Alternative Model for Bradford Councils School Catering & Cleaning Service

Bradford Council has been exploring different ways in which school catering and cleaning services can be delivered to schools, so that a better service can be provided to schools whilst also creating a more secure future for the service.

A key element of the process was ensuring that the service could stand on its own two feet, without the need for Council support or control.

Review Outcomes
During the review process, involving staff, schools and other stakeholders, it was identified that development of the service was needed in certain areas, if it is to become a sustainable commercial operation and be in the best position to address the challenges and opportunities the service faces.

The areas where particular focus for improvement was identified are:

Reducing the cost of the service to schools through:

  •  Tackling waste
  • Reducing bad debts
  • Addressing the high levels of sickness absence

Improved Service Standards

  • Establishing brand standards for food quality
  • Better use of procedures and systems to ensure consistent standards of service delivery

Better Communication

  • Ensuring staff messages are simple, and effective 2-way communication takes place.
  • Improving communication with a range of stakeholders


  • Ensuring all staff are trained to perform their duties skilfully, efficiently and safely.

Service Development

In view of the identified improvements, the project board set up to oversee the alternative delivery model proposal has been closed down, and over the next 12 months a service improvement plan is being implemented to achieve the required developments. The outcomes of this plan for the service will be:

  • Better financial systems
  • Clearer agreements with schools
  • Consistent, and improved service standards
  • Skills and development training for staff
  • Improved business processes

There will also be a review of the resources of the service to achieve all the above objectives and ensure that it is stronger, more ready for future business success and fully able to deliver a high quality catering and cleaning services for the benefit of schools, local children and the wider community.

Moving Forward
The service improvement plan will be shared with schools via the School Forum, and periodic updates on the progress of the plan will take place via this forum and also through Bradford Schools Online.

School catering / cleaning staff working for the Facilities Management service will be kept informed on what is happening and encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas through various staff communication channels and via their Trade Unions. The Joint Trade Unions are committed to working with the management of the service to secure the future of this service and protect jobs and will support all members throughout any process of change.


Published: 14/04/2015
Audience: Head Teachers, Business Managers & Chair of Governors
Contact: Roger Sheard

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