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Education in the media: 24 March 2017

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Today’s news review looks at coverage of a report on how schools are boosting their revenues.

State of Education report

Today, 24 March, school leadership organisation The Key published its annual State of Education report, looking at how schools are making savings in their budgets.

The Key surveyed over 1,000 school leaders about their views on school funding and how they are making cost savings.

Over four in 10 (42 per cent) of headteachers said they were renting out their school buildings for private hire, 25 per cent said they were signing joint contracts with other schools, and 21 per cent said they were sharing curriculum resources.

The report also quotes a headteacher from Kent who says that school leaders need to see themselves as entrepreneurs and consider what opportunities they can capitalise on to save money.

The story has been covered in the Guardian, Daily Mail and TES, which report on schools hosting weddings, setting up nurseries and laying on community fitness classes.

We know that schools are always looking at ways to be more resourceful – such as renting out buildings out of school hours – and many have been doing this for years. It isn’t unusual or new for schools to hire their facilities to the wider community and, where appropriate, we would encourage them to do so.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The government has protected the core schools budget in real terms since 2010, with school funding at its highest level on record at more than £40bn in 2016-17 – and that is set to rise, as pupil numbers rise over the next two years, to £42 billion by 2019-20. But the system for distributing that funding across the country is unfair, opaque and outdated.


We recognise that schools are facing cost pressures, which is why we will continue to provide support to help them use their funding in cost effective ways and make efficiencies. This includes improving the way they buy goods and services and our recently published School Buying Strategy is designed to help schools save over £1bn a year by 2019-20 on non-staff spend. We know that some schools use their facilities to benefit the community and bring in additional revenue to benefit their students.


We have been consulting schools, governors, local authorities and parents on the proposed new funding formula and will carefully consider the responses to make sure we get the formula right and every pound of the investment we make in education has the greatest impact.

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