The future of funding

How to…

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from making regular applications to grantmaking bodies and trusts, as well as local charities and organisations. He raised 30 per cent

of the money needed to extend the school

this way, before going to

the local authority with a business case suggesting that if they found the balance, the extension would help solve Norfolk’s deficit of school places for children with complex needs. There’s also the pupil-run charity shop (see story on p47), which currently generates a profit of around £15,000-£20,000 per year for school projects. Smith has to have ‘a true and


There is one school in the country with a planetarium, and it’s there thanks to Sam Baker. As head of business and education partnerships at Mark Rutherford School in Bedford, he’s in the unusual position of combining classroom teaching with fundraising on a large scale. In his specially created role, he encourages businesses to get involved in the school, building relationships and also raising funds, where possible. He works closely with the

school’s business manager, and, together with heads of department, has formed a fundraising committee to identify priority projects, and approaches to get the money required. Recent projects have included raising £17,000 for a sports hall, and getting funding for a weather balloon to enhance the Year 11 curriculum, as well as buying the inflatable planetarium (above) that shows 360-degree films in the school hall. ‘The fundraising committee

went hand in hand with heads of department saying it would be great to have certain things and coming to me to see if business partners could help out. So we decided to make sure we’re all doing the same thing. It’s not a common solution – I know that

18 SPRING 2019 FundEd

because we get lots of schools asking for advice on linking with businesses and we’ve helped about seven to do something locally. It came out of having business partnerships first, where you give them a reason to work with your school and then build on that relationship. ‘If we were to give advice to

other schools it would boil down to having a clear idea of what you want to spend money on and how to bring people on board – including the school business manager and heads of department – and really build that relationship with businesses. We ensure that we aren’t going back to the same companies over and over again, and have networking events and meetings where they talk to students about careers so that it’s reciprocal, but it’s taken a few years to build up.’ Baker, who believes his school

raised around £42,000 in the year 2017-18, concludes: ‘Anyone who goes into teaching thinks they’ll change kids’ lives. The reality is often more mundane, so it is nice to be doing some of the wonderful things you thought you’d be doing on a daily basis.’ Go to to read Sam’s previous articles on his successful partnerships network.

accurate school improvement plan that clearly addresses the needs of the school and is backed up with some data’ to underpin his fundraising. This is shared with the PTA so that everyone knows what the school wants to do and why. Not having this would make the fundraiser’s job more difficult, he says. ‘We are an LA school – you don’t have to be an academy or part of a MAT or federation to be able to secure these opportunities for the kids. With the right time and effort, everyone can get on with it.’ Who should be raising the

money? ‘I think it’s everyone’s responsibility; it just needs someone to drive it. It’s in my job description and I’m appraised on my fundraising, but I can’t do it unless the school improvement plan has the right level of input, the PTA is on board, or without time to meet community groups, read magazines or research grants. Having a strong appraisal target and a project works for me.’

Susan Young is a freelance education journalist who has written articles for publications including The Guardian, The Observer, The Parliamentary Review and The Tablet, as well as organisations such as the NAHT, BELMAS, and ELT charity English UK.

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