Smith is not alone in finding

increasingly creative ways to make budgets work and provide extras for his students, but, in an increasingly fragmented system, schools have different approaches to where that extra cash should come from – if not from government – and how it should be spent. The National Association

of Head Teachers, which is running major campaigns on funding, is deeply concerned about the pressure on school leaders. The majority, it says, are reluctant to ask parents for more money, and the worry is that most schools don’t have the capacity to raise money effectively without an impact on teaching or leadership. It says most schools in England are one-form-entry primaries with around 120 pupils, where the headteacher combines management with teaching. ‘At what point in the working day are they going to be able to devote even an hour to ringing a local business to ask for sponsorship?’ asks a spokesman. Almost 80 per cent of NAHT

members responding to a 2018 survey said they expected to set deficit budgets in the 2019-20 school year – around a fifth had already done so. ‘I am humbled by the innovation I see when I talk to our members,’ says senior policy analyst Ian Hartwright, adding: ‘Private institutions have relationship managers whose job it is to draw in wealthy donors but I think there’s very little experience or expertise in the state sector of doing that.’ As a governor of a one-form-entry primary, he says raising £1,000 through an evening event would be ‘a lot of money’ and £200-£300 a good achievement for the PTA.

Lack of staff Andy Mellor, headteacher of St Nicolas CE Primary in Blackpool, is hearing first hand stories from

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school leaders as he travels the country as president of the NAHT. ‘I know a number of colleagues who are moving away from being leaders of teaching, and learning how to be a funding officer for their school. I’ve done something similar – I run a teaching school and last year I was putting a day a week from that school’s budget into my own, and working there on a Saturday or Sunday. ‘One head in Wales could only make additional money by renting out the hall at weekends – but that was

undone by having to pay someone

to lock up and be on site. So he opens up at 7.30am and stays until he locks up at 8.30pm.’ Russell Dalton, chief operating

officer at the Diocese of Worcester MAT agrees that the setting and its size make a difference: in the large high school where he previously worked there was more staffing to support income generation than in the 12 primaries in his Trust. He says that the income generated

now tends to be spent on essentials rather than the nice-to-haves – and that’s a problem faced by the many schools without a PTA capable of effective fundraising. His MAT schools are all primaries,

which are ‘slightly behind where they need to be in their own income generation but are so small they don’t have the manpower to focus on it at the moment’. So he began by establishing possible savings before considering generating income through maximising lettings, catering for other schools, or selling other services. He is also considering ways in which fundraising efforts could be shared, perhaps with schools sharing the writing of bids, and hopes the MAT could start to raise ‘six-figure sums’ annually by pooling resources across the 12 schools to bring money in. Who should be responsible for fundraising? ‘I think the onus

‘At what point in the working day is a

headteacher going to be able to devote even an hour to ringing a local business to ask for sponsorship?’

16 SPRING 2019 FundEd

should be on the school,’ says Russell. ‘They know what resources they have, and how they can generate income. By focusing resources in the correct way, they should be able to raise more than the PTA could raise across the year. PTA fundraising should be the icing on the cake for special projects, such as the school wanting a new minibus.’

PTA funds An informal Facebook poll of PTAs suggests that while some are still focusing on the nice-to-haves, increasing numbers are funding necessities such as replacement windows, books and equipment


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