Staff at a York primary school say a weight has been lifted off their shoulders after a Sewell Facilities Management team was brought in to tackle day-to-day site maintenance.

Poppleton Ousebank Primary School in Main Street has 500 pupils and began to run into difficulty last year after its site manager, with responsibilities including cleaning and caretaking, left suddenly.

Sewell Group was then recommended to the school following positive work through a similar partnership with Elvington Primary School.

Following several meetings and assessments of how best to help the school move forward, the Sewell Facilities Management team is now in place, working with the existing on site caretaker to ensure smooth running of the premises while staff concentrate on the pupils and education.

It is the 13th partnership formed by Sewell Facilities Management in schools across the Yorkshire region in just 12 months, as the business continues to grow from strength-to-strength.

School Business Manager Judy Sandilands said: “Our site manager left in summer last year and we had been struggling with the various jobs which needed doing.

“Since the Sewell team came in, it has been fantastic and every member of the team is so helpful.

“I can’t praise them highly enough for their efficiency and professionalism, and they fit in here as if we have always known them. They are like an extension of our staff.

“Last term, I was worried about how we would get through Health and Safety, and Fire procedures and assessments.

“They have taken all the worry off our shoulders and said ‘leave it to us’, which gives us peace of mind.

“This service also provides Governors with the information needed for Health and Safety compliance.

“We have to tick all the boxes, which they know all about, and if we call them for anything, they come straight away.

“Our focus is the children and education, so to be able to hand the other things over to someone else is a huge weight off our shoulders.”

For decades, Sewell Facilities Management has provided local, hands on support to ensure learning environments are fit for purpose.

From general grounds maintenance and statutory compliance, to lifecycle planning and preventative programmes of work, the company takes care of every aspect of the school, leaving staff to concentrate on their day to day business.

Work carried out at Poppleton Ousebank Primary School to date includes joinery, electrical maintenance, small building jobs, health and safety and fire alarm assessments, caretaking, and work to improve stock cupboard storage space in the school kitchen.

Sewell Facilities Management is also working hand in hand with staff to develop common sense approaches to health and safety, ensuring a practical solution, as well as giving them the knowledge, confidence and tools to ensure their buildings and activities are safe.

Sewell Facilities Management Managing Director Martin Stead said: “I am really pleased this partnership came from a referral from past excellent work.

“We were able to help the school team out short term, find out where the issues were and shape a bespoke solution that works for them.

“They are a high performing school and, from the moment you walk through the reception door, you have that intangible feeling of knowing you are in a good, well run, professional but friendly and fun environment.

“From the off, they have demonstrated they are a fantastic team and school to work with, and I’m looking forward to it being a long and successful partnership.”