Thinking entrepreneurially to help generate additional income for your school

Published on 9 May 2016

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The increased funding pressures in the education sector are placing more emphasis on schools to “think outside the box” when it comes to generating additional income to help meet rising costs. In turn, School Business Managers are also under more pressure to create additional income or apply for various funding. With this in mind, here are a few useful tips on how you can generate additional income for your school:

1. Use your greatest asset – your pupils

Asking your pupils to spread the word that the school needs help with resources is a great way to increase the chance of your school receiving donated resources. As an example, a relation of one of your pupils may donate (through their business) some unwanted DVD players which the school could then sell onto third parties.

2. Are you making the most of your premises?

Every year, your school is un-utilised by staff and pupils on average for approx. 170 days of the year – are you making the most of this? The school’s premises could be used by a variety of people – auction houses, dance festivals etc.

3. Fundraising – is it worth it?

Do you spend a lot of time writing bids and have a low success rate? It might be worth considering placing your time and effort into other areas. Leave the organisation of fundraising events to your school’s PTA or “Friends of….”.

4. Do you have an Alumni?

Consider setting up an Alumni for your school where departing (or departed) pupils pay a set entry fee each year on Direct Debit.

5. Use your second greatest asset – your staff

Consider selling your staff’s services to other schools that may not have the appropriate resource to deliver such services. For example, the School Business Manager could write policies for other schools, Premises staff could provide support to other schools etc.

Before undertaking such activities, you should always consult with your advisors and be mindful of whether the activities you are undertaking are ‘trading’ which could result in an academy trust paying corporation tax or becoming VAT registered.

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