How Clean Is Your Child’s School? The Effects of Cleanliness
Posted on 29th September 2017 by Keith Hirst
Whilst a lot of thought goes into the teaching and facilities at a school, the standards of the physical environment can get overlooked. One study found that over 60% of parents have concerns about cleanliness levels and their child’s exposure to germs in school, and with good reason. Ensuring that your child’s school environment is clean and sanitary is important for both their health and productivity levels. In these times of budget cuts, it’s important that your child’s learning environment doesn’t suffer and still achieves high levels of hygiene. In this month’s post, we’ll be looking at a few of the reasons why cleanliness is important in schools.
– Health –
A primary reason for maintaining good hygiene levels in school is to protect the health of pupils. Viruses and bacteria can live on surfaces for anything between a few seconds to a few months. It is, therefore, imperative that surfaces and the overall school environment are kept as clean as possible to try and avoid the spreading of illnesses. Simple contact with a contaminated surface is all that is needed to transmit a virus.
Illness is the leading cause of school absence in the UK and millions of school days are lost every term because of it. In fact, studies show that primary school age pupils average 8-10 colds or instances of flu every school year. With improved school cleanliness levels can come reduced incidence of illness and subsequent absenteeism.
– Productivity –
Not only can cleanliness levels affect your child’s school absence, it can also influence their productivity in the classroom too. A study from APPA found 80% of the student sample reported that a lack of cleanliness in school can be highly distracting. On a scale of cleanliness from 1-5, with 1 being ‘spotless’ and 5 being ‘unkempt’, 88% of students rated cleanliness levels at 3 or lower as distracting in the learning environment. What’s more, the study found that cleanliness was ranked as the fourth most important building factor for affecting learning. This was only after fundamental requirements of lighting, noise and temperature.
This research and similar studies demonstrate that cleanliness has an important role in creating a good quality learning environment. A clean building fosters productivity which, in turn, can contribute to better performance in school.
– Costs –
The cleanliness levels of a school and the influence it has on health and wellbeing will affect teachers as well as students. The financial cost to schools of teacher absenteeism can be considerable, especially for illnesses which linger for an extended period of time. Paying for the necessary substitute teachers only covers the monetary cost though. Costs related to the reduced effectiveness of cover teachers, standards, student progress and morale can all come as a result of a teacher’s absence. For these reasons, it is crucial that teacher absenteeism as a result of illness is minimised as much as possible through strong cleaning and hygiene practices.
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The importance of a clean school cannot be understated, with hygiene levels affecting health, productivity and many educational costs. Direct Cleaning Services can offer a thorough professional cleaning service for schools to help maintain a germ-free and focused learning environment. Our well-trained cleaners have the necessary experience, expertise and equipment to carry out comprehensive cleans on a schedule which suits your needs. Get in touch with our helpful team today with any enquiries or for more information.