The future of funding

‘By investing time in fundraising I’ve brought in just

over one million pounds for our

school in the past six or seven years’

Worthing, says schools often need to generate funds for basic needs, including to maintain buildings, purchase technology to support skills for further education and employment and help students with mental health issues. She researches grants and writes bids (which more than cover her salary). A community manager leads the Friends group’s fundraising efforts, and is currently working on establishing more relationships with local businesses. She adds: ‘It is not a job for one person. Writing bids can be led by the SBM, headteacher or anyone in the school related to the area being targeted for fundraising.’

Immense pressure In Norfolk, Smith believes funding is part of his job as school business manager. ‘I’m selling the school every day,’ he says, explaining that while there has been ‘immense pressure’ on budgets for a decade, for the past few years it has escalated to ‘beyond workable pressure’. Any good business manager needs

sheds – and are questioning schools’ demands more, for instance by looking at development plans or clarifying what their charitable objectives allow them to fund. One PTA had already agreed to

buy software licences, curriculum enhancement and library equipment at around £11,000 a year when the school asked for interactive media screens on top. The committee looked at the school’s priorities and adjusted its committed spend list so that the whole lot came to £10,000 – still a huge committed spend for a PTA and leaving them with little to fund any extras. Another limiting factor for what

PTAs can do is the affluence – or otherwise – of their area. ‘We’ve always had private schools. Now we have privately funded schools in certain areas of the country. In financially able areas, where there are parents with disposable income, those schools are going to be far better off than schools in challenging areas where parents don’t have a lot of money,’ says Andy Mellor, adding: ‘We’re almost moving towards a state system that’s privately funded by default.’ School business managers tend to see funding as part of the job. Ann Scales, executive business manager at Davison CE High School in

to start, he says, by trimming the fat. But now there isn’t any left to trim ‘without making drastic cuts, which we just won’t do’. So, during the past five years, the school has invested heavily in fundraising, alternative income streams and maximising donations. Cleverly, some fundraising is

made possible by initiatives that, in themselves, benefit the pupils and their families. These include using the school’s facilities during holidays and weekends to provide daytime respite care for families. A new therapy centre will allow the school to take more children, too, improving its financial position. Much of Smith’s first million came

FundEd SPRING 2019 17

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