1. Maximise funding
School Business Manager and education consultant Nazli Hussein says that schools should ensure they have a good marketing plan to attract pupils, as higher pupil numbers means the school will receive more funding.
She says it is worth ensuring that as many eligible pupils as possible apply for free school meals (FSM), in order to increase the amount of pupil premium funding your school receives.
2. Be resourceful with staffing
To generate and save funds through staffing, Nazli suggests that schools:
- Work with other schools to share services such as site, finance and human resources teams
- Outsource staff with specialist skills to schools that need the support but cannot afford full-time staff
- Employ a procurement consultant
- Employ a timetabling consultant who will maximise the efficiency of staff and room timetables
- Hire volunteers
3. Use the school site
Nazli suggested that schools could let the school to generate additional income, and recommends:
- Thinking about including extra services such as car parking, IT equipment and catering
- Creating a marketing document of the facilities that are available for hire, and sending this document to local organisations
- Ensuring that school staff dealing with lettings respond quickly to enquiries
Nazli also suggests further tips for making the most of the school site:
- Team up with a car boot sale organiser who will pay the school a percentage from each car's entry fee
- Provide car parks as additional parking facilities for nearby events
- Offer a varied timetable of evening and weekend adult education classes
- Develop the reprographics and media departments into a professional operation and offer printing and design services to local businesses
- Set up an on-site cafe to generate income from pupils, staff and visitors
4. Work with businesses
Schools can approach businesses about sponsoring activities or facilities such as sports events and clothing, prize-giving events, open days or community events.
Schools may also be able to develop relationships with companies under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes to access free services, such as mentoring or assistance with small capital building works. While this does not generate income, it could save schools money that would otherwise need to be spent.
5. Apply for grants
There are a range of funding opportunities from grant-awarding bodies that schools might apply for. The value of grants available can vary, and while some will be unrestricted others may be aimed at funding a very specific project or purchase.
6. Work with parents
Schools can also work with parents to raise funds and make savings. Emma Williams, executive director of PTA UK, acknowledged that in many schools, parents contribute to fundraising through school fairs or other fundraising events, but suggested that parents can help in practical ways too. For example, they could be asked to volunteer to help with DIY projects on weekends, which could eliminate the need to employ contractors or more members of staff.
For The Key’s full article on the subject of generating additional income for your school, including case studies from two schools, click here.