10 Ways Schools Can Save Money
1) Use email and social pages like Twitter and Facebook more. With nearly everyone having the internet at home, work and at school it makes sense both practically and monetary to use this as opposed to the more traditional postage option. With rising costs of stamps, a high level of postage spam and a generation which spends an average 2 hours a day on Facebook and Twitter, this should be one of the most useful and not to mention best ways to reach pupils and their parents.
Email addresses can be put through a software programme like Mailchimp and managed quite simply. If you work out the cost of a stamp, paper, envelope, printer cartridges and not to mention the time factor of putting it all together, there can be no doubt that email is definitely a great cost saving solution.
2) Negotiate everything! A lot of us have started to become a lot more savvy when it comes to home and personal life but it is surprising how many schools and universities simply take the price they are given and do not shop around. The internet really is your best friend. Within 5 minutes, you can have up-to-date information on current electricity and gas prices from various different suppliers, you can get multiple quotes on stationary, bike sheds, furniture, washroom supplies, cleaning products and even your school recycling bins. Within a few hours, you could potentially save your school thousands of pounds a year. Do not be afraid to play on the fact you are a school either. This can often lead to a bigger discount than if you were purchasing for the home or a business. A lot of companies will give very good offers for the first year to entice customers and then surprisingly once they have you on board they seem to become less competitive over time. They are playing on the fact that most schools simply will not change suppliers.
3) Form buying groups or join an e-procurement site. Either small buying groups with schools around you or join larger e-procurement websites online. The more students and teachers you are buying for, the larger your negotiating power will be. You can often have the deliveries grouped so they arrive to the individual schools as well as oppose to one school and then needing to reroute. They key with getting a discount is if you don't ask...
4) Share resources with local schools. Things like an ICT manager is probably only needed one or two days a week so think about sharing that resource with schools around you. Or if you do not have an ICT manager, ask other schools for a recommendation.
5) Recycled material is cheaper to collect than general waste. Did you know that nearly all the waste collection companies like Biffa and Veolia charge less to pick up recycling than they do general waste? So not only can your school become more environmentally-friendly by installing more recycling bins - you can save money too.
6) Use sensor technology. With a myriad of gadgets ready to help you save money, they can be a very worthwhile investment that will pay for itself in a very short time. You can get infra-red flush control which detects if there are any users - perfect for weekends and evenings and if there are no users as they can default to every 8 hours. Motion-activated lights may be suitable for certain areas of the school and will work in all areas over the weekend and in the evenings. I remember when I was at school and one of the everlasting memories was that there was always one tap left on, made worse by the fact that there would also tend to be tissue blocking the plug hole. Install push taps or sensor operated taps and this will prevent flooding and taps being left on which will help to save even more money.
7) Rent sports facilities out. A lot of schools already do this, but many schools still do not. As long as there is someone to run the sports hall and a lifeguard for any swimming facilities, this can be well needed extra income. Not only will pupils have somewhere they can play sports after school but it will help the local community also. If your school does not have a swimming pool, depending on whether there is anything locally, it might be a worthwhile investment. Local schools can hire out the pool as well as the local community.
8) Ask pupils to recycle their old books in the school library. This is probably more relevant to primary school but asking pupils to bring in a book they have read or no longer read is far better than throwing them out. It can create a varied library and improve pupils' reading abilities all for free!
9) Bring services in-house. Now whilst this is not possible for everything, one example could be to get your caretaker to go on a PAT training course and to buy the testing equipment. This can save a lot of money per year on its own and better utilise any free time your caretaker might have.
10) Don't rush and spend the budget just for the sake of it. Ask pupils, teachers and department heads where they would like to see the money spent.