The problems surrounding budgeting for reactive maintenance tend to revolve around the fact that reactive issues, by definition, are unplanned. Not only does this mean it's difficult to budget accurately but these issues are disruptive and affect the running of a school on a day-to-day basis.

So how do you apply some science to this? Can you be more proactive? Can you budget for something you can’t plan? Can you minimise or pre-empt the reactive issues to minimise disruption to your school?

Well there is a school of thought (pardon the pun) that says you can. What’s even better is that you can make significant inroads with just a couple of simple steps.

The first step should be to know what’s gone on before. One school used the example of their Year 3 toilets. They only realised how big the problem was with them when they started to log a record of each issue. After further investigation, they made some subtle but highly effective changes and their facilities have improved. It also meant they had accurate records of how much it had cost them, enabling them to predict for future problems.

Included in that first step should be an effective logging system. And no, we don’t mean the tried and tested ‘staff room book’ or a spreadsheet or the occasional email. They had their place but technology has moved on.

An effective logging system enables you to view, report and plan ahead. You’ll be able to spot trends (like those Year 3 toilets) and this way you’ll start to be more proactive rather than reactive.

By being more proactive you will minimise disruptions, unlock more time for the planned activities, gain more control over the costs around reactive work and ultimately be more able to maintain a safe, effective and efficient premises.

So that’s the theory…Every puts it into practice!