Appearances mean everything

First impressions can be lasting, not just when meeting people, but also when seeing a building. When parents come to a school on open days when deciding where to send their child it is important the building and its surrounding areas are pristine.

Sometimes, these initial opinions can help a parent make their decision. They want to make sure their youngster goes to an educational establishments that not only provides a first-class education, but also takes pride in its appearance.

Every area of the school should be presentable at all times, so visitors are impressed as soon as they enter the grounds.

Car park

As soon as a parent enters the car park they will be judging the school, which means even this area needs to be taken care of.

Make sure there is no litter either in or surrounding the area where visitors will leave their vehicles. The school should regularly repaint the road markings on the tarmac, as faded lines can make the car park look scruffy.

In addition, the outside of the building should be well-maintained. The windows should be clean and any graffiti or grime should be washed off routinely.


Any entrances to the school should be manicured and well-maintained to lay the foundations of a positive and lasting impression.

Any tatty notices or aged examples of student work should be removed and replaced with laminated alternatives, so they last longer and can be wiped if they become a bit grubby over time.

If the school has won any awards, or has received a high score from Ofsted then these should be displayed here to immediately catch parents and visitors’ attention.


All notices that line the hallways should be neat and tidy and should be replaced if they have suffered damage or vandalism. These walls also provide perfect places to display student work to give the parent an idea about what their child might learn at the school.

The floors should be pristine, which is a job a contract cleaner could do on a regular basis to make sure they shine.

Assembly hall

On school open days, staff and parents will more than likely congregate in the assembly hall at some point. This means this area in particular should be clean, tidy and welcoming.

All the chairs and tables used should be in good repair, free of graffiti and all hidden chewing gum should be removed beforehand. A quick way to do this is to use drizzle some oil – vegetable or olive – on the offending globs, leave for five minutes and then scrape off with a spatula.

Any drapes or curtains should be clean and smell fresh, as a musty odour can be very off-putting, especially if you’re sat close. The floor should be immaculate and should have an impressive shine.

It is important to remember that parents are there to decide whether or not the school is good enough for their child, so it is vital the building is as aesthetically pleasing as the curriculum is attractive.

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