One of the hot topics highlighted during in the general election has been the issue of school funding.
According to many in the profession, funding has become so critical that almost 3,000 head teachers across 14 counties in the UK wrote to parents outlining the current financial difficulties that all schools are now facing so that they could raise the issue with prospective parliamentary candidates.
Indeed, it would seem the issue is undeniably significant, with £3bn having been withdrawn from the schools budget in England at a time when pupil numbers are increasing dramatically; in real terms funding per pupil is being reduced by almost 8%. Schools are also finding it very difficult to recruit teachers in specialist subjects such as Maths, English, Science and Computer Science, as many teachers are leaving the profession as a result of working under too much pressure. According to the Independent newspaper, 10,000 teachers left between 2010 and 2015.
To help schools at this difficult time, Sussex-based chartered accountants, tax and business advisers, MHA Carpenter Box, has produced a list of '5 Ways to Generate More Income for your Academy' which is relevant to all schools. The list covers Grant Funding through the Education and Skills Funding Agency, internal fundraising ideas involving the school's families and friends and stakeholders in the school, and fundraising events such as quiz nights, pet shows or even a murder mystery evening.
MHA Carpenter Box also encourages schools to forge better links with their local business community, allowing them to highlight a range of careers experiences. Schools could also benefit financially by identifying sponsorship opportunities for local businesses, such as sports playing kits, school achievement prizes or a themed activity week in school.
Last but not least, schools can benefit from crowdfunding which has become an increasingly prominent source of alternative funding in the commercial world. There are many crowdfunding platforms that are worth investigating such as Kickstarter, Crowdfunder and GoFundMe.
Robin Evans, Departmental Director, Assurance & Advisory Group at MHA Carpenter Box, commented: "We already support schools and academies in a number of ways to increase their income and many of the ideas above do not only create the opportunity to raise funds, but also give pupils a chance to apply their numeracy and literacy skills when getting involved in campaigns! We're happy to help so get in touch if you want to talk any initiatives through."
Further details can be found at the following link: http://www.carpenterbox.com/2017/5-ways-generate-income-academy/
To help academy business managers and finance trustees to meet their regulatory compliance obligations and prepare for upcoming challenges, MHA Carpenter Box will be holding a free seminar at their offices in Worthing on 7 July 2017. For full details and to register for the event, please refer to the following link: http://www.carpenterbox.com/academies-seminar/