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News and VIEWS
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The ‘cash-only’ debate
Online payment systems are becoming the preferred method for schools to ensure money is received efficiently and safely. In spite of the benefits of implementing this software, there are still a number of schools throughout the UK that are reluctant to go cashless.

Why? Some schools feel that by going cashless they will exclude a large proportion of their parents which are cash-based payers. However, a recent parliamentary report has found that around 1.5 million people in the UK don’t have a bank account, which is equivalent to just 1 in 40 people.

On average, primary schools will have around 400 pupils, which means only 10 parents in the whole school will be without a bank account. In fact, it could be far less, as 600,000 people included in the survey were classed as ‘older people’, who are unlikely to have children of school age.

Taking the figures above into account, if a school offers online payments to 390 of their parents, their admin staff can then easily manage the recording of cash for the other 10 parents, without providing an additional option to those without a bank account, which comes at a further expense. 
To find out more about the benefits of implementing an online payment system at your school, click here

Help for parents

If your school would like to implement an online payment option in the future, there are resources available to help parents set up a bank account.

In January 2016, fee-free bank accounts were introduced for people who have either been refused a current account in the past or can’t use one due to financial difficulties. For those parents who don’t have a bank account, a fee-free basic bank account can make it much easier for them to manage their money.

These types of bank accounts don’t have an overdraft facility, meaning parents won’t be able to get into debt by spending more than they have.

Most fee-free bank accounts will allow parents to:

Pay money into their bank
Some will receive a debit card
Pay bills
Withdraw money
Monitor their account balance
Have their wages, salary, benefits, pensions or tax credits paid straight into their account
Pay cheques in for free

For more information about fee-free bank accounts and the eligibility, click here.

To arrange a no-obligation demonstration of our Online Payment Module to see how we can help your school, please give us a call on 0844 800 4016 or email info@tucasi.com.  

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How technology has helped UK schools address funding implications
27th February 2017 marked the controversial announcement by the Institute of Fiscal Studies that funding cuts per pupil in England would be as high as 7% by 2020.

The growing pressure on school funding has resulted in an uproar, with schools warning that, without some sort of resolution, the education sector won’t be able to deliver the standard required. 

How schools can increase annual revenue 

To help maximise revenue following funding cuts, more schools are now looking at community hire to make the most of their school facilities.  

Recent research conducted by Kajima Partnerships has found that the financial deficit could be reduced by 10% if schools in the UK hired out their facilities, potentially generating annual revenues as high as £40,000. For some schools, this could increase to as much as £350,000 per year.

Managing school income effectively

The demand for education facilities is growing rapidly, with over a third of all sport facilities located on school grounds, including 61% of artificial grass pitches and 77% of sports halls. But for many schools in the UK, the main obstacle for hiring out facilities is the logistical, legal and financial aspects associated. However, thanks to technology, software is empowering schools to put the right processes in place, enabling them to manage bookings and income effectively.

Technology’s ability to support the space letting process has been a game changer for the education sector. Tucasi alone have been helping schools across the UK implement the process and help grow their revenue each year. To find out more, click here.

As schools continue to address their budgeting constraints, there’s no doubt that technology will be at the forefront to help increase revenue.

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UK Digital Strategy launched to teach school children coding
In today's rapidly developing digital world, it’s vital for people, particularly children, to have a broad digital skillset. With this in mind, the Government has teamed up with the private sector to launch a new Digital Strategy, aimed at helping individuals thrive in our ever more technology-reliant society.

The Digital Skills Partnership will create more than 4 million free digital training opportunities for adults and children across the UK, including free coding workshops for 45,000 school children.

The Government are keen for businesses, charities and voluntary organisations to get involved with the new strategy, to ensure employees hold the appropriate digital skills for their jobs and to make them aware of the training opportunities available to them.

The new Digital Skills Partnership will offer:

  • Google's Summer of Skills programme for UK coastal towns, to boost Leisure & Tourism.

  • Lloyds Banking Group's face-to-face digital skills training to 2.5 million businesses by 2020.

  • Barclays assisting 1 million people with general digital skills, growing its UK Eagle Lab network by 100% and teaching basic coding to 45,000 children.

  • BT helping 500,000 children develop early computational thinking skills by the end of 2017. The Barefoot Computing Project will help primary school teachers with no previous computing skills feel more confident in the classroom.

  • The HP Foundation will release their free online learning platform - HP LIFE - to the UK.

  • Accenture teaming up with FutureLearn to develop a new national digital skills programme to boost learning through online collaboration.

The strategy includes exploring ways to support the British AI sector. A funding boost of £17.3 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has been confirmed to support the development of new robotics and artificial intelligence technologies in universities across the UK.

For full information on how you can access any of the above programmes, click here to read Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley’s, speech launching the UK Digital Strategy.
e learning
E-learning
We have just launched our new flexible eLearning service to help customers who struggle to find the time to train staff in our Schools Cash Office Dinner Money module. 

Instead of a 3 hour training session, you can now gain unlimited access to our interactive eLearning platform for 30 days to help new staff, or those that require a refresher session, complete the necessary training in their own time, either at school or at home.

Click here to find out more: http://www.tucasi.com/e-learning 

winter
Are you winter ready?
As winter gets into full swing and the weather reports worsen it’s important to ensure that you’re ready to keep in contact with your parents.  With many schools preferring to text rather than email their parents when adverse weather strikes we have seasonal offers on our text-credit bundles - and remember that text credit bundles don’t have a shelf-life so you can buy now and use later. 

Contact your Account Manager on 0844 0800 4016 opt 1 to discuss the best one for you!

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New Q&A and Consultancy Services
Following requests from some of our user schools, we are now pleased to offer bespoke consultancy services which can be booked in chunks of an hour.  You can set your own agenda, whether it be a general “are we using all the features we could” to a personalised Q&A session covering your own “How do I...” “What should I do if...” or “What’s the best way to...”

For more information, to check availability or to book a session, contact our Professional Services team on 0844 800 4016 opt 2