Caretaker / site manager / janitor

Site managers or caretakers play a vital role in schools being responsible for the maintenance and security of school buildings. They often take over the management of frontline caretaking, cleaning and security. You could also be employed as a mobile caretaker, responsible for several different sites.

What’s involved

The brief of site manager or a caretaker can vary widely depending on the size of the school, but often includes some or all of the following:

  • Setting the priorities for maintenance and repairs
  • Carrying out basic repairs
  • Managing access to the premises and maintaining security
  • Cleaning or supervising cleaning
  • Planning site use and development
  • Championing health and safety around the school, and supervising external contractors
  • Managing site staff

Skills and experience you will need

Premises managers need to:

  • Be able to work flexibly
  • Have basic DIY skills
  • Be reasonably fit to cope with the lifting and carrying involved

Entry requirements

It's unusual for schools to demand particular academic qualifications when advertising premises manager posts, but they may offer short, off-the-job training courses (eg, first aid, health and safety).

The following qualification is available for those not yet employed in the role:

  • Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools

However, this award is solely theory-based, without requiring a placement in a school, so it is important to check with the school or local authority whether they would accept the qualification.

You may also be able to get into premises management through an apprenticeship scheme. Look for an apprenticeship here.

Training and development

Once in the post, there are numerous development opportunities for site staff. Post-holders could take a vocational qualification in the following:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Property, Caretaking and Facilities Services
  • Level 2 Certificate in Cleaning and Support Service Skills
  • Level 2 Certificate in Facilities Services

Experienced caretakers with responsibility for managing a small team may be able to consider:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Property Caretaking and Facilities Supervision
  • Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Facilities Management

For more information and to find centres offering these qualifications, please contact WAMITAB (Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board)

Information about the role is also available on The Caretakers' Website, an independent website written by caretakers across the UK. This is a useful site for looking for job vacancies and finding out about online training.

If you need more help speak to the person at work responsible for your career development or your Union Learning Representative.

Useful links

Have a look at the premises role profiles under the facilities job family to find out more about the different levels you could work at.

The Caretakers Website lists job vacancies, training opportunities and more: www.thecaretakers.net

For more information in Scotland contact Skills Development Scotland

In Northern Ireland contact Careers Service Northern Ireland

In Wales/Cymru contact Careers Wales