With schools facing another year without a funding increase, we look at some of the strategies being used to save money.
"It has not been possible to fund additional pressures facing schools in 2018-19.” The news delivered by the DfE is sure to be frustrating for school leaders. Making additional savings on top of the huge job of running a school is no easy task. Here, we list some ideas used by schools we work with to try tackle the funding challenge.
1. From paper to digital
It requires some initial investment, but switching from paper and printing to SMS and email, can save your school huge amounts. Many schools already do this for communications with parents. Using digital for everything from staff payslips to trip forms will ensure big savings. Schools find the initial investment of turning digital is paid back surprisingly quickly.
2. Site use
More and more schools are using their sports grounds, halls or classrooms as rentable spaces. It’s not easy to set up, requiring additional staffing, initial promotion and increased school wear and tear. But when up and running, the additional income can be a welcome financial relief in the current funding climate.
3. Rethink marketing
Schools might need to market either their schools or services that they provide (like site use). Though an exasperating challenge, how schools market their “brand” is increasingly important. Switching to social media promotion and online advertising from more traditional marketing methods often increases reach and costs less.
4. Smart staffing
Schools are being encouraged to share services with neighbouring schools or within MATs. Particularly valuable for small primary schools, sharing services like finance or marketing can help reduce costs. Looking for new ways to recruit permanent and supply through “digital platforms”, also have the potential to save schools in the long run. Some schools are looking at working with volunteers and doing more to bringing charities into schools.
5. Introduce sustainability strategies
Good for your school budget and the planet, the introduction of sustainability measures can see savings over the long-run. Expensive options include solar-panels, boiler upgrades and new insulation. Other options such as motion-activated lights, percussion taps which can’t leave water running and smart metering. Options like reminding staff not to leave their projectors on overnight are even free, and have been shown to save heaps in bills.
If your school has already managed to implement any of the above strategies, or thought of something we haven’t, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you.