Charterhouse is a leading independent day and boarding school set over 200 acres of land in Godalming, Surrey.  It educates over 800 pupils, aged 13 to 18 years, with girls admitted to the sixth form.

As part of a school-wide review of service standards and efficiency, the management team wished to review how it delivers cleaning services. The review was conducted in a spirit of collaboration and recognised the knowledge and contribution of the team to the success of the school.


Charterhouse operates cleaning services in-house. As part of a school-wide review of service standards and efficiency, the management team wished to review how it delivers cleaning services and what opportunities there may be to be more efficient and deliver greater consistency.


The key objectives for the engagement were:

  • Deliver a report on the efficiency and effectiveness of the current cleaning operation against industry best practice;
  • Determine whether best value is being achieved through the existing cleaning resources when measured against industry benchmarks;
  • Establish whether financial savings could be potentially achieved and how the resources could be re-distributed in the interim;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the management and supervisory structure;
  • Recommend operational improvement; and
  • Provide a Strategic Options Appraisal comparing the current operating model with alternatives.


Joe Parfitt, the Litmus Partnership, said: “It was important we understood the existing set-up, and so we looked through every aspect of the operation including building plans, staff hours and location of work, equipment provisions and chemical prices.

“We then reviewed the cleaning process by inspecting a wide range of buildings during and after cleaning, scoring the standards achieved, along with observing the cleaning methodology against industry best practise.

“To benchmark the overall labour provision and its distribution across buildings, we used digital plans which gave a comprehensive data set of square meterage for each building. We also benchmarked non-labour and the whole service cost, which meant we had clarity across the entire operation and could then provide an options appraisal of the different services.”


A comprehensive report was produced that outlined a set of recommendations for developing the service delivery. This included identifying how the labour resource could be better distributed to achieve more consistency; demonstrating potential savings in cleaning product procurement; and highlighting development opportunities for staff to continue professionalisation of the service provision.

It was agreed that the best value approach was that Charterhouse should continue to deliver the cleaning services in-house.

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“The review we provided gave the most comprehensive summary of school-wide space by building on record. It’s this level of detail that enabled us, together with the school, to be able to confirm the best route forward.”

Joe Parfitt, the Litmus Partnership