Schools have begun to transform. From simply a place of learning to perhaps a form of business, schools have become something new. Budget cuts in recent years have forced schools to think massively outside the box in terms of income generation, and many have turned to let out their buildings and other facilities. There have been language classes and even nurseries, all to generate extra money.
A wedding with a difference
A new study has revealed the lengths which schools have been going to in order to balance the books. Weddings, daycare, and community fitness classes have all sprung up – almost everyone can now say that their local school runs some kind of exercise class or breakfast club. In this study of over 1000 schools, it was found that 42% of them were letting outbuildings and facilities. A squeezed budget may have led them to this point, however, increased use of school facilities can put a strain on building and site maintenance too. This costs more money in the long run, but many schools are celebrating the chance to balance the books and provide important community support at the same time.
Schooling like a business
Headteachers and senior staff have had to become more entrepreneurial in the way that they think about how they run the school. Thinking creatively of ways to bolster income can only help the schools under huge budget constraints. The study has highlighted concerns about pressure on schools to meet new budgets. It has also raised questions about how funding is directed (and used) by schools in more affluent areas compared to those in deprived neighborhoods. Many schools have the experience to generate money, but in a school with an old, run-down building and no functioning extra facilities, things become much more difficult.
A facilities online booking system like https://www.ofec.co.uk/web-and-software-development-services/facilities-online-booking-system.aspx can be useful for teachers and senior staff to learn the ropes and easily manage their facilities, but for schools with no such facilities, money may have to be spent on the building before they let it out for such purposes.
While it can be agreed that schools cannot be expected to rely on entrepreneurial efforts to stay afloat, school leaders have definitely become more creative about how they use their buildings to their maximum potential.