A new standard of clean for our schools

It’s something of a curiosity that despite the tight regulation of cleaning standards for places like childcare centres, restaurants and hospitals, at present there is no mandated standard for how a school should be cleaned. What’s more there is no independent way of verifying the quality of cleaning which has been conducted and no standard stating what cleaning chemicals can and can’t be used.

The good news is that now there is an opportunity for forward-thinking schools to introduce self-regulation to fill this gap through the new 5-Star Healthy Schools Programme. The Programme seeks to introduce an industry standard for cleaning schools by implementing measurable and independently audited cleaning practices which are designed to improve the quality of cleaning, reduce the occurrence of illness due to cross-contamination and allergy, reduce the environmental impact caused by the cleaning products used, and contribute to the creation of healthier learning environments for both children and staff.

Cleanworks Australia has recently been working with Genesis Christian College in the North Brisbane suburb of Bray Park, and we are pleased to share that they recently become the very first school in Australia to receive accreditation under the 5-Star Healthy Schools Programme. While the school’s prior cleaning practices were far from lax, in preparing to meet the new standards they discovered that there were many hidden yet important areas where there was room for improvement.

“Prior to the Programme we didn’t realise we were cross-contaminating surfaces and calling them clean.
Now we have more confidence in our methods and a standard for good cleaning that we have to live up to. It works.”

– Kevin Dekker, Genesis Christian College Facilities Manager

As schools begin to explore the new standards and inevitably question the status quo ‘does it look clean or dirty’ measuring stick, there will be clear benefits for all members of the school community. Not only does the Programme contribute to reducing illness-related absences for both students and staff, but it also ushers in a new era of transparency which provides parents and the broader community with insight into the school’s cleanliness and increases the accountability of the school’s cleaners.

To find out more about the 5-Star Healthy Schools Programme and how it can improve the cleanliness of your school contact Cleanworks Australia on Ph: (07) 3832 1887.

Pine Rivers Press 20 August 2015