Updated: Sep 9, 2019
We look at the #timeforteaching campaign run by the National Education Union (NEU) and ask is it also time to consider the increasing extra responsibilities asked of support staff as well?
Unfortunately many schools – because funds and budgets are becoming ever tighter – are beginning to realise that they need to find alternative means of raising money. Take a look at Bristol, a survey conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and National Union of Teachers (NUT) highlighted how the education sector will have seen a total income drop in its funding by over £19m between 2015 - 2020. With over 45k students in full time education that equates to a drop of £401 per-pupil loss during this 5 year period.
One obvious and increasingly popular method of raising much needed extra revenue is for school’s opening up their facilities for community use. To do that yourself though, requires resources, time, and money. All of which are a luxury. We know the popular misconception that staff working in schools have a short working day - from 9am - 3:30pm is a myth. The 2019 NEU survey on workload for school support staff, like your caretakers and school business managers, showed how 69% confirmed that their workload has increased in the past year and 59% of schools confirming that the number of support roles at their school has reduced since last year.
With support staff already feeling the effects of an increased workload, do you feel you can burden them with the extra responsibility needed to facilitate your lettings to their fullest potential?
But can you afford not to let out your facilities?
With over 150k sports groups in the UK and schools sitting on 40% of all sporting facilities in England those customers are desperate to access these facilities but have not been able to yet. Yet according to Sports England, only 62% of sports facilities on school sites are open for community use.
Opening up sports halls, drama studios and grass pitches to be used outside of school hours can bring in an average of £30-40k per year. Your school facilities are a sports groups waiting to happen, a community group waiting to find a home. Think of a local football or rugby team for example who might want to use the school’s pitches and facilities for training in the evening or at the weekend, local karate/yoga/drama/dance groups who might want to hire your hall, classrooms can be used for adult education or weekend supplementary schools.…the list can be quite comprehensive. Local community groups often struggle to find suitable venues from which to run their classes.
Of course your revenue generating opportunities are determined by your school’s location and what facilities you have (generally sports facilities such as sports halls, drama studios and floodlit all-weather pitches, MUGAs are most sought after).
The time and costs involved in the administration, marketing, invoicing and then not to mention managing clients on site using your facilities can be a huge burden on your support staff who have been tasked with generating additional income through lettings.
We at School Circle want to change all of this by making the whole process simple and profitable and to help take all the hassle out of school lettings. The question is can you afford not to let your school premises?