What does the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) mean for UK schools?

With increasing pressures on school and college budgets and a challenging economic climate, finding the money needed to maintain and repair buildings and facilities can be a major headache for school leaders.

All staff and pupils in schools deserve to work and learn in environments that are inspiring and safe but choices of what improvements to make, where and when are not easy ones to make.

In this blog, we take a closer look at the Government’s Condition Improvement Fund which a number of our customers have used to great effect to refurbish their school washrooms to bring them up to date, get them Ofsted ready, and bring in line with strict health and safety standards.

What is the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF)*

The Condition Improvement Fund is an annual funding allocation that academies and sixth-form colleges are invited to bid for. The main priority for CIF is to address significant condition need, keeping academy and sixth-form college buildings safe and in good working order. This includes funding projects to address health and safety issues, building compliance and poor building and facility conditions.

In addition to improving the quality of school facilities, the fund also enables Good or Outstanding schools to expand where there is a need for them to do so.

In the latest round, the Government has confirmed it will provide funding of £514 million for 1,556 projects at 1,299 academies and sixth-form colleges in the UK.

Why invest in washroom refurbishment?

It is not unusual for a school washroom to be slightly overlooked with so many elements to manage in the school, and budgets often stretched, washrooms are often at the bottom of the list of priorities. Nevertheless, school washrooms are crucial to the wellbeing of your pupils and are recognised as such by Ofsted and by prospective students and parents when choosing a school. To ensure that both your pupils, staff and Ofsted are satisfied, take the time to ensure your washroom is in optimum condition.

Having specialised in school washroom refurbishments for over 20 years, our vast experience has led us to successfully refurbish hundreds of washrooms in the education sector. Our deep understanding of the unique demands of school and colleges and the Ofsted inspection process makes us experts in our field. We can also support you when making your funding application with advice to help you receive the support you need.

What our clients say

We pride ourselves on our customer service and project management skills to ensure projects run on time and within budget for our valued clients. Maria Rosario from Loyola Preparatory School in Essex, where we recently completed a refurbishment project, discusses the experience. “We have been very impressed with the level of service from all members of the Focus team. We were kept well informed at all stages of the process and everything went like clockwork. Despite being a rather fussy customer, our new washroom has been fitted to our precise specification and our boys love the new facilities. I would be happy to recommend Focus Washroom to other schools and customers, and we look forward to working with them again.”

What next?

So if you’re considering refurbishing your school washrooms, we can help. We provide total washroom refurbishment for your school, offering high-quality products and services of great value, on time. Our range of washroom furniture is created specifically for schools and features a wide choice of designs, robust fittings and a choice of height options – encouraging hygiene, privacy and safety to fit your budget.

Call 01707 254170 today to discuss your project and find out how we can help you make it a success.


Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Finding the perfect washroom for your workspace

At Focus, we offer a one-stop washroom refurbishment solution for businesses across the UK and we’re specialists in office washroom design. Your office washrooms will be visited not only by your staff but also by suppliers, customers and potential clients.

These facilities say a lot about your business and reflect your commitment to your corporate and brand values. In our latest blog, we talk about design, cubicles, choice of sanitary ware, government regulations and everything it takes to create a great office washroom to suit any budget.

The rules and regulations

Guidance from the Government’s Health and Safety Executive, in the ‘Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992’ the basic requirements and recommendations include the following:

  • Toilets must be sufficient and suitable, adequately ventilated and lit and kept in a clean and orderly condition.
  • Provision must be made for any workers with a disability to enable them to have access to facilities which are adjusted for their use if necessary.
  • Ambient temperatures in washrooms should be reasonable.
  • Sufficient toilet and washing facilities should be provided to allow everyone at work to use them without unreasonable delay.
  • Washbasins should have hot and cold, or warm, running water, and be large enough to allow a worker to wash their face, hands and forearms.
  • Toilet paper should be provided in a holder or dispenser. A coat hook should also be provided. In toilets used by women, suitable means for the disposal of sanitary dressings should also be provided.

There’s a range that’s perfect for you…

Further to this, washrooms should be designed with convenience, hygiene and style front of mind. Our wide range of cubicle systems means that we have the perfect solution for you.

Choose from the T1:90 range available in a wide range of colours and finishes and offers floor to ceiling privacy built with impervious laminate.

The S3:60 System offers outstanding strength, requiring minimal ongoing maintenance and is a practical solution to your office washroom challenges.

Offering enhanced privacy and stunning design, X5:80 cubicles are complemented by innovative duct panel, urinal screen and wash station options to create beautiful contemporary washrooms combined with privacy.

And finally, if you’re looking to wow your staff and visitors, ask our team about our ultimate washroom range – Stavio.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Changing your changing rooms in leisure centres and gyms

Washrooms and changing areas at leisure centres and gyms must be robust and easy to maintain since these are high traffic areas which get busy at peak times.

Health and safety is paramount, and hygiene is high up the priority list for such venues. The state of washrooms and changing rooms can make all the difference to whether visitors return, and with review sites like Trip Advisor, a bad review can be costly to business reputations.

We’ve highlighted the key factors you should consider when building or redesigning leisure centre washrooms to make sure you get the optimum combination of function and form that will keep your visitors coming back again and again.

Design and layout

Firstly, you must consider the layout to make the experience a positive one for your visitors. All wet changing areas should be based near the swimming pool, whilst dry changing areas should be separate for gym users. Strong and secure lockers should naturally be positioned near to the facilities for ease of use, and benches and chairs should be fitted in changing areas.

It is recommended that there should be two toilet areas as well – one for swimming pool users and one for gym users. Consideration should also be given to the design of the cubicles and locker doors to fit in with the centres’ aesthetics. Our team recently completed a project at Henley Leisure Centre and we used bold yellows, greens and grey to complement the style of the venue and brighten up the area. You can read more about this project here.

Robust materials are a must

You must also consider the durability of not only your cubicles, but also your fixtures and fittings, and sanitary ware – remember that leisure facilities can now be in operation up to 24 hours a day so they need to robust and of high quality to withstand heavy use or vandalism. When we worked on a recent project at Dicot Leisure Centre, we ensured that only the most robust materials were used that were waterproof and vandal proof.

Advice and industry standards

Our highly qualified team would be happy to advise you on your next washrooms project as we have vast experience in the leisure sector and last year alone, we refurbished over 200 washrooms. Simply get in touch on 01707 254170 today.

And for more information around best practice design and planning for sport and leisure centres, you can go to the official Sports England website – the leading authority in the UK.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Which washroom range is for you?

Our team at Focus Washrooms are celebrating our 20th anniversary in business and over these last two decades, we’ve become a leading authority on washroom refurbishments. Over the years our product range and our services have diversified, but our commitment to providing the optimum washroom experience for everyone remains the same.

In our latest blog, we talk about our key range of washrooms and what makes what we do so special.

T1:90 – Total washroom safety and privacy

The T1:90 range offers floor to ceiling privacy and is a great solution for secondary schools and offices. Its robust design is perfect for high traffic areas and it’s available in a wide range of colours and finishes to complement your design scheme.

Discover more about this safe and private full-height washroom system.

Read more ›

X5:80 – Prestigious style meets increased privacy

Enhanced privacy and stunning design are the hallmarks of the stylish X5:80 range. These are ideal for washrooms in executive, hospitality and leisure settings, as well as high-profile projects in education and commercial sectors.

The cubicles are complemented by innovative duct panel, urinal screen and wash station options to create beautiful contemporary washrooms with the ultimate level of privacy.

Read more ›

S3:60 – Designed for practicality and engineered to last

System S3:60 offers outstanding strength, requiring minimal ongoing maintenance and is a practical solution to your washroom challenges. Choose from a wide range of colours and finishes to create your dream washroom that will tie in with your overarching décor scheme.

Get inspired ›

K2:12 – Vivid designs for children’s washrooms

Encourage hygiene and imagination with our range of washrooms designed just for kids. Vivid colours and creative illustrations designed to bring your washroom to life and create an engaging and pleasant experience in school washrooms.

Find out more ›

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Designing the perfect school washroom

When designing your school washrooms, there are many factors to consider including hygiene, safety, privacy and of course, design.

Throughout our 20 years of experience in designing washrooms in education settings, we know that by providing a bright, clean and fully functional space can actually help to reduce any bullying or vandalism.

Where to start?

If your washrooms are starting to look tired and in need of an update, don’t let them reflect badly on your school. Our team will guide you through the design and refurbishment process explaining each step. We’ll advise you on how many facilities you need per pupil, we’ll ensure that your new washrooms meet strict UK government requirements and we’ll also support you in passing your Ofsted inspections when it comes to the set washroom criteria. Designing the perfect washroom for you
For younger children, we have the K2:12:  a range of washroom furniture featuring vivid designs, robust fittings and a choice of height options helping to encourage both hygiene and imagination.For older children and adults, the S3:60 gives a stunning finish coupled with outstanding strength, requiring minimal ongoing maintenance. And our T1:90 range offers the privacy and respect required in a washroom environment.

Colours and finishes

All of our products are made to order so you simply choose options to suit your requirements including the panel and door heights, wash stations, duct panels, sanitaryware and mirrors. We offer a huge range of colour schemes and finishes from muted and pastel shades to bright and vibrant colourways, plus we offer printed illustrations and picture prints to engage with younger children.

You’re in safe hands

We’ve developed a tried and tested approach to ensure that your project will run on time and on budget. Every phase is planned from when we carry out our first survey, to risk assessments, project plans through to completion. We’re so confident that this process works that we’ll provide you with a guaranteed completion date.

In the last year, we’ve refurbished over 200 washrooms, and we’d love to help you with your next project.  If you’re considering refurbishing your school washrooms, get in touch on 01707 254170 today.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Celebrating 20 years of Focus Washrooms

We are thrilled to celebrate our 20th anniversary and over two decades of service in providing innovative washroom solutions to education and commercial industries.

This year marks 20 years since Focus Washrooms was founded by David Davis in 1998, over which time our product range has grown and diversified to meet the everchanging demands of our clients. Starting from a small team of two, Focus Washrooms has grown to a thriving design and refurbishment business where we employ over 40 people across Norfolk and Hertfordshire.

Commitment to innovation

In today’s challenging business environment, we’re particularly proud of achieving this key milestone, and we’d like to thank our passionate and driven team who have made Focus Washrooms what we are today.

Our team are dedicated and committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in our industry to further our product development and delight our valued clients. Our mission is, and always will be, to enhance the world’s washroom experience through our innovative approach and our exceptional quality of products and services.

Investment in growth

The Focus Washrooms Innovation Centre is based in Dereham, Norfolk, where we’ve recently spent significant investment to increase production capacity, Our main office and factory is based in Welham Green where we utilise a number of state-of-the-art CNC (computer numerically controlled) machinery that keep us at the cutting edge of innovation.

The next 20 years

Kevin Dunham, Managing Director, “Focus Washrooms is committed to continued growth through the expansion of our product range and our services. We look forward to the next 20 years in business where we continue to focus on our three core values – reliability, competence and care.”

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Happy campers. Holiday park facilities to keep them coming back

There are reportedly over 3000 caravan and camping holiday parks across the UK meaning that there’s tough competition to attract holidaymakers. Our team understands the importance that’s placed on the quality of your washroom facilities and so we’ve put together this short guide to help you breeze through your assessments and keep your visitors coming back year after year.

Official accreditations for holiday park washrooms

There are two main official accreditations to help visitors make an informed decision on where to holiday, which include the AA and Visit England Awards. Both of these recognised bodies operate a ‘5 point’ rating to show the level of quality of accommodation and both place importance on the inspecting and rating of your washroom facilities.

Visit England
The criteria for achieving Visit England ‘stars’ includes inspecting ‘the overall quality of the site, including individual pitches/caravans, the arrival service, bathroom and laundry facilities and external signage and lighting.’

Read more on their website


AA Awards
AA accreditation for caravan parks and campsites are inspected and rated from one to five ‘black pennants’. ‘These are accessed on the quality and variety of facilities a park offers, including customer care and hospitality, toilet facilities and park landscaping.’

Read more on their website

Are your holiday washrooms getting 5-star reviews?

In recent years, alongside Visit England and the AA Awards, there’s a new standard of review that has perhaps become the most powerful. Trip Advisor launched in 2000, ‘provides travellers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, what to do and where to eat.’ For frank and honest reviews on your washrooms and to see what your visitors are saying, Trip Advisor is the place to start.

It’s time for a change… So if your washrooms are underperforming in the ratings, and your guests are less than happy on Trip Advisor, it’s time to review your washrooms and make improvements which will boost ratings, reviews and drive repeat business.

Why choose Focus Washrooms?

Focus Washrooms has over 20 years experience in the industry and we offer a wide range of robust, vandal proof, high-quality and stylish washroom solutions.

Our team understand the legislation that surrounds the provision of washrooms at holidays parks so working with us on your refurbishment project will mean that you’ll be compliant with health and safety and official government advice.

We’ll work with you to define your exact requirements in line with the ‘Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960’ and ‘Section 5 Model Standards for Touring Caravan Sites 1983’, and your assigned project manager will ensure that the build and refurbishment run smoothly from concept to completion.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

Get educated in school washroom hygiene

The most important objective in the education sector is to give children the highest quality of learning in a safe and healthy school environment. So getting you, your staff and your pupils educated in school washroom hygiene should be at the top of your priority list.

Staying safe and healthy

Teachers have a strong role to play in educating children on good hygiene practices and by doing so they can help schools to stay healthy, avoid illnesses and cut down on germs. After all, when choosing schools, parents will use hygiene and safety as one of their criteria, so don’t let this let your school down.

Along with teaching good hygiene, there are a number of important things to consider in the washrooms as well. Whilst it can be hard to keep washrooms with high footfall in optimum hygiene conditions, it’s essential to the welfare of your pupils.

Education sector specialists

With over two decades of working with the education sector, we understand the challenges that students and teachers face. Our range of washroom cubicles and accessories are robust, easy to clean & maintain and designed specifically for education facilities. Clean lines and innovative design can make all the difference when keeping washrooms clean and germ-free, and so our experienced design team will work with you to find the perfect solution to your washroom challenges.

Hygienic wall cladding

We recommend the use of Trovex hygienic wall cladding which has an antibacterial finish that delivers proven, long-lasting protection with easy maintenance and a beautiful appearance which you can see in action in our recent project at The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle School

Engaging designs

And finally, it’s important to create washrooms that children will want to use, so our ranges are available in a rainbow of colours to suit any design scheme and our themed hygienic laminate designs are bright and engaging to promote learning. Take a look at our recent project at Duncombe Primary and Nursery School where we used a vivid colour palette that incorporated our Farmyard, Water World and Pond Life themed laminate designs, along with high-quality fixtures and fittings.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

How to get full marks on your Primary School Washroom

School washrooms are an important part of a child’s school experience and when planning your refurbishment, there are a lot of factors to consider.

These range from understanding how many facilities you need per pupil, to making sure that your new washrooms meet strict UK government requirements and that they support your school to pass Ofsted inspections. We’ve put together some criteria that you’ll find helpful whilst considering your project planning.

Government advice – what you need to know

There are varying recommendations for washrooms based on age and gender of the pupils. But for primary schools, the government’s ‘Advice on Standards for School Premises’ document recommends that for Primary key stage 1 – 2  pupils aged between 5 – 11 years, there should be at least 1 WC for every 20 pupils. They specify that there must also be 1 washbasin per WC. There should be adequate numbers of facilities for both female and male pupils which ensure sufficient privacy, and each toilet for disabled pupils needs to contain one toilet and one washbasin.

Unrestricted access for pupils

According to ERIC, the UK charity dedicated to the bowel and bladder health of all children and teenagers in the UK, every pupil should always have unrestricted access to washroom facilities, whenever the need arises. This means that no school should endorse a policy of not allowing pupils to use the WC during lesson times.

Ofsted inspections

School washrooms are crucial to the wellbeing of pupils, and are recognised as such by Ofsted. To ensure that both your pupils and Ofsted are satisfied, take the time to ensure your washroom is in top condition today. The key factors the Ofsted will be reviewing are hygiene, safety, privacy and design. For more information on your Ofsted inspection, visit our blog that covers more detail.

Experience in education

Having specialised in school washroom refurbishments for over 20 years, our vast experience and expertise have led us to successfully manage hundreds of washroom projects in the education sector. Creating washrooms which are hygienic, robust and will stand the test of time is important, and using our in-depth industry and product knowledge we’ll ensure that your new washrooms are bright and engaging spaces for primary school pupils.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170

The importance of good washroom design in business

A recent study by Cannon Hygiene International found that 86 percent of customers would not return to a premises if the washroom was dirty or unhygienic.

A recent study by Cannon Hygiene International found that 86 percent of customers would not return to a premises if the washroom was dirty or unhygienic. This statistic is particularly relevant for businesses who welcome a high volume of customers, such as restaurants, schools and sporting venues, but it applies equally to almost every business who values the opinion of their customers and clients.

A washroom serves as a reflection of the type of business you operate, and a poorly designed washroom can reflect negatively on the business overall. That’s why, in our latest blog post, we’re taking a closer look at the importance of good washroom design.

Healthy Employees

Hygienic and well maintained facilities are crucial when it comes to good washroom design. Germs from unhygienic washrooms can make employees unwell, increasing employee absenteeism, and ultimately impacting the bottom line of the business. This happens when germs from a dirty washroom transfers to an employee, and they become sick, often infecting their coworkers in the process.

By installing a hygienic washroom for your business complete with antibacterial surfaces and easy to clean facilities, you can help to greatly reduce the spread of such harmful germs and infections in the workplace, and to ensure a healthier environment for your employees.

Productive Employees

Another way in which washroom design impacts the bottom line of your business is in employee productivity. Good washroom design can help to ensure that your washroom is a hygienic and pleasant environment for your employees to use, however, the opposite is true when it comes to poor washroom design.

An unhygienic washroom will lead your employees to develop feelings of negativity about the company they represent, impacting their morale, their productivity in the workplace, and, of course, the bottom line of the business.

Good washroom design can greatly enhance an employee’s happiness at work and will help to keep them motivated to come to work in a clean and hygienic environment.

Positive First Impressions

It is a fact of human nature, that the first impressions we form of a person, a place, or indeed a business, often proves to be lasting. With this is mind, the design and cleanliness of your washroom can lead a customer or a client to form a positive or negative impression that may be applied to the business as a whole.

Cleanliness and hygiene are highly valued traits by people in general, and a lack of either will reflect badly on your company, calling into question your brand values, the standards you set, and the quality of the service you deliver.

Unsurprisingly, 99% of people are reported to have said that they believe an unhygienic washroom reflects badly on the company itself, with a further 58% stating that washroom hygiene was ‘very important’ to their perception of the company.

Implementing a well-designed washroom, and maintaining it properly on a long-term basis, will ensure that any potential customer or client who visits your premises will leave with a positive impression, and will be sure to return.

An investment in the washroom of your business is a long-term investment in the business itself. What you pay in short-term costs will be repaid many times over in improved employee attendance, heightened employee productivity, and the good esteem of your clients and customers.

Are you looking to redesign your washroom in 2018? Contact Trovex Washrooms on 01707 254170, or email us at sales@focuswashrooms.com to discuss how we can help you.

Call and arrange your free site survey:
01707 254 170