Sector: Education Completion date: October 2035

Our Redcar Schools contract comprises the alignment of hard and soft FM services to meet the needs of five schools in the Redcar and Cleveland area. Our work makes a difference by keeping the facilities clean and safe and ensuring healthy, balanced meals are available for every child. 

Building a partnership 

Following the collapse of a construction and facilities service giant in 2018, we partnered with the Local Authority (Redcar and Cleveland Council) and SPV (IML) to quickly save jobs, welcoming 75 employees to our team with a seamless transition.  

With 17 years left on the contract at the point of takeover, we wanted to form stable, trusted relationships to protect ‘business as usual’ services. We adopted a clear focus on partnering and collaborative working, ensuring the right people and culture were embedded on the contract, with all parties driven to succeed. Our partnership is built on clear objectives and underpinned by a joint purpose: to create a first-class environment for learning.   

Helping our new employees during a crisis  

Before we took over this contract, employees had previously been left in the dark, leading to stress and anxiety. To prioritise emotional wellbeing, we held weekly team briefings with employees to provide updates and discuss any concerns. We also helped employees’ complete online forms for redundancy, crisis loans, and other services. 

At the point of takeover, we held sessions with all Robertson employees, our customer, and our supply chain to deliver training on management processes, business systems and IT. We also delivered safeguarding workshops to follow best practice for a safe environment for all students, employees and visitors. We have focused on training and upskilling front-line employees. There is now a programme in place dedicating one-to-two days per week (during the school holiday periods) to site-specific training and development.  

Tangible sustainability benefits 

To acknowledge the changing energy use of the schools in and out of term time, we have implemented site-specific holiday shutdown checklists which put each building into an energy hibernation mode. Working with pupils from each of the School Councils, we are further driving energy awareness through simple initiatives such as recycling and turning off light switches. 

Late in 2018, two schools were showing a significant increase in water usage. To trace the problem, we installed water loggers and adjusted water systemisers to get it back in line with the target range. Without this intervention, the wasted water would have cost Sacred Heart Academy an extra £6,000 and South Bank Primary an extra £2,500 on their annual water bill. 

We also found a significant opportunity for the facilities to be hired out to the community for sports or other community activities. Two schools are now working with the Robertson community hire team to position their facilities as a key local asset and generate additional income.  

The project won the Partners in Corporate award at the PFM awards 2019, which celebrates the best of outsourced services contracts in the UK.


  • PFM awards 2019 logo.jpg

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