Toby Lester
3 minutes length
Posted: 14th July 2017

Secrets for stretching the school budget!

School budgets have always been a hot topic in the education world and business managers and bursars within schools have spent years finding ways to reduce costs and ensure money is being spent where it should be.

Today more than ever, schools find themselves struggling with funding cuts, with many requesting the support of parents to lobby local MP’s to ensure more money is put into education.

“School funding was a key issue on the doorstep during the election after a highly effective joint campaign between parents, teachers and unions to flag up the funding challenges facing schools in England.”

Many schools are getting smarter about how they spend their money and parent communications is a great place to start. Take a look below at our tips for ensuring your school budget is being spent efficiently…

  • Consolidate systems

There’s a system for every type of communication schools need to send to parents and over time, many have bought several of these systems to meet their requirements. The consequence of this is several different contracts to pay for and increased complexity for schools and parents. Schools now realise they can consolidate their systems into one which offers it all – one payment rather than many, one system to learn and one place for parents to keep on top of their school communications!

  • Going paperless

Microsoft’s article, Top 10 ICT Money Saving Tips – 7 – Stop printing so much, highlighted that schools can go through 1000 sheets of paper per pupil, per year and for Secondary Schools, 1 million sheets per year. From general letters to consent forms, school reports and homework, you can quickly see how it adds up, as well as printing and photocopying costs on top. Using an online system to communicate with parents means no more paper and huge costs savings for schools!

  • Stop sending text messages

Astor College were previously spending over £2300 a year on a texting service, as well as continuing to send paper home for general letters, forms and parents’ evening. By switching to a service which allowed them to not only send all of this information electronically, but also reach parents through free in-app notifications, they’ve saved over £5000 within their first year.

  • Instant online payments

Having to remember to bring in cash or remembering a separate login just to make a school payment makes parent’s lives even more complicated. By ensuring it’s easy for them to pay for school dinners, trips or uniform, payments are likely to be made quickly! This reduces office staff time by eliminating cash or cheque handling in the office and reducing the time spent chasing up payments! Using a trusted, reliable online payments system which allows parents to top up with ease through a mobile app, with  a range of socially inclusive payment options, means schools can easily keep on top of payments due (particularly if automatic payment reminders are in place!)
The good news is, we can help you with any or all of the above! We’re regularly speaking to Business Managers and Bursars about how we can help them cut down on their spend, and that’s why we design a system to be as cost effective as it can be. If you’d like to discuss further, simply call us on 01733 595959 or email us at enquire@parentmail.co.uk