Property maintenance

The Property Occupancy Document requires you to keep your school well maintained. Caretakers can do some of the maintenance and some should be done by qualified tradespeople. Both caretakers and contractors performance need to be regularly assessed.

Maintaining school property

Regular maintenance keeps schools safe and free from hazards, such as obstructions, smells, leakages or rubbish.

Regular maintenance will also:

  • stop your school becoming run down ensuring the longevity of your school buildings
  • stop small problems becoming big ones needing costly repair
  • keep warranted products maintained to manufacturers standards.

Maintaining school buildings against the weather

A properly maintained school is better able to cope with extreme weather. Make sure:

  • trees are trimmed and any dead or unsafe trees are removed
  • gutters are regularly cleaned out
  • pipes are lagged in areas that have heavy frost
  • snow straps are put on spouting in areas that get snow.

Reducing the risk of flooding

Maintain radiators, boilers and pipes to reduce the risk of flooding.

When the school is closed:

  • turn off the water to the urinals
  • turn off all taps
  • make sure all sinks and drains are not blocked.

Cyclical maintenance

Cyclical maintenance is significant maintenance work that schools do on a cycle or regularly, but not every year. The most common example is painting the outside of school buildings, which is usually done every 7-10 years.

Calculation template

You can use the cyclical maintenance calculation template to help you calculate how much funding to set aside each year for each cyclical maintenance project.

Cyclical maintenance calculation template [XLSX, 22 KB]

Budgeting for painting

Painting a school is a substantial cost. You must set aside a portion of your Property Maintenance Grant funding every year to build up a fund for repainting the school. Otherwise you may struggle to come up with the money later.

Property Maintenance Grant funding

To budget for painting:

  • schedule painting buildings on a rotational basis. If buildings are painted in different years, it’s easier to manage your budget
  • consider regional factors affecting your school when organising painting (for example, sea spray corrosion in a coastal school) and choose the appropriate tools and materials
  • consider scheduled painting against any planned capital works. For example, if a refurbishment is planned in the next few years, then schedule painting for after that work.

Long-term maintenance contract

Some boards enter into a long-term maintenance contract for the school’s cyclical maintenance work every year or according to a longer-term plan. You need to complete the 10YPP summary maintenance schedule to show when your cyclical maintenance is scheduled.

Some long-term maintenance contracts include a financing arrangement. This must be within your school’s borrowing limits and disclosed appropriately in financial statements.

Cyclical capital work

Some major capital items at schools are regularly replaced, such as heating systems, roofing and fit out. You must plan for this from your 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding.

5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding

Maintenance by your caretaker

Your caretaker should be able to do most of your routine maintenance tasks, including cyclical maintenance. But you will need to call in specialists for some more technical maintenance, for example boiler systems.

If you don't employ a caretaker you may need to employ a person to perform these tasks as needed or allocate duties, such as checking taps, to staff members.

Caretaker checklist

Use the caretaker checklist as a starting point and, with your caretaker, review the listed activities and add tasks that are particular to your school.

Caretaker checklist [PDF, 699 KB]

When to use qualified tradespeople (contractors)

Some maintenance needs to be done by a qualified tradesperson.

Task to be completed by a qualified tradespersonSchedule or related information
Annual inspection of gas appliances  
Annual service of the boiler Boilers for school heating
Servicing switchboards Switchboard maintenance schedule [PDF, 534 KB]
Servicing air-conditioning split-system (not related to building warrant of fitness) Air-conditioning (split, cassette, high- wall units) maintenance schedule [PDF, 533 KB]
Servicing security panels and associated componentry

Security alarm panel maintenance schedule [PDF, 530 KB]

Security design in schools

This includes standard specifications for the installation and maintenance of a security alarm systems).

Projectors maintenance Projectors maintenance schedule [PDF, 520 KB]
Playgrounds maintenance

Playgrounds routine maintenance schedule [PDF, 532 KB]

Playgrounds on school sites

This includes designing, building and upgrading playground.

Most maintainable items will come with a manual or set of instructions with maintenance requirements. Other maintenance standards will come under AS/NZ Standards and legislation.

Standards New Zealand website(external link)

Your contractors should outline the tasks required for the maintenance work and provide assurances this work is appropriate.

Hiring contractors

You don’t need to follow our full procurement requirements for work costing less than $10,000 which will be most maintenance work. But you can test if you're getting value for money by:

  • asking for and comparing multiple quotes
  • comparing prices against other recent similar work
  • comparing prices against your understanding of current market rates.

More about direct source tendering (obtain a single quote) and closed tendering (seek 3 quotes):

Direct Source/Closed Tender Guide [PDF, 139 KB]

Signing in contractors

Make sure your contractors sign in when entering and leaving the school so that you're aware of who is onsite at any given time.

Keep a sign-in register at reception or the main school entrance for contractors to complete this every time they are onsite.

register [PDF, 57 KB] 

The detailed register will let you know about the contractors’ safety documentation, whether they've been police vetted, and their training and contact details.

Police vetting for school property projects

Maintenance contract templates

Download contract templates for ongoing or one-off maintenance work from:

Contracts for maintenance work

Paying contractors and caretakers

You must use your operational funding to pay caretaker wages, but you can pay for equipment and consumables your caretaker uses from your Property Maintenance Grant (PMG).

Pay contractors from your PMG.

Property Maintenance Grant for school maintenance work

Assessing caretakers’ and contractors’ performance

You should regularly assess your caretaker’s and contractors’ performance to make sure you are getting value for money. Performance includes their timeliness and the fixing issues.

Use the Maintenance Assessment Form (in consultation with your caretaker, contractors and any other relevant staff/people) to assess their performance.

Any poor performance or concerns should be escalated to the school leadership team.

Maintenance Assessment Form [PDF, 570 KB]

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