At a recent conference, I went along to a funding formula workshop. One thing that was abundantly clear was the fact that school funding is simply not sufficient. Funding per pupil is lower than it has been for quite some time and schools need ways to make up the shortfall. We have come up with these 5 ideas which may help.
1 – Apply for charitable funding
Some schools are able to gain the support of a local or national charity in order to obtain a bit of extra funding. If you want to try this for your own school, you’ll need to think about specific needs and how charitable funding could fit in. This article from the Princes Trust is an excellent place to start. It gives guidance on some support which is available through charities, such as the Children Today Charitable Trust which supports children and young people with disabilities under 25. Grants are available for up to £1,000 to provide vital, life-changing specialist equipment, such as wheelchairs, walking aids, trikes, educational toys, communication aids, lifting and posturepaedic sleep equipment and specially designed sensory equipment like fibre optic sprays.
Although gaining charitable grants could involve a fair bit of form filling and going through the application process, this is something your school could really benefit from so it is well worth a try.
2 – Run a car boot sale
Most schools run summer and Christmas fairs so will be familiar with setting something like this up, but if you can establish a popular and wide-reaching car boot sale which regularly attracts large numbers of stall holders and visitors, you could create your own little gold mine! Some schools have been so successful with this that their car boot sales have paid for things like the building of a new
sports hall or computer suite. If you’d like more information, why not take a look at our article giving advice on how to set up your own car boot sale?
3 – Apply for business funding
Many academies will already be in receipt of some corporate funding, and it’s becoming more and more commonplace in our school system. Getting large corporations to support your school might be a long and time consuming process, but could yield a large payoff. However, you can also consider small-scale support from businesses to help your school. For example if your I.T. suite has a handful of broken PCs which need sorting out, you could simply try approaching a local PC repair shop and ask if they will overhaul or replace them for free or at a discounted rate. In exchange, you could promote them in your newsletter home to parents and send a press release out to local newspapers thanking them for their efforts and making them look good to the local community. It’s a win-win scenario. The main thing to consider is that you’ll need to be able to offer something in return for receiving support – even if it’s just an opportunity for them to place some advertising on the school site or some good PR in the press.
4 – Rent out your premises
When schools close for the evenings, weekends and school holidays, all those classrooms and facilities sit idle when they could be generating cash for the school. From dance groups in need of a hall to cookery schools and art clubs, the possibilities are endless! You’ll need to consider a range of factors before you start to offer your premises for hire – this article is a fantastic place to start!
5 – Encourage parents to apply for free school meals
Pupil premium funding is based on the number of pupils on roll who qualify for free school meals. This means that the more children a school has on roll who qualify for free school meals, the more funding they will receive. It therefore makes sense for head teachers to ensure that their parent community knows how to apply for free school meals, and to encourage them to do it if they fulfil the criteria. Why not run a workshop one evening, or have an information stand about it at your next parents evening? For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals
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