School premises managers play a vital yet often overlooked role in ensuring the smooth and safe functioning of educational institutions. As the unsung heroes behind the scenes, these dedicated professionals are responsible for managing the physical environment of schools, overseeing maintenance, health and safety, compliance, environment and creating a conducive learning space for students and staff. In this article, we delve into the essential responsibilities and qualities of a premises manager, shedding light on their invaluable contributions to the education sector.

1. Guardians of School Infrastructure:

At the core of their role, premises managers are guardians of the school’s infrastructure. They are tasked with maintaining the buildings, facilities, and grounds, ensuring that they are in optimal condition for educational activities. From carrying out routine inspections to organising repairs and renovations, premises managers are proactive in addressing potential issues, safeguarding the school’s physical assets for the long term.

2. Ensuring Health and Safety Compliance:

The safety and well-being of everyone within the school premises is paramount. Premises managers work diligently to ensure that the school meets all health and safety regulations and complies with statutory requirements. They conduct thorough risk assessments, implement safety protocols, and manage the selection and control of vital contractors ensuring that the building statutory compliance and condition of the school estate and environment is compliant.

3. Facilities Management and Resource Allocation:

Resourceful and highly organised, premises managers excel at facilities management and resource allocation. Working with the school business manager they efficiently plan and allocate budgets for maintenance, repairs, and supplies, optimising limited resources to achieve the best possible outcomes. Their ability to balance the needs of the school with budgetary constraints makes them indispensable members of the school.

4. Building and Nurturing Partnerships:

Premises managers often work closely with external contractors and service providers, such as maintenance teams, compliance contractors, building project staff, and other external professional bodies such as building control, Fire Safety Inspectors, HSE inspectors, LA enforcement officers. Building and nurturing partnerships with these stakeholders are vital to ensure seamless operations and access to specialised expertise when needed. Effective communication and collaboration are key to successful relationships that benefit the entire school community.

5. Emergency Preparedness:

The role of the premises manager in the preparedness of such an emergency is critical to the safety of the school occupants. This often includes the planning of the emergency arrangements including emergency evacuation plans, fire safety management policy, fire evacuation chair training, servicing of the active fire systems – fire alarms, emergency lighting and the local testing arrangements being a major part of their key role.

In times of crisis, premises managers are relied upon to implement emergency plans and procedures. Whether it’s responding to fire alarm activation, serious accident within the school, a security/lock-down incident, a major building issue, their swift actions and level-headedness ensure the safety of all individuals on the premises.


In conclusion, school premises managers are the unsung heroes who ensure the school’s physical environment functions seamlessly, enabling students and staff to focus on learning and personal growth. Their role encompasses diverse responsibilities, from maintaining facilities and ensuring compliance to managing resources and preparing for emergencies. As a critical link between education and infrastructure, premises managers deserve recognition and appreciation for their unwavering dedication to creating safe, supportive, and inspiring learning spaces for generations to come.


The National Alliance of School Premises Managers (NASPM) is here to support premises staff to effectively manage your school estate in a safe way.

We are the only national organisation working with school premises staff, providing a health, safety and estates management resource with the sole aim to provide a professional school premises standard with opportunities for continuous development. Find out more about membership here: