But is it always 'right'?
One thing that is often noticeable is how organisations that operate schools do so as a purely academic industry, you may say that it should be but I'd disagree, all industries are not pure, and there is none that do not employ FM as a major part. Schools are no exception.
But what form should FM take in schools?
In my opinion Integration is the key, FM should not just focus on toilet cleaning, replacing light bulbs, or cutting the grass but be part of the main focus of the role that schools play, that of education.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that every caretaker can become a teacher, the two roles can be quite different.
..."FM is considered an integral part of the university experience – and this is a view that’s shared by the university board of governors. But what was quite sobering for us was when we decided to map out that student journey, and could see where we actually touch the student experience, and that way we can determine our spheres of influence". - See more at:http://www.fm-world.co.uk
Sometimes teachers carry an 'attitude' that they know best in all things, yet they are not 'Jacks of all trades' and often have a very specific metier. They are educated as professionals within their field, FM staff are trained within their fields of work, but it shouldn't be 'never the twain shall meet', in fact in this case the twain should be intertwined, with Academics and FM working together, understanding each other's roles and working to provide their customers with the best step forward is the only way to go.
Personally I work in such an environment, where FM and Academics mix on an almost level playing field, yet even here more could be done in my opinion.
An example of poor integration is for instance where teachers have named rooms in a strange way, but in reality rooms need to have a reference that is useful across the whole school and beyond, so should be discussed between the groups that need the addresses the most; the students, who need to find the classrooms, FM and associated organisations, so they can facilitate all necessary procedures, such as building management, fire risk assessments, Health and Safety compliance, cleaning etc without the need for detailed explanation as to where the classroom is... this is why householders don't choose their own postcodes!
An example of good integration is often the school play and other events, where both sectors work closely together to achieve success.
Edge Hill University in Lancashire; although not a school is an education establishment with many similarities, has an FM team that is integrated and the result is that this year their FM team has won a prestigious BIFM Award;
In recognising that their students are customers and providing a hotel-style service aligned to the overall university vision, the facilities management team at Edge Hill University has won the 2013 BIFM ‘In-house client team of the year’ award for their excellent service delivery (excerpt from FM World article)