St Paul’s School

St Paul’s School

St Paul’s School & Prep School is a leading independent school for boys up to age 18.  Located in Barnes, London, the complex site measures 43 acres, with multiple teaching and sporting facilities, small boarding and residential accommodation, serving many high-profile stakeholders.  The delivery of first-class service delivery is therefore extremely important to maintain the very best facilities.

Litmus ensured that the chosen service provider committed the right resources to deliver sustainable cleaning standards across the schools, and established a fully transparent financial model for the contract.

Facilities Manager at St Paul’s School


The school’s cleaning services contract was coming to an end and the leadership team wanted to re-frame the service requirement due to significant changes in size and use of the estate.  Whilst outsourcing remained the preferred service delivery method, demonstrating value for money for the investment in professional services was a key requirement of the tender assignment.


Litmus was commissioned to deliver four key services:

  • Undertake a pre-tender evaluation identifying the suitable business operational model for housekeeping (including labour, hours, equipment etc.), cost benchmarking and recommended suppliers for tender;
  • Write the specifications (input/output/combination of both);
  • Manage the tender process; and
  • Evaluate the tender submissions.

The scope of the project included cleaning, washroom services, laundry services and window cleaning.

The school was seeking a partner with the experience and capability to provide a truly innovative approach to the contract.


Joe Parfitt of the Litmus Partnership, said: “We began by surveying the school to provide context for our benchmarking assessment, and to understand the unique challenges faced by a contractor across the portfolio of buildings. With the support of the school’s Facilities Manager, we compiled a detailed breakdown of space dimensions by category, which enabled us to both benchmark the service cost and prepare the data needed for the tender specification.  Our options appraisal concluded that the school should continue to outsource housekeeping services, but within a robust performance framework with incentives for the contractor to deliver consistent cleaning standards.

“We conducted a pre-qualification process to shortlist contractors down to those with the right experience and capability to meet the schools’ requirements.  These companies were given a tour of the site and the opportunity to discuss the contract with the client; this helped to ensure they fully understood what the contract would entail if they won it.

“We issued a comprehensive tender pack and financial templates via our online tendering site, LTMS.  Following presentations and the successful contractor was confirmed, we then negotiated mutually beneficial contract terms and completed the appointment.”


The key deliverables achieved for the client were:

  • A three-year contract that both parties had confidence would deliver the high standard of cleaning required;
  • A cleaning service that harnessed new technologies to maximise the productivity of the cleaning team;
  • An agreement that incentivised excellent performance and continuous improvement in cleaning efficiency.
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“Joe is very approachable, pragmatic, understands his brief and does not try to impress the client with his views and skills, but takes a collegiate decision making process supporting the client all the way.”

Andy Francombe, Director of Finance