With the announcement by the government of reduced funding for school academies until 2020-2021, it is important for such institutions to consider alternative ways to generate income and become more self-reliant. An increasing level of funding cuts and increases in costs may lead to both budgetary and cashflow issues for many schools.
It is therefore important to make use of internal resources as much as possible. Academies often have very large underutilised state of the art facilities such as swimming pools, classrooms, fields and other sporting facilities which can often be rented out to local clubs and societies, or members of the public. It is important for finance teams to consider local prices of equivalent facilities and ensure the school is marketing such facilities at a competitive rate. Schools and academies may branch out further from simply hiring such amenities and may also look to incentivise staff to provide lessons and expertise in the areas of both sport and music lessons. This in turn may result in an increased exposure for other services.
Classrooms and halls in particular may be used for their ability to accommodate large groups, which may also be deemed to be particularly attractive for the use of ‘board room’ equipment such as electronic boards and flip charts. Where classroom facilities are not available, the school may consider hiring out atriums or outdoor facilities for the use of promotional activities such as exhibitions, galleries and networking events.
Many academies across the country appear to be in prime locations, they therefore should consider the use of exterior walls and fencing for advertising. Car parking spaces are also a much underutilised facility, with many schools a walk away from local services. The use of parking meters with hourly charges or a day rate for weekend use may be deemed to be a very attractive offering to members of the public.
In order to market these facilities, the use of a school magazine, newsletter and website may be a particularly effective way to inform parents and local businesses which may enhance income and local uptake.
Of course all this additional income may give rise to corporation tax and VAT implications, if you have any further queries, please call 020 7306 9100 where our tax department will be happy to help.
The information in this article is believed to be factually correct at the time of writing and publication, but is not intended to constitute advice. No liability is accepted for any loss howsoever arising as a result of the contents of this article. Specific advice should be sought before entering into, or refraining from entering into any transaction.