Generate Revenue Through School Lettings
School Entrepreneurship Made Easy with Tucasi’s School Letting Module
Since 2008, schools across the UK have faced consistent cuts in funding and in 2018 the IFS stated that spending per pupil in England fell by 8% from 2009 to 2018, which will remain the case until 2020 (Full Fact). It is for this reason that hundreds of headteachers and teachers took to the streets of London in September 2018, to protest the dismal state of education funding in the UK.
One general secretary of the National Education Union, Kevin Courtney, describes the cuts to school funding as, ‘nothing short of a crisis’ (The Guardian) as 91% of schools have had their per-pupil funding cut (School Cuts), forcing some school staff to buy children food, stationery and sanitary products with their own money.
In other cases, many English schools have had to look to crowdfunding websites to raise money for basic school equipment (The Guardian) because they are struggling to supply children with the tools they need in order to properly nurture their education. And it does not stop at school supplies, funding cuts also impacts student support; as schools are forced to employ fewer members of staff there are fewer professionals to help children who require additional attention (whether that is academic or regarding mental health) as well as offering fewer curriculum choices.
In some cases, these funding cuts are so devastating that schools are approaching charities for support, which is precisely what Downshall and Mayespark Primary in Ilford, London both did when applying to Children In Need for grants for pastoral and teaching support. In other instances, schools look to parents as a source of funds, however, not all parents are able to offer financial aid; expectedly, parental funding in more affluent neighbourhoods is more fruitful than in poorer areas, further creating inequality in the education system.
With these devastating facts in mind, it is no surprise that more and more schools in the UK are making the executive decision to let out their premises to the wider community in an entrepreneurial effort to generate more income for their students.
By taking this measure schools are finding that they can finally provide for their students in ways that the government has failed to, with one primary school headteacher in Kent claiming to possibly generate £300,000 a year from business-minded initiatives such as lettings (The Guardian).
Schools are now having to operate as businesses and Stuart Pywell, head of St Stephen’s junior school in Canterbury acknowledges that leaders must see themselves as, ‘entrepreneurs who think creatively about what opportunities they can capitalise on’ (The Guardian).
These innovative and proactive schools are taking the destiny of their students into their own hands by raising funds for their schools in a variety of ways, with lettings of school premises being hugely profitable in more ways than one.
Firstly, letting out school premises is proven to be financially profitable as it is an efficient and economical method of generating income as schools do not need to acquire anything more in order to make a profit; they simply use what they already have.
Most school premises are only functional between the hours of 8am and 4pm, 5 days of the week, and are empty and unused during evenings and weekends, offering a huge potential to become profitable for schools. As well as this, school premises can offer a plethora of versatile facilities and spaces; from large locations, such as sports fields, halls and assembly auditoriums to classrooms and meeting rooms, fulfilling a variety of different needs.
The head of St Stephen’s, Stuart Pywell says, ‘we rent out our school hall most nights of the week for anything from church groups to weddings, birthday parties to language schools’ (The Guardian), proving how widely usable school spaces are.
Secondly, by letting out premises it encourages dialogue with the wider community and promotes stronger ties through developing relationships. A survey carried out by The Key consisting of 1,200 school leader participants found that ‘42% of school heads were letting buildings and facilities to raise money’. Of these entrepreneurial headteachers, ‘13% were building partnerships with local businesses’ (The Guardian) and by doing so were strengthening the sense of community and solidarity in the area.
Whilst it may seem that developing a new aspect of business for schools produces more work for low staffed teams to manage, software systems such as Tucasi’s ‘Lettings Module’ allow schools to have complete control over all aspects of the process with ease.
Firstly, Tucasi’s ‘Additional Income Lettings Calculator’ assists schools in developing a costing framework for various spaces within the premises; for example, hiring out a gym/hall could raise £25 per hour for a school or £60 per match on a school’s football pitch etc.
The Tucasi ‘Letting Module’ software manages the schools booking system, calendar and invoices as well as giving users reports on the utilisation of the premises, allowing leaders to assess with accuracy what spaces of the school could be more profitable and what areas are most productive.
Fully functioning software such as this eliminates the need for a member of staff to oversee the schools letting business, which allows hirers to book spaces outside of school hours, furthering the reach of new customers and community relationships. As well as this, the ‘Lettings Module’ alerts users with reminders for invoices and insurance requirements and deadlines, which are vital to running a lettings business correctly.
Tucasi’s ‘Letting Module’ is the tool that schools require to more efficiently raise funds that can be used to supply students with the tools they need to excel during their time in education.