Money, money, money

School budgets- how much do we spend?

Something to think about… It has become increasingly obvious over the past few years that school budgets are getting tighter and tighter. There is many a staff meeting I have sat in where it has been made unequivocally clear that we can’t afford to spend on this, or purchase that, or renew this subscription. This seems to have become an existential issue with more pressure being put on the remaining resources but without the funds to back it up and, fundamentally, update when needed. This is an increasingly more complex issue with technology taking on an ever-larger role inside schools. Which, by its very nature, has a shelf life- particularly as apps and updates move so quickly.

Education is currently the second largest spender as far as national income is concerned (beaten only by healthcare). Last year schools accounted for £91 billion worth of spending. This, I am sure you will agree, is an astronomical amount. However, with rising pupil numbers and failing teacher training numbers schools are going to be more focused on the purse strings than ever before. Having moved from a large inner-city school in Blackpool (pupil premium (PP) around 75%) to small village school outside of Lancaster (where pupil premium is a poultry 4/5%) I can say that the differences in budgets and the attitudes to spending is vast.

While in Blackpool spending on human resources was top priority as the children required a much more sustainable level of care. However, we were also very committed to providing accessible technology. The majority of this was funded through PP. However, I am now working in a school with where every penny has to be accounted for and strategically stress tested in order to make it stretch as far as possible. Now it would be easy to pick out which of these schools has it better, at least finically speaking, but which one is better future proofed? As times change and resources need updating it is the thrifty schools that will come out on top. I am not advocating a cutthroat spending style rather a more considered approach where sharing and supporting one another becomes the norm.

To this end, Reschool have included a hiring function on the website which allows schools, who need certain items but haven’t got the budget to buy out right, to share resources for an equally finically beneficial situation.

Conversely, as a school you might be on the precipice of buying some new technology but need a final convincing push. Well fear not. You could always recoup some of the capital spent by loaning it for a fix period to a local school or sharing it within your cluster or multi academy trust.All these functions are available on Education should be a shared experience: we’re just making it easier.