Intelligent Operations

Carina Banks: Going Greener with Food Waste in Wandsworth Schools

The Waste and Resources Action Programme, a global non-government organisation who work to give the planet a sustainable future and tackle the climate crisis, have estimated that in the UK, food waste is estimated to be just under 10 million metric tons a year, with upwards of 65% of food waste coming directly from domestic households, and the rest from the retail industry, manufacturing and food and hospitality services. Most of this waste ends up in landfill, releasing thousands of tons of methane into the atmosphere when it degrades, contributing significantly to global warming and the destruction of the ozone layer.

A WRAP study conducted in 2011 was published which discussed food waste in the education sector. Approximately 80,000 tons of food was found to have been wasted across both primary and secondary schools; a figure that made up 13% of the UK’s total non-household food waste – a shocking amount from our schools alone.

While WRAP looks for global solutions, the UK Government have been trying to manage the issue of food waste on a national level, and with the introduction of the Environment Act 2021, have given the education sector requirements to manage their resources efficiently while they look to enforce food waste collections.

Here in Wandsworth, teachers have been working hard to educate our primary school children on the concepts of recycling and composting, to encourage a cleaner, greener present and future.

At Ronald Ross Primary School, various raw vegetable peelings and eggshells from the school kitchen are being collected by the children from the School Council or the school’s ‘Green Team’. There is a compost bin rota, with all year groups being given an allocated day on the rota to collect the peelings, which will then be deposited in the compost bin, composted, and then used on-site on the rooftop terrace helping the strawberries to taste delicious and of course they could be considered organically grown. There is a community noticeboard that is brimming with ideas on how to be green at Ronald Ross, so pupils, teachers and visitors alike can be inspired!

St Anselms Catholic Primary School in Tooting have also been reassessing their food waste disposal. Both raw and cooked waste is being collected during the dinner service into compostable bags and deposited into green domestic waste bins which are collected by the councils recycling team . The school is taking part in the council’s trial for the recycling of food waste. Staff at St Anselms also have their own food waste bin in the staff room – hopefully only a very small percentage of this waste is avoidable because the teachers have led by example and eaten up all of their lunch!

Since WRAP introduced their ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ Campaign in 2007, 1 in 3 people now recognise the ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ brand and 76% of those people have done something differently to manage food in their home. We need to significantly change our approach to food management in schools too, and we can do this by informing staff and pupils about the impact of food waste on the environment both nationally and globally, making sure stock isn’t ordered excessively and that students are being served food proportionally to their needs and appetites.

With the average UK household discarding about 4lbs of food waste a day, the equivalent of 100 bowling balls annually will you join the fight against food waste if you haven’t already? Go on, have that last apple. Our future starts now.

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Murat Boyayanlar – Meeting your FM PPM & statutory compliance requirements.

PPM maintenance is to manage and extend the lifecycle of equipment but is also a compliance requirement to satisfy statutory and legal obligations. The work is scheduled in advance and can range from weekly to annually depending on equipment and risk.

Failure to deliver compliance can also result in service delivery failures, which whilst not as severe as legal failures, it can impact on the operation of your facilities, your core business and reputational damage.

What is PPM? 

Planned preventative maintenance (PPM) is maintenance that is regularly and routinely performed on physical assets to reduce the chances of equipment failure and unplanned equipment downtime. 

Why is preventive maintenance important to your school?

Preventive maintenance is important because it keeps equipment and assets running efficiently, and it maintains a high safety level, helps to avoid potential large and costly repairs, as well as service downtime.

A properly functioning preventive maintenance program ensures operational disruptions are kept to a minimum.

Specific examples of preventive maintenance include checking that your HVAC, heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems are inspected, cleaned, and repaired and your water hygiene, and electrical systems are functioning properly within safety and compliance levels.

What can Facilities Management offer to your school?

Facilities Management (FM) offer services through our contractors that can deliver a planned maintenance function across your school portfolio.

Some examples of PPM services available through FM are listed below:

  • Boiler servicing
  • Lift servicing & repairs 
  • Electrical Fixed Wire Testing
  • Legionella Risk Assessments
  • Water Hygiene inspections
  • Flushing of infrequent used Water
  • Water Temp. monitoring
  • Fire Detection & alarm servicing 
  • Fire Extinguisher servicing 
  • PAT Testing services
  • Commercial Kitchen equipment servicing
  • Air Con Servicing

FM are now offering services for your Planned Maintenance 2024/2025 Compliance requirements.  To order and buy into this service, you can order or request a quote, before the end of March 2024, via Wandsworth | Services for Schools.

Please note:

If your school chooses not to use the Council service, then you are still required to upload your certification documents to the Councils’ Concerto CAFM system.

If you require a login / training to use Concerto, then please contact:

Alison Harding: 


Richard Dade:

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Investing in Futures

To date, six new positions have been created in the team through apprenticeships – with plans to expand further in 2024. Apprenticeships not only provide thorough on-job training, they also diversify the team creating new opportunities for local residents to develop specialised skills that schools rely upon. 

Wandsworth Lifelong Learning cater for over 8,000 learners each year across some 650 courses. In addition to apprenticeships, they also offer accredited and non-accredited courses specifically focused on growing careers and supporting people in team leading and management positions. 

Courses include:

  • Effective delegation in the workplace
  • Leadership and Management
  • Introduction to coaching / effective mentoring
  • Problem solving and managing change
  • Introduction project management
  • First time manager or supervisor
  • Managing problems effectively in the workplace


One of our key priorities is to continue to increase the number, quality, and access to apprenticeships for local people and employers. Apprenticeships provide a fantastic opportunity for those already in employment to develop further skills and for those that are new to the labour market, offering opportunities in several sector areas. 

Councillor Kate Stock, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Wandsworth Council
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Core Values in Action

A good education must develop children’s curiosity, creativity and kindness. The measure of educational success cannot simply be students’ academic achievements, but also the qualities of the learners who leave our school gates; good citizens who are equipped to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.

As a values-based organisation, we are passionate about supporting schools to realise their full potential in the services they provide. We use our council values as our guide in this and hold our actions accountable to its ethos at all times.

Discover more examples of our Values in Action in our latest Smart School Services annual report.

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At Your Core – School Values

Guiding everything from decision-making to daily interactions, brilliant school values spark shared ownership in teachers, learners and their families; transform communities as well as classrooms; and lay the foundations for brighter futures that impact every one of us, and even the planet.

Taking the time to create core values that are truly tailored to your whole school can be transformational.

Get it right and they can help swell pupil numbers, bolster budgets, grow resources, deliver recruitment and retention and garner rich connections with your local community and its families. They can also help with Ofsted inspections, carried out with a clear understanding of the school’s ethos and expectations.

Miss the mark and you risk diminishing their value. They can easily become a generic, continually reproduced page in your school prospectus, or an occasionally referred to set of laminated words displayed on your reception wall. A nice to have.

The Value of Re-evaluating School Values

There are two primary reasons to reconsider your core values. Firstly, because they fail to authentically represent your school and its distinctive culture. They don’t inspire or capture the real essence of what makes your school different. Worse still, you might find yourself ensnared in the ‘educational waffle’ dilemma. The problem of having a set of generic, safe statements that closely resemble those of many other schools in your catchment area, but miss the heart of what matters most in your school.

The second is their relevance to your community and the world at large. Society has shifted. Social media 

safety, diversity and inclusion, coronavirus, climate change, the cost of living crisis… Legacy values that you may have inherited may no longer feel relevant without redefining what they mean from your school, its learners and their families perspective. 

According to the National Parent Survey 2023, over 2.8 million children live in households where their parents are struggling to afford the cost of sending them to school. 875,000 primary school children don’t have enough age-appropriate books at home. In Wandsworth, 45% of primary school pupils do not have English as their first language. 

A special focus on a value a month is a great way to bring values to life rather than promoting ‘all the values all of the time’ 


Imagine the impact you would have if you addressed these issues directly through your core values. If you communicated a safe, supportive and inclusive school culture and embodied it across everything you did. Where your words and their associated actions were perfectly aligned. How powerful would that be?

Living Your School Values 

Your values should be the lens through which you view all of your school activities. They should be embodied by staff, underpin all of your external and internal communications and permeate through every facet of daily school life. 

Develop a consistent and structured implementation plan for your values programme and you can unlock the benefits of creating a positive, inclusive, and supportive learning environment. 

Here are some ways your school can embody its values: 

Leadership Role Models 
First and foremost, the school’s leadership and staff must serve as role models for these values. They should consistently demonstrate respect for one another, honesty in their interactions, and integrity in their decision-making. These actions send a powerful message to students about the importance of these values in the real world. 

Integration into Curriculum 
Infuse the values into the curriculum. Incorporate them into activities and lessons to reinforce them. 

Consistent Messaging 
Ensure that the values are consistently communicated through posters, assemblies, newsletters, and classroom discussions, reinforcing their importance in various contexts. 

Recognition and Rewards 
Acknowledge students who demonstrate these values through certificates, praise in assemblies, or special mentions in newsletters to encourage others to follow suit. 

Conflict Resolution Programmes 
Teach conflict resolution strategies that align with the school’s values, promoting peaceful and respectful interactions among students. 

Student Involvement 
Empower students to take ownership of your values by involving them in decision-making processes, clubs, or initiatives that promote and embody them. 

Training and Development 
Provide training and workshops for both staff and students to understand, practice, and integrate your values into their daily lives. 

Regular Evaluation 
Periodically assess how well the values are being integrated and lived out in the school environment, making adjustments or improvements as necessary. 

Community Engagement 
Organise events or projects that reflect your values, involving parents, local organisations, or the wider community – reinforcing their importance beyond the school walls. 


Value of the Month 

To effectively integrate your values into whole school life, consider adopting a Value of the Month programme. This enables you to explore each value in-depth across myriad contexts at school, home and in the world at large. 

To raise awareness of and engagement with the Value of the Month, develop a prominent visual focus around the school, with large values boards in key halls and areas. 

Create a classroom poster for display each month with each child given a copy to take home with them. 

Feedback from similar initiatives reveals that these posters find their way onto the walls of the immediate family home, the extended family and even businesses in the wider community. 

As you revisit the value in subsequent years, learners will interact with the value in different ways as their understanding matures. 

Connecting Parents 

More than eight in 10 parents want to play an active role in their child’s education. And yet fewer than one in five schools have policies in place to facilitate this. 

Engaging your greatest advocates through values-aligned initiatives means your school will: 

  • Build trust and understanding 
  • Bridge the gap 
  • Reduce absenteeism and exclusion 
  • Raise aspirations and achievement 
  • Inspire parents, pupils, and staff 
  • Garner testimonials / referrals 

Involving parents in decision-making brings in different perspectives and points of view, which in turn can help the shift towards home school partnerships; shared values and shared goals. 

A Parent Council can provide an excellent forum that supports consultation and shared values-led decision making. 

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Michael Hallick: Find Your Voice

As Wandsworth continues to evolve in a rapidly changing capital, the role of core values within its schools becomes increasingly important. Differentiated and tailored core values serve as the bedrock – not just articulating the moral and academic expectations for everyone in the school community – they lay the foundation for nurturing well-rounded young minds that can navigate their world with integrity, empathy and purpose.

Values are invaluable

Has there ever been a time when clear, compassionate and courageous values have been more needed? With society facing huge challenges, we need to clearly communicate how we wish to live positively alongside each other in our communities.

Over the last 12 months Wandsworth council have been doing just that. More than 150 of our people have taken part in defining a new set of values that capture the spirit, energy and intent we need to drive forward our ambitions for our residents.

Our new borough values have been built to capture the best of how we work together and to inspire the change we need to create in our culture.

The five statements are clear, directional and demanding. They build on good governance and reliability, emphasising the need for all of us, whatever our role, to show leadership, to be confident, imaginative, caring and creative.

As an organisation which has come together to represent a broader part of London, our values reaffirm our commitment to embrace difference, to connect even more deeply and widely and to show compassion and empathy for the people we work with and the people we serve. They are so much more than words on a page.

The new values are:

  • Think Bigger
  • Embrace Difference
  • Connect Better
  • Lead by Example
  • Put People First

In our annual Smart School Services report we will be discussing the important role values can play for your school, teachers, pupils, and the communities that you serve. From pupil numbers to staff retention, they can lead to transformative results and permeate through everything you do. We hope you find it of use on your values-based educational journey. 

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Carina Banks: biodegradable packaging for Schools cleaning contract.

Can you believe we’re almost in the middle of January already? With the memory of the festive season rapidly fading and the weather getting a little frosty, it can only mean one thing – Spring is around the corner! There’s no time like the present to start planning for that spring deep-clean, and if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to try and be more conscious of your environmental impact, then the introduction of enviro soluble sachets to Wandsworth schools in the Solo cleaning contract could be just what you need to accomplish your goals.

With the shear quantity of cleaning products used as part of the contract it made sense that when offered the new packaging we jumped at the opportunity with the use of reusable dispensers and sachet-based refills.

The new products are environmentally friendly in a number of ways:

  • Safe – the new packaging results in a product that is 80% lighter, meaning that heavy lifting is a thing of the past.
  • Sustainable – With the use of reusable dispensers it results in a huge 70% reduction in packaging, and the 30% remaining is biodegradable.
  • Compact – Saves up to 37% in storage space compared to the old packaging.
  • The range of cleaning products itself is biodegradable and 100% phosphate free with 100% effective formulations. The entire range is manufactured to ISO 14001 / 9001 standards.

Sachets arrive in compact, sustainable, compostable packaging and can be used with refillable colour coded trigger spray bottles so there is no confusion over what refill is used with what dispenser. Just add water according to the preparation directions and go! Cinderella wishes she’d had it this easy. Who else could say that their kitchen degreaser is a 100% zero waste product?

To put the benefits in perspective Solo have calculated the following benefits across their contracts companywide:

  • A saving of almost 9 tons of plastic per year
  • The environmental impact of transporting the new packaging over the old is greatly reduced by a reduction of 121 metric tonnes in weight.

With the new year comes new beginnings; a warm welcome to the newest member of our team, Vendula Kredlova, who joined us as the new Contracts Officer from the start of January.

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Daren Marsh: Web Filtering Update for Schools

The Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2023 update released earlier this year, regarding key changes to the KCSIE requirements and the new DfE Web Filtering standards, states that schools safeguarding leads are now responsible for web filtering and monitoring in their schools – previously seen as the responsibility of the school’s ICT Support teams. The KCSIE update sets out that schools are to play a much more pivotal role in how their web filtering is setup, monitored and used as a safeguarding tool to provide a safe, secure digital environment at schools for all students. The process will initially require the DSL’s to work closely with their SLT’s, and governors to get a grasp on how their web filtering is configured and to try to understand why… so, it is imperative that schools understand what is now expected of them, which resources are available to help and where these are to be found.

Mark Bentley at the LGfL runs a fantastic online course – LGfL’s Safeguarding Shorts for DSLs / other SLT: Web filtering in 30 minutes, that provides an overview and is a good starting point to better understand the filtering provided by the LGfL, how it works, the new school’s staff responsibilities and the reporting offered – once you have attended the above course you will be much clearer about what is involved and where you can obtain help, advice and support.

Here is a link to training offered by the LGfL: 

LGfL (

There is a vast array of useful LGfL content for schools that will help with understanding more about this area and this can be found at:

The Wandsworth ICT Support team is intent on providing you with the best possible advice, guidance, and support to help with these new changes, which can be challenging for school’s staff to take on, in an already busy and pressured environment. So, with the new KCSIE guidance and key changes to web filtering in mind, we have put together a new user guide on S4S that will help you to get to grips with the LGfL’s WebScreen / (SchoolProtect) system, understand the basics of how the system works and provide you with the practical knowledge you will need to monitor / manage your school’s web filtering and run reports necessary to meet the new requirements.  The guide can be found at 

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Andre & Agnieszka: Importance of Contractor Safety 

The Law

All schools have a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that all their staff and contractors are not injured whilst working and that members of the public aren’t injured in accidents connected to work. This is a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 sections 2 and 3.


  • Company prosecuted by HSE and issued £126,000 fine as worker was left paralysed after falling from height via an unguarded window.
  • Company fined £1.4m following death of contractor when crushed by falling equipment.
  • Responsible Person(s) receives prison sentence following the death of a contractor who fell from height. The defendants had failed to plan the work at height or to employ competent contractors to carry out the work.

There may be compensation to pay and other legal penalties.

What is a contractor?

A contractor is anyone you get in to work for you who is not an employee.

Examples could be:

  • Cleaners
  • Fire Alarm Engineer
  • Painter & Decorator 
  • Plumber
  • Catering Services

What could go wrong?

Accidents happen more easily when the contractor’s job is excluded from your usual methods of safe working.

Accidents with contractors can be caused by poor communication – when staff don’t know there is a contractor working nearby and when contractors don’t know the dangers on site or local emergency procedures.

Contractors are subject to greater hazards and risks than your own employees because they are not familiar with your environment and potentially due to the nature of works, they will be performing for you.

What should you do?

Both you and the contractor you use have responsibilities to implement safety measures. Make sure everyone understands the part they need to play in ensuring health and safety.

Additional duties:

  • Identify all aspects of the required job and consider the health and safety implications. 
  • You need to satisfy yourself that the contractor you choose can do the job safely and without risks to health (competency) – You must check for things such as Risk Assessments/Method Statements (RAMS), appropriate insurance cover, qualifications, and professional accreditations etc.
  • With the contractor ensure a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is in place for intended work.
  • Communicate with contractor throughout to ensure everybody, including your own employees are clear on risks present, control measures and emergency procedures.
  • Cooperate and coordinate with contractor to ensure work can be done without risks to health and safety.
  • Consult with your own employees on proposed works and how they should raise any concerns about contractors and their work.
  • Ensure adequate supervision is in place whilst contractor operates on your site. 

Contractors and ‘Construction’ Works 

If the task involve construction works, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 will apply. (CDM 2015)

Key Points:

  • All construction work under CDM 2015 requires planning, but the plan for smaller jobs should be simple, short and proportionate to the risks.
  • The definition of maintenance work has not changed. If the task in hand looks like construction work, requires construction skills and uses construction materials, it is construction work.
  • CDM 2015 makes the Client accountable for the impact of their decisions and approach to H&S/Welfare


H&S Support?

The Health and Safety Team is available to provide support and guidance on any matters that could impact on your health and safety arrangements. 

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Matthew Lugton: HSE Inspectors to assess the management of Asbestos in Schools

The HSE will be carrying out a programme of inspections in primary and secondary schools from October 2023. The inspections will be assessing how sites are managing the risks from asbestos within their buildings.

During their 2022/23 inspections, the HSE found significant failings in management systems – leading to enforcement action being taken – in 7% of schools.

To assist sites, the HSE have published a revised Asbestos Management Checklist.

All sites that have Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) present must ensure they have:

  • an asbestos register
  • an up to date asbestos management plan
  • records of periodic monitoring of the condition of any ACMs (as suggested by the asbestos survey) records of
  • communicating the presence of ACMs to contractors (where necessary)  

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR) place duties on those with responsibility for the maintenance of work premises to manage the risk from asbestos.
HSE inspectors will contact sites in advance to arrange a suitable date and time for an inspection. They will need to speak to someone with knowledge of how asbestos is managed by the site, and may also ask to see certain documents in advance of the visit e.g. your asbestos register and management plan.
Sites should review their current arrangements and check that they are meeting their duties under CAR:

  • take reasonable steps to find out if there are ACMs in the premises – and if so, the amount, where it is and what condition it is in, i.e. an asbestos survey has been conducted by an approved contractor
  • make – and keep up to date – a record of the location and condition of any ACMs (or materials which are presumed to contain asbestos), i.e. the asbestos register
  • assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibres from the materials identified
  • prepare an asbestos management plan (AMP) that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed
  • take the necessary steps to put the plan into action
  • periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements, and act on the findings, so the plan and arrangements remain relevant and up to date
  • provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on, or disturb them – contractors should be shown the asbestos register, and it is good practice to maintain a record of this communication

Should you require guidance in relation to your management of asbestos, this is available at and , or you can get in touch to have access to our school’s health and safety team.

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