Factsheet: School Cleaning Reforms

The Department is introducing a new cleaning model to improve the standard, quality and consistency of cleaning services in all government schools.

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What are the changes and why is this happening?

Next year the Department will introduce an area-based cleaning model for metropolitan schools and implement measures to improve school cleaning in regional Victoria.

The goal of this new approach is to improve the quality, standard and consistency of cleaning services in all Victorian government schools. The Department also wants to strengthen fair working conditions, and to provide greater assurance around cleaning staff in our schools receiving industry-standard remuneration and entitlements.

Student Resource Package (SRP) funds that are allocated to cleaning will be centrally administered by the Department for metropolitan schools in the area-based cleaning model.

Metropolitian government schools

  • An area-based cleaning model will be introduced for schools in metropolitan Melbourne during 2018
  • Eight separate zones will each be tendered to a single cleaning contractor.
  • Successful contractors must recruit from the existing school cleaning workforce.
  • There will be transitional provisions to support small cleaning businesses – this means that metropolitan schools serviced by smaller cleaning contractors defined as sole proprietors or those cleaning a single metropolitan school can transition to this area-based model over a longer period. 
  • This transitional provision recognises the role of smaller businesses in the cleaning industry and Victorian government schools.
  • The procurement process for the area-based metropolitan cleaning contracts will be managed centrally by the Department.
  • Schools will maintain oversight of some of the practical cleaning arrangements to guide an arrangement that suits their needs.

Regional government schools

  • Regional schools will continue to manage their cleaning contracts, with a strengthened compliance and monitoring framework for cleaning contractors servicing their schools. 
  • This framework is designed to ensure that cleaning contractors are adhering to the required legal and regulatory standards.
  • Minimum cleaning standards will be assessed through an audit regime.
  • The introduction of an annual audit of cleaning contractors.
  • Additional monitoring of cleaning contracts.

Contractors and current cleaning workforce

  • Changes will be carefully managed to support the existing cleaning workforce in Victorian government schools. 
  • Successful tender contractors will be required to hire from the existing cleaning workforce in Victorian government schools.
  • There will be transitional provisions to support small cleaning businesses.
  • The selection of cleaning contractors will be subject to an open, competitive tender process complying with Victorian government procurement standards.
  • Information about the tender process is on the Victorian Government Tenders website.

Next steps for schools

For now, all current systems and processes remain the same, and the new model will be implemented during 2018. 

Schools are required to keep their current cleaning contract information up to date on the Department database at all times, particularly as we transition to a new model. Schools must also ensure that all Working with Children Checks (WWCC) are up to date and copies of the sighted WWCC documentation are retained. A WWCC is valid for five years and after that time must be renewed.

As required, schools will be contacted by the Department in the coming months regarding the next steps to transition into the new model.

Schools, contractors and the existing cleaning workforce in all Victorian government schools will be supported through the transition to the new arrangements. 

More information

Schools can contact the School Contract Cleaning Unit for more information on cleaning@edumail.vic.gov.au, visit the Department website or call 1300 842 754.