Your 2014-2015 school budget …

  • school budgets and leasing

… will it fall short and will you measure up?

You may already be allocating your new budget to certain areas – but were you aware that data made public a few years ago showed that a school’s spending may not indicate any increase in grade average or show that the school has improved?

“The data shows dramatic variations in spending between schools – and no correlation with their pupils’ levels of attainment”

(Source: “How much schools spend varies widely, data shows” The Guardian, January 2011)

A spending breakdown

The report showed that:

  • 56% of budgets on average were spent on teachers (recruiting and retention)
  • premises costs range from 43% to 0%
  • back office costs from 33% to 2%
  • energy from 8% to 0%
  • ICT from 7% to 0%

(Source: BBC News: What does the schools spending data show?  January 2011)

The government came under heavy criticism for releasing this information; many schools were concerned that the raw data could be a little skewed, if for example, there was a one off grant included. Michael Gove defended his decision to make these numbers public by saying:

“We need to ensure that every pound is spent as effectively as possible, and the best way of doing that is by shining a light on the best practice within the existing schools system, allowing headteachers, governors and parents to learn from the best.”

(Source: “How much schools spend varies widely, data shows” The Guardian, January 2011)

What should you be focusing on?

One thing from the report is clear; when it comes to the new school budget, you will need to spread your spending to achieve your wide range of goals. It’s highly probable that a great deal of funding will have to be allocated towards keeping staff happy, responding to rising energy bills and producing more free or subsidised school meals – these areas are vital to keeping your school up and running. Yet they don’t necessarily provide improvements to grades or effectively show parents that your school has their children’s education at its heart.

It would be far better if your school were able to invest funding into areas where it does show an impact – in the classroom. By updating the school equipment you have (with particular regard to ICT resources) you will be able to increase the standard of learning and demonstrate how the school’s spending choices have helped to improve education.

Purchasing a whole suite of new ICT resources can be a pricey business however; your budget is unlikely to stretch to this, while also focusing on those non-classroom areas where your money is also required.

The government report also uncovered that huge amounts of money was being wasted on high rates for photocopiers:

“Expensive deals on photocopiers have cost schools between £25,000 and £200,000.”

(Department for Education in “How much schools spend varies widely, data shows” The Guardian, January 2011)

Leasing can provide these kinds of resources along with anything else ICT related, at a fraction of these astronomical prices – and it can be a source of good advice too. That’s why we think that when planning your budget, you should consider leasing your ICT (and even sports and catering equipment) instead of trying to find enough money to purchase these resources outright.

Why leasing?

If you do your homework, you’ll see that there are respectable leasing companies out there who can provide you with honest, transparent and compliant contracts. They should have no hidden costs – just a straightforward lease – and it should be the start of a good business relationship between you and the company you choose.

Leasing means that you can release funds from your budget to spend on the things that keep everything else running smoothly – teachers wages, energy bills, back-office supplies, building upkeep and repairs – while still providing your students with resources that will increase your educational worth in the eyes of parents and governors.

You’ll also be able to keep up with the times – with shorter leases you can decide to update your ICT resources more regularly; making use of the latest technology without the need for a large outlay.

Leasing can really make a positive impact on your spending choices. Make sure that your new budget strategy doesn’t fall short. Demonstrate a financial commitment to educational improvement; consider leasing as an option when you are pencilling in those figures.

For more information on how leasing can provide you with better ICT resources,
download “Asset leasing – ICT in focus”

Inside you will learn about:

  • The current status of ICT in schools
  • Parental contributions
  • Why leasing is the best choice – the top 5 reasons
  • The benefits of leasing
  • How Maxxia saved The Green School £50,000

Download “Asset leasing – ICT in focus”

Maxxia school finance for IT and computer equipment

By |May 23rd, 2014|Categories: Education|Comments Off on Your 2014-2015 school budget …