We recently commissioned research that asked teachers about the cleanliness of their schools. It addresses the impact that the cleanliness of classrooms has upon the behaviour and performance of their pupils, as well as upon their own performance.
The research shows that a clean classroom, hallway and communal space at school has far further reaches than simply reducing the spread of viruses and improving attendance. Teachers commented on the impact a clean classroom can have on mental wellbeing, pupil mindset and overall performance across the school.
Pupil and Staff Mental Wellbeing and Mindset
According to our study, 83% of primary school teachers say that there is a noticeable change in pupil behaviour when the classroom is clean and tidy versus not. In addition to this 90% of teachers claimed that they feel a difference to their own mental health when their workplace is clean. In fact, 50% of teachers surveyed have stayed late purely to ensure their classroom is clean and tidy ready for the next day.
One teacher commented that “by having a clean and organised classroom to start with, it gives children an expected standard. It allows them to take ownership to keep their own space clean and tidy. There are huge differences in a child’s attitude when a space is clean and keeping it that way versus asking a child to clean up their mess in an already untidy area”.
Two in five teachers know of primary school children showing signs of mental health issues. These include anxiety, panic attacks and even depression. Creating a safe and ordered sanctuary for young people to learn in can make a real difference to their mental health as well as their performance. Richard Colwill, spokesman for the mental health charity SANE commented “Children’s mental health is something that we should all be concerned about. Creating and maintaining clean and safe environments for our children is an expression of that concern. It’s importance should not be underrated.”
Pupil and Staff Performance
A clean classroom certainly impacts a pupil’s mental wellbeing and behaviour positively, but in addition to this over 80% of teachers also believe that a clean and tidy working environment contributes towards a better pupil performance.
The most important benefit of a clean classroom is the fact that it maximises the learning experience of the students. According to studies, dirty environments have a detrimental effect on student learning as well as their overall performance.
In summary I think we can all agree that having a clean school is only going to benefit the school, it’s pupils and it’s staff. We’ve come up with five simple tips to maintain a clean working environment within a school.
Top Tips from The Cleaning Company
- BRING IN THE PROFESSIONALS -Our number one piece of advice is always going to be hire a professional cleaning contractor that knows what their doing. Specialist school cleaning contractors, like The Cleaning Company, know the challenges facing schools and how to tailor their services to each school most effectively.
- INTRODUCE 'CLEANING MONITORS' - Young children actually love being given extra responsibilities. They are responsible for a bank of desks and ensuring their classmates keep it tidy. You are teaching your students responsibility as well as good cleaning habits. You could further this and implement a ‘Green Team’ who are in charge of keeping the school on track with recycling and paper waste around the school.
- GIVE CLUTTER A HOME - To avoid clutter and disorder, designate certain areas of the classroom for pupil’s belongings, shelves or wall hooks work well for this.
- HAVE A HYGIENE ACCIDENT PLAN - Keep disinfectant at each teacher’s desk. This means that if there’s an accident or issue it can be quickly and painlessly resolved. We wrote a piece for Primary School Matters Magazine recently on 'Cleaning up the Unexpected' which covers exactly how to manage these situations.
- SET ASIDE A 'CLEAN THE SCHOOL' DAY - This is something we’ve seen work really well. It is where pupils are given one day or afternoon per term to help with a project at the school. It could be a display in classrooms or a gardening project. Something to help students connect with their classrooms and make their school feel more ordered. This, again, teaches them responsibility and caring for their environment.
The Cleaning Company provides exceptional cleaning services across a range of sectors, including education, hospitality and healthcare. To speak to us further about any of the above or to discuss using our cleaning services please contact us.