Multi-Lotted Tender – Planned and Preventative Maintenance, Cleaning & Grounds Maintenance

Europa School

Facilities Management

Europa School was established in 2012 and is an all through school for pupils aged 4-18 in a rural setting near Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Currently there are just under 1,000 pupils enrolled at the school. It is a bilingual school with IB world school status offering IB Diploma as the end qualification. The site is extensive  and consists of a wide variety of new and old  buildings housing primary and secondary  schools with several communal areas (Sports Halls, canteens, and other large spaces).

The Background

The school had been using a total facilities management provider for the above services for a number of years, but they felt that the service level was not up to their expectations and as such wanted to put the work out to tender to ensure that they were receiving demonstrable best value. There was no aversion to appointing a total FM provider but on recommendation from Minerva the decision was taken to make the tender three distinct Lots to ensure that smaller more specialist organisations could also bid for each of the individual elements.

Historically the service level had been quite poor specifically in relation to the cleaning element of the tender so the school was keen to tender and obtain comparative tenders which would allow them to secure a better level of service. There had also been a lack of reporting and reliable KPIs to allow them to monitor the service levels and this was another area they were keen to address. The current contract with the total FM provider was also due for renewal so was an optimum moment for the tender to be launched.

The project was created as 3 separate Lots all within the same over-arching project:-

                Lot 1 – Planned & Preventative Maintenance

                Lot 2 – Cleaning

                Lot 3 – Grounds Maintenance

Due to the value of the procurement the project was run as a process compliant with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR2015) comprising both an initial Selection Questionnaire (SQ) stage followed by an Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage including site visits and presentation days. The initial stage of the tender attracted a significant amount of attention from potential bidders and a good range of submissions were received from both large FM providers looking to bid for all three Lots down to small local providers who only wished to be considered for one of the Lots.


At the SQ stage, the following submissions were received following a total of 33 expressions of interest in the project:-

Lot 1 – Planned & Preventative Maintenance – 9 submissions

                Lot 2 – Cleaning – 10 submissions

                Lot 3 – Grounds Maintenance – 9 submissions

From these submissions, five bidders were taken through to the ITT stage against each Lot and invited to the site visit.

Following the presentation day submissions and the subsequent discussions, contracts were awarded to three separate organisations, each one specialising in the service provision for that Lot.

At all stages of the project Minerva was fully engaged with the School Leadership Team (SLT) and the board of Governors who were very actively involved in the entire process. We guided them through the complexities of the process and made sure that they remained compliant at all points. There were a number of complex questions to resolve, but all was done to the satisfaction of the client.

The client was particularly pleased with the outcome on PPM as they felt that the detailed and robust process had enabled them to appoint a new organisation offering far more flexibility than they had seen previously and could accommodate demand changes more readily. On the cleaning side the new company provided confidence that the service would improve significantly and new and more appropriate equipment would be provided to properly equip the staff on site. The grounds tender was awarded to the company who were already completing the work as a sub-contractor to the incumbent FM provider. The standard of work completed was already high, but the school felt that the FM organisation was not adding any value.

Customer Feedback

Very many thanks to yourself, Lorraine and the whole Minerva Team for your much valued support to Europa School throughout this procurement process. We could not have done this without your professional expertise and support at all stages. 

You came highly recommended to us by other Oxfordshire-based Trusts and we would certainly be very happy to do the same in future.

Director of Finance and Operations

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