Cleaning and Planned and Preventative Maintenance

University of Cambridge Primary School

Cleaning, Planned and Preventative Maintenance

University of Cambridge Primary School is a Single Academy Trust (Free School) in Cambridgeshire. The school is the first primary University Training School in the UK. The school is a co-educational primary for pupils aged 4 to 11 and presently has over 600 pupils. The school was newly opened in 2015.

The Background

University of Cambridge Primary School was part of a University campus wide contract providing a wide range of FM type services. These include cleaning, planned and preventative maintenance (PPM), waste management, pest control, security and grounds maintenance.

Minerva was approached by Amy White, Director of Business at the school, about running a tender for the cleaning and PPM elements of the provision as she was very unhappy with the service level being provided by the incumbent. The smaller elements of the current provision e.g. waste management and pest control were to be handled directly by the school through separate tenders albeit Minerva was asked for support in selecting suitable suppliers in these areas too.

Due to the contract values, the project needed to be fully compliant with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 requiring an initial Selection Questionnaire (SQ) stage and a secondary Invitation to tender (ITT) stage. Minerva recommend that the project be split into two separate Lots of cleaning & PPM to allow companies to bid for one or both Lots depending on their specific skillset. One of the key issues was cleaning staffing levels as the school felt that there were not enough staff on site to fulfil the needs of the school and with Cambridge being a challenging environment to recruit, they were keen to work with a company who could mitigate this staffing issue. For the cleaning contract, there were additional requirements included such as external window cleaning, feminine hygiene bins and washroom consumables. The PPM contract did not require any staff to be on site full time, this would be managed remotely with staff attending site to an agreed schedule with emergency cover as and when required.

The school completed the detailed checklists supplied by Minerva to provide the relevant background information, from which Minerva prepared all of the tender documents for potential bidders to review. Minerva draft scored the SQ submissions, controlled all correspondence and queries between the bidders and the school, organised and attended the site visits, draft scored the ITT submissions and also organised and attended the presentation day. The school were fully supported throughout the process.


This was an extremely attractive tender and there were twenty expressions of interest which resulted in six bidders making a formal submission at the SQ stage of the process for the cleaning Lot and four bidders for the PPM Lot which were then shortlisted to take through to the ITT stage.

The site visits for the two elements were run on the same day and hosted by Minerva during which all bidders were given the opportunity to view all elements of the site and ask any questions they felt necessary.

The presentation day was also hosted by Minerva which allowed the school staff to focus on the material being presented by the bidders. A number of areas across the bids were clarified during this process and this allowed the school to appoint the bidder they felt most closely matched their needs. In particular on the cleaning Lot the successful bidder gave them significant confidence in respect to their ability to recruit and retain a high quality team in Cambridge. For the PPM Lot, the successful bidder had considerable experience of the site having been involved in the initial build and also presented a credible plan to support all of the school plant & equipment.

Overall, the school were delighted with the end result and the contractors appointed for each of the Lots.

Customer Feedback

Our whole experience with Minerva has been nothing but positive from project kick off to finalisation. Minerva are an incredibly professional organisation who have extensive knowledge and experience in the Public Procurement sector. Minerva managed the entire process of our both our cleaning and PPM contracts with little impact or burden on our ‘day jobs’ which was so valuable as schools are an incredibly, dynamic workplace.

Minerva guided us through any aspects of the process and documentation we were not quite sure on and were happy to answer any of our questions or queries promptly. We were fully supported during all the site visits, these were facilitated completely by our representative from Minerva.

I cannot recommend Minerva enough. If you are looking for a company that will take away all the stress that a tendering process can bring, you can be confident that Minerva will be a professional, highly knowledgeable company that will support you all the way through the tendering process, then look no further.

We were so happy with the service provided that we have now commissioned Minerva to carry out the tendering process for our catering contract.

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