School cleaners are responsible for maintaining high standards of cleanliness throughout the school.

What’s involved

A school cleaner's role includes:

  • Cleaning certain parts of the school site
  • Vacuuming carpeted areas and washing floors
  • Sweeping uncarpeted areas 
  • Emptying and cleaning bins 
  • Spot cleaning of spillages
  • Cleaning desks, seats and skirting boards
  • Cleaning toilet areas and replenishing toiletries
  • Cleaning doors and windows
  • Checking stock levels of cleaning materials
  • Reporting all defects/hazards immediately to the caretaker or supervisor

Skills and experience you will need

  • A reasonable level of fitness
  • Punctual, reliable and trustworthy
  • Able to manage time effectively
  • Ability to work both alone and in a team
  • Awareness of health and safety procedures
  • Reading skills for following instructions
  • Maths skills for measuring cleaning fluids

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry qualifications for the role. Employers may look for basic written and oral skills, and a responsible attitude. 

You may be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship scheme. 

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

  • Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools

This award is solely theory-based, without requiring a placement in a school, and would give you an understanding of working in a school environment. 

Training and development

When you start work, you will usually receive and induction covering health and safety, how to use cleaning equipment and materials and how to identify suitable equipment and materials for different tasks.

Potential qualifications include:

  • Level 1 Award/Certificate in Cleaning and Support Service Skills
  • Level 2 Award in Cleaning Principles
  • Level 2 Certificate in Cleaning and Support Service Skills
  • Level 3 Diploma in Cleaning Supervision Skills

The University of Northampton offers qualifications, such as the Cleaning Management University Certificate, which have been developed in partnership with the British Institute of Cleaning Sciences. These are aimed at cleaning supervisors and managers and can be studied by distance learning. Check with the University of Northampton for details.

If you need more help speak to the person 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.

British Institute of Cleaning Science

For more information in Scotland, contact Skills Development Scotland

In Northern Ireland contact Careers Service Northern Ireland

In Wales / Cymru contact Careers Wales