Human Resources, Maintenance and Operations, Safety, Security

A Foundation of Learning: The Impact of Facilities Management on Educational Excellence

In the world of education, getting facilities management right is a game-changer, yet it is clear that it is not top of the priority list within educational organizations. It’s not just about keeping the lights on and the floors clean; it’s about creating spaces that inspire learning and growth.

This article dives deep into the heart of facilities management in schools, showing how it’s not just a background operation but a driving force in shaping educational success and student well-being. We’ll explore how the right approach can transform schools into vibrant, effective learning environments, and why it matters more than you might think.

The Essence of Facilities Management in Schools

Facilities management in schools covers everything from fixing leaky faucets and keeping the playgrounds green, to making sure classrooms are laid out just right and that all the necessary tools and tech are at hand.

It’s a big deal for communities and governments across the globe. In the U.K., for example, the Department of Education has poured over £15 billion (~$19 billion) into keeping school facilities in tip-top shape since 2015. But it’s not all smooth sailing. A report from the U.K.’s National Education Union throws a spotlight on some serious issues, revealing that 90% of the 20,000 school buildings they checked had significant problems with at least one part of their structure. Similar school infrastructure funding and issues can be found in the U.S. It’s clear there’s still a lot of work to do.

With this said, it is important for educational leaders to understand just how impactful effective facilities management is on educational organizations.

Benefits of an Effective Facilities Management Plan

Improved Educational Outcomes

The state of a school’s facilities plays a crucial role in shaping the educational journey of its students, affecting everything from academic performance to teacher satisfaction and the overall well-being of the school community. Research underscores the importance of well-kept facilities, linking them to improved student achievement. For instance, research found that schools offering a disruption-free environment could slash teacher turnover rates by as much as 25%.

On the flip side, when schools lag in maintenance, the consequences are significant: Teacher effectiveness takes a hit, student engagement drops, and health and safety risks escalate. This highlights a clear correlation between the physical condition of educational facilities and the success and safety of its inhabitants.

Student Well-Being and Attendance

Another pivotal aspect of facilities management in schools is its impact on student health and attendance. A well-ventilated, properly heated, and adequately lit environment is not just a matter of comfort but a significant determinant of student health outcomes.

Research by Mendell and Heath highlights the direct correlation between indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools and student health, attendance, and performance. Their findings suggest that students in schools with improved air quality experience fewer respiratory infections, have higher attendance rates, and show better academic performance.

Specifically, the study indicates that for every 1,000 ppm increase in indoor CO2 concentration (a proxy for poor ventilation), student attendance decreases by 0.5% to 1%. This underscores the critical role of facilities management in ensuring that the physical school environment supports, rather than hinders, student health and academic success.

School Security and Safety

A critical yet often underappreciated benefit of effective facilities management in schools is the substantial enhancement of security and safety measures, which directly impacts the well-being and performance of students and staff. In an era when school safety concerns are increasingly prominent, the role of facilities management in safeguarding the school environment cannot be overstated.

Research and data have consistently shown that schools with well-managed, secure facilities report lower incidents of bullying, vandalism, and other safety-related issues. For instance, a comprehensive study by the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) highlighted that schools that implemented advanced security measures and maintained their facilities well experienced a significant reduction in student disciplinary issues and incidents of violence. These measures include controlled access to the building, surveillance systems, and regular maintenance checks to ensure all safety equipment is functional.

Moreover, the psychological impact of a secure school environment on students’ ability to learn is profound. According to a report by the American Psychological Association (APA), students in schools with high-quality, secure facilities show improved concentration, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and a greater sense of belonging. This conducive learning environment, in turn, fosters better academic outcomes and enhances student engagement.

Workplace Well-Being for Staff

Employee well-being within the school environment is critically influenced by the quality of facilities management, with direct implications for teaching effectiveness and educational performance. Effective facilities management ensures that educators work in environments that are not only safe and healthy, but also conducive to high levels of job satisfaction and productivity.

Research highlights that teachers in well-maintained and optimally managed schools report higher levels of job satisfaction, reduced stress, and lower absenteeism rates. For instance, one study found that the physical work environment in schools, including air quality, lighting, and temperature control, significantly impacts teacher morale and retention. Teachers operating in environments with high IAQ and comfortable thermal conditions are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and less prone to burnout, directly benefiting the learning outcomes of their students.

The correlation between teacher well-being and student achievement is well documented, with the Learning Policy Institute reporting that teacher satisfaction is closely linked to improved student performance and higher graduation rates. Effective facilities management, by promoting a healthy and supportive work environment, not only enhances the well-being of school employees, but also sets the stage for academic excellence and a positive school culture.

The Role of CAFM in School Facilities Management

The integration of computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) tools stands as a game-changer in the realm of school facilities management. These sophisticated tools are designed to streamline the complex process of maintaining school facilities, enabling precise planning of maintenance activities, accurate cost estimation, and significant reduction in operational downtime.

Notably, with low-cost pricing models available per user per month, CAFM presents an economically viable option for educational institutions aiming to elevate their facilities management approach. This technology not only optimizes the efficiency of managing school environments, but also ensures that schools can allocate their resources more effectively, ultimately contributing to a more conducive learning atmosphere.


In conclusion, the essential role of an effective facilities management strategy in the educational landscape cannot be overstated. It forms the bedrock upon which the safety, health, and overall well-being of both students and staff are built, while simultaneously serving as a cornerstone for academic excellence. By strategically implementing such plans, carefully managing budgets, and embracing innovative solutions like CAFM, schools can skillfully navigate the intricacies of facilities management.

This approach enables educational institutions to go beyond basic functionality, creating environments that not only meet the needs of their occupants, but also inspire and facilitate learning at its best. In essence, prioritizing effective facilities management is tantamount to investing in the cultivation of future generations of learners, leaders, and thinkers, ensuring they have the optimal setting in which to thrive.

Charlie Green is a senior research analyst at Comparesoft, a B2B software comparison platform.

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