

Students should be advised to bring their own sanitiser and, if possible, come to school equipped with everything they need, i.e. a calculator, pens, pencils, eraser, ruler, etc, helping reduce the risks of cross-contamination.

Sanitiser and antibacterial spray should be provided on entry to each class, with pupils instructed to sanitise their work station at the beginning and end of each lesson and to dispose of wipes and paper in dedicated bins.

Switching to a daytime regime
With an increase in the frequency of cleaning, and teachers and janitorial staff carrying out cleaning duties continuously throughout the day, schools should be mindful of how to minimise disruption.

To achieve this, a rapid response cleaning system should be put in place so schools can look to minimise accidents including slips, trips and falls and keep staff and students safe throughout the day.

Schools should also consider how they will cordon areas, using products such as high visibility signage, cones or tape, and how long the signs are required to stay in position.

The right tools for the job

As well as being proven to remove over 99.9% of dirt and bacteria, microfibre performs exceptionally well as part of a floorcare routine as it provides quick-drying results which will help prevent slips and trips. This also allows recently-cleaned areas to reopen as soon as possible, avoiding unnecessary closure of corridors or rooms.

Following government guidance for cleaning and disinfecting cloths and other laundry, users should use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Do not shake dirty laundry, this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.

Microfibre offers a sustainable alternative to blue roll as it can be laundered at a temperature of 60°c above, and is safe to be reused frequently and helps to reduce waste.

If you’re interested in finding out more on cleaning considerations for the safe reopening of schools, contact our Clean Team by calling 01457 819400, or email