Sodexo, the world’s largest services company, has won a 5 year, £10 million Integrated Facilities Management contract with seven schools in Swindon to provide hard and soft FM services and catering.

This is a further contract win for Sodexo’s new Schools by Sodexo offer, which brings together facilities management services, as well as a new modern school food brand, Food & Co. by Sodexo, following the announcement of the contract win with Wellspring Academy Trust last month.

The PFI contract is with ESSL (Education Services Swindon Ltd) and seven schools are part of the contract. These are two secondary schools (Abbey Park School and Nova Hreod), three primary schools (Red Oaks, Orchid Vale and Moredon) and two schools for pupils with severe learning difficulties (Brimble Hill and Uplands).  Four of the schools are situated on a single “Learning Campus” site, with the other three located separately in the Swindon Borough.  All of the schools are within four miles of Sodexo’s education business’s head office.

Services within the scope of the contract include catering, cleaning, premises management (caretaking and security), waste management, grounds maintenance, vending, helpdesk, utilities management, planned and reactive maintenance, winter services (snow and ice) and management of third party lettings. Most of these services will self-delivered by a team of 90 - 100 Sodexo staff, with Sodexo also employing some specialist contractors.

The schools will benefit from Sodexo’s new modern school food and dining room offer, ‘Food & Co. by Sodexo’, which moves away from tradition and has been developed following research conducted with pupils in key stages 2, 3 and 4 (ages 7-16) to understand the type of food they like, how they would like to eat it, as well as their preferred dining environment and experience.

Sodexo ran workshops with students at the Swindon schools to shape the new dining environment, as part of its ‘Agents for Change’ programme. The programme provides pupils with a meaningful voice to help shape and promote better health and wellbeing by ensuring the food and dining experience at their school is an inclusive and positive one which meets their needs.

During the workshops, the ‘Agents’ actively debated colour-schemes, designs, and graphic wall art, and counters to create a bespoke Food & Co. design to reflect the school community and its values. The aim is to create a dining area that is truly somewhere pupils ‘own’ and where they want to eat.

Some quotes from students involved in the process:

“The photo designs are welcoming and make you feel welcome”
“It’s great that we can make space, it makes it ours – cos it’s not part of the school it’s our social space.”

“The food is really exciting and makes me feel hungry, I can’t wait!”

The boxes will be great for those who are doing GCSE’s who have study leave and go home for something to eat – usually toast! – this offer is more enticing for them to stay at school for revision.

The daily changing Acts and different days each week will make the dining experience better and more choice can only be a good thing!

Cool, high street feel to the branding, not like a school!

Students will also be involved in launching the new food and dining area to their peers as advocates.

Matt Garner, Managing Director for Schools, Sodexo UK and Ireland commented; “This is a good win for Schools by Sodexo and we are delighted to working with the schools so close to our home in Swindon.
The comprehensive integrated solutions we offer as part of Schools by Sodexo are designed to drive efficiencies and to support schools with non-academic, but sometimes safety critical tasks.
Through the provision of these services we’re confident we can support the schools’ leadership teams and improve quality of life for the pupils, staff and the wider school communities.
We are particularly excited to be working directly with pupils at the schools through our ‘Agents for Change’ programme. So far we’ve had fantastic feedback from the students and are excited about the potential to deliver better engagement with food and better health outcomes as a result.  
As the feedback above shows, the pupils have told us that they are excited about the dining designs and the new menu concept .

Sodexo currently works with over 125 state schools sector and has over 10 years’ experience delivering integrated facilities services to schools across the UK and Ireland. The new Schools by Sodexo offer is designed to meet the needs of academy trusts who are increasingly looking for suppliers who can offer greater standardisation and integration of services across their schools.

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