Category Archives: Financial management

For many schools the cost of a minibus seems prohibitive but two developments have cut the price dramatically.

It is rare to find a school that wouldn’t accept the offer of a minibus if it was there, available for them.  But they don’t buy one, because of the cost.

However, two recent developments have ensured that more and more schools are now able to have minibus transport that they previously felt was out of their reach.

But – and this is the key fact – these two new approaches have to be seen together; on their own they look like interesting notions – but not a solution.

The two approaches are a) to lease the minibus on a set monthly fee which includes all servicing, maintenance and repair costs, and b) to share its use with a nearby school that is in the same cluster, trust or council as they are, so that each school has the bus for an agreed amount of time.

What’s more, many schools do then add a third element of their own to the equation – since they know how much the minibus will cost each month they do sometimes ask the PTA or other support group to make a contribution to that cost each month.

Now that is often very much welcomed since it means that the parents making the contribution to the minibus account know that is it their children who are benefitting, rather than the children in future years (as happens when the fund raising goes on for several years before a bus can be bought).

Sharing a leased minibus also has the benefit of ensuring that everyone is always driving a bus that is well maintained – since it is the leasing company that works on maintaining the bus in tip top condition.

If you haven’t leased a minibus or thought about sharing one, please do give me a call on 01753 859944 and I can talk you through how it all works.

But if you want to take a look at who we are and what we do before you call, you’ll find more information about leasing at www.minibusleasing.co.uk.

What is the simplest way to locate and apply for grants and funding for school projects?

One of the interesting aspects of the grants and special funds available to British schools is that few schools actually know about them.

Where the knowledge about educational grants does exist, there are many schools for whom the whole process of applying for a grant can appear just too complex and time consuming to make it worthwhile.

Over the past few years we have helped dozens of schools and educational charities raise well over £500,000 towards their projects, via successful grant applications to various local authorities, lotteries, trusts and foundations.

Recently there has been a particular interest in using such funds for new outdoor classrooms, to cope with the rise in school numbers, but grants can  be awarded for a whole variety of projects.

Other options include, funding school playground improvements, new play equipment, new surfacing or playground markings, shelters, furniture, gardens, planting, forest areas, before or after school clubs, holiday clubs, extra-curricular, and community activities…

In fact significant grants are available to almost any project potentially beneficial to the development of your pupils or community.

The problems are in finding the grants in the first place, and completing the necessary documentation – and that is why ABC Fundraising exists.   We find appropriate grant opportunities and do the paperwork for you.  And we help you to make the most convincing and compelling case for your project to the grantmaker. Working with us will cost no money up front, and charge a fee only if you receive a grant towards the project through the application we have helped you prepare.

Everything we do is completely transparent, and you have complete control over your project direction and the content of the application. However, we of course provide advice upon how to give your grant application the best chance of success based on the hundreds of applications we have overseen from all parts of the UK.

If you would like to know more please do call me on 07598 722 722 or 0131 308 0687

Or email me at: andy@abcfundraising.co.uk

There is also more information at www.abcfundraising.co.uk

For many schools the cost of a minibus seems prohibitive but two developments have cut the price dramatically.

It is rare to find a school that wouldn’t accept the offer of a minibus if it was there, available for them.  But they don’t buy one, because of the cost.

However, two recent developments have ensured that more and more schools are now able to have minibus transport that they previously felt was out of their reach.

But – and this is the key fact – these two new approaches have to be seen together; on their own they look like interesting notions – but not a solution.

The two approaches are a) to lease the minibus on a set monthly fee which includes all servicing, maintenance and repair costs, and b) to share its use with a nearby school that is in the same cluster, trust or council as they are, so that each school has the bus for an agreed amount of time.

What’s more, many schools do then add a third element of their own to the equation – since they know how much the minibus will cost each month they do sometimes ask the PTA or other support group to make a contribution to that cost each month.

Now that is often very much welcomed since it means that the parents making the contribution to the minibus account know that is it their children who are benefitting, rather than the children in future years (as happens when the fund raising goes on for several years before a bus can be bought).

Sharing a leased minibus also has the benefit of ensuring that everyone is always driving a bus that is well maintained – since it is the leasing company that works on maintaining the bus in tip top condition.

If you haven’t leased a minibus or thought about sharing one, please do give me a call on 01753 859944 and I can talk you through how it all works.

But if you want to take a look at who we are and what we do before you call, you’ll find more information about leasing at www.minibusleasing.co.uk.

School Finance without a finance background

Online Training Program 4 x 1 hour sessions with assignments – why not use the summer to learn a bit more about school finance?

Do you have finance staff that don’t have a background in finance? Lots of schools do, and it can be tricky to understand it all and to have a full appreciation of the importance of the processes, without this background.

To this end we have created a new online training program consisting of 4 x 1 hour sessions covering different aspects of school finance.   Each session provides a recording of our live online presentations with accompanying notes and copies of the Powerpoint slides.

The aim is to provide a basic overview of what the terms mean, what needs to be done, what’s important to know about and what the reports tell us. It also covers an overview of double entry booking, financial statements, period end & audit. This isn’t an in-depth study of bookkeeping or management accounting – it’s a clear, simple overview to give school finance staff a grounding in accounting.

Each session has an optional assignment which will help consolidate the information covered, and on completion of all 4 assignments a Certificate in School Finance will be awarded.

The 4 sessions are as follows :

Session 1 –  Introduction to finance and the need for accounts.  Types of accounting, Accounting reports, Audit,  Legal aspects & segregation of duties. Financial controls. Record keeping & filing.

Session 2 – The Bookkeeping process. Revenue accounts, Assets & Liabilities, Double Entry bookkeeping, Credits & Debits, Journals/Virement, The Ledgers.

Session 3 – Financial Statements and Reports – what they are, what they mean, general accounting reports and school specific reports.

Session 4 – Period End  – Month and Year end processes, Orders & Commitments, Period end Journals, Closing the period, Gift Aid. VAT, Internal audit

The whole 4 session course costs £99 per school and multiple staff can use the course for this price.

To order this training program please email on info@istekuk.com or visit our website www.istekuk.com and click on TRAINING & UPGRADES – FINANCE TRAINING

 Istek UK Ltd  3 St Ursula’s Close, Salisbury SP1 3FY

W: www.istekuk.com  E: info@istekuk.com   T:  01722 413 255  F: 01722 568262

TRIED AND TESTED ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF FUNDING YOUR SCHOOL PLAYGROUND PROJECT

We hear so many times from schools about the wonderful plans to develop their school playgrounds – be they outdoor learning areas, outdoor shelters & classrooms, play equipment, natural play etc – but the discussions always end up talking about money! We know budgets are tight and we know your time is not exactly in plentiful supply either…..but we have a solution to all of this.

We have invested a lot of our time working alongside schools and their PTAs to help you find alternative ways of funding our products. We, alongside our strategic partners, can help you put together a funding programme which could include:

* Grants
* Unique PTA events such as a pedal powered disco or film night
* Help with letting/renting out your existing school facilities – schools who are already doing so are earning an average of £30K per year
* Corporate sponsorship
* Crowdfunding websites
* Operational leases

All we need from you is a bit of dedication but where there is a will, there is a way!

Please therefore have a look at our website www.hideouthouse.com to see exactly what we do but we are always open to new ideas if you don’t see exactly what you are looking for on there.

And then give us a tinkle to discuss how we can help you.

Look forward to hearing from you

With kind regards

Simon Fearnehough
Director

Email: simon@hideouthouse.com   Telephone: 01865 858982  
Websites:
www.hideouthouse.com

How to avoid time-consuming administration, bureaucracy, and cash flow problems when procuring a brand new school sports facility.

It would be an understatement to say that having a brand new sports facility installed in your school is costly. And, in addition to the expense, such a project typically comes with a significant amount of time-consuming administration, bureaucracy, and cash flow implications.

So how can you get a brand new cricket facility (for example) installed in your school without encountering any such problems?

The answer: Notts Sport and the Fast Track Funding Scheme.

Notts Sport will design a bespoke cricket facility (or refurbishment) that’s perfect for your needs. Then, using Fast Track Funding, we will provide you with a flexible funding solution with monthly, quarterly, or annual repayments to suit you.

This means that no (or very little) payment is required until the facility is complete, and we won’t expect you to pay it all back at once, which will help to minimise the impact on your cash flow.

If you have any questions about the Fast Track Funding Scheme, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by calling us on 01455 883 730 or emailing us at info@nottssport.com.

There is further information about Fast Track Funding on our website.

What’s more, you can find out more about the various pitch surfacing systems designed and developed by Notts Sport, by visiting http://nottssport.co.uk/.

Managing your Private Funds

www.istekuk.com
Istek UK Ltd, 3 St Ursula’s Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 3FY

Email: info@istekuk.com
Phone: 01722 413255
Fax number: 01722 568262

The Private Funds Manager software helps manage your trips, clubs, performances, lockers, fund raising and all aspects of the school fund. It’s quick and easy to setup, and straightforward to enter information and generate reports.

  • Synchronises automatically with Sims for pupil information (PFM is a partner product of Sims.net)
  • Processes money in and out and prints receipts if required
  • Includes a free of charge, zero fee method for internet payments
  • But also links with all online payment systems like Parentpay so you don’t have to re enter details
  • Pay by cash, cheque, cards or BACS
  • Balances bank accounts easily with a simple ticking system
  • Creates trips reports and all financial reports, with a simple year end
  • Send emails and letters automatically for trips and other accounts

Please see our website for details or phone 01722 413255 and mention mailer X2.

PFM is priced at just £195 for primary and £395 for secondary schools.

Funding Opportunities for Playground Projects 2016

If you have any forthcoming playground projects on your “wish list” for 2016 – be they play equipment, outdoor classrooms & shelters, nature and forest school areas etc – then it would be perhaps worth your while contacting us.

The reason being is that we have invested a lot of our time and effort in trying to help schools raise the necessary funds in these financially difficult times but the good news is that what we are doing is working. We have secured full funding for all of our school clients last year who asked for our help and even better news for you, it doesn’t have to cost you anything apart from a bit of your time to initially brief us on your school and project. The rest of the hard work is then down to us. We know you are busy so we will work alongside you at your convenience.

Please therefore have a look at our website for the products we currently offer but if you have something else in mind, please do let us know. And then give us a call about the above and we will tell you how it all works.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Simon Fearnehough
Director

Email: simon@hideouthouse.com   Telephone: 01865 858982
Websites: www.hideouthouse.com

17 super secondary schools

How does your secondary school plan
to meet local demand?

The BBC has reported that councils will have to generate a predicted 80,000 additional secondary school places in order to accommodate the increase in the number of pupils who will be graduating from primary schools over the next four years.

It has been decided that rather than building new secondary schools, some 17 existing secondary schools will be expanded and transformed into what will be known as “super-sized” secondary schools – which should be a more financially viable option for councils.

Naturally, there are some concerns about whether the same standards of behaviour and academic attainment can be maintained following the expansion.

However, School Minister Nick Gibb doesn’t believe this to be a cause for concern and is quoted in TES as saying, “If you look at Shanghai, their schools are very large and they produce some very high standards of education.”  Shanghai High has more than 3000 students and is considered as one of Shanghai’s top state schools.

Regarding the benefits of super-sized schools, Head teacher Tony Alexander said: “We are able to provide a broad curriculum that other schools could not afford. And we have a wide range of children with different qualities and attributes, which can only be good.”

Whether your school has plans to be super-sized or not, it is likely that some expansion will be necessary in order to meet local demand. This can bring the added benefit of being able to choose the design of your new classroom so that it represents your school’s values.

For example, if being eco-friendly and providing pupils with plenty of learning outside the classroom opportunities is valued by your school, you may want to have a classroom built which represents these values, such as those from The Learning Escape.

The Learning Escape’s classrooms are bathed in natural sunlight, warm in the winter, cool in the summer and are able to withstand whatever extremes of weather climate change throws at them.

They are designed to be eco-friendly, not least with the option to have sun pipes, living sedum roofs, solar water systems and solar power systems installed.

To see the Learning Escape classrooms that schools have designed and that we have built recently, just click here.

Or to discuss any aspect of your project or to book a free survey, just call us on 0800 917 7726. You can find more information on our website.

What’s more, there are leasing options available to your school and you can find more information about financing here.

Link to the BBC’s article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-34486006

Would you like to increase maths and financial literacy skills in key stage 3 students?

Would you like to increase maths and financial literacy skills in key stage 3 students?

We have designed a series of practical team based exercises for key stage 3 that will help to develop students’ financial literacy, maths and business awareness skills.

The Paper Tower Exercise will help develop teamwork, communication and problem solving skills. Students have to work together to build the highest Paper Tower for the least possible cost. Financial and maths skills are put to the test as students work out how much they have spent on resources. Time penalties apply.  The exercise easily fits into a single lesson and contains a resources checklist, timings and assessment criteria. Cost only £10

The Oil Rig Platform Exercise A practical problem solving exercise designed to simulate the workings of a team of engineers, trying to find a solution to a problem.  Students are divided into teams and challenged to build a small scale model and work out how much it costs to build using only set materials. To test for safety the platform must be able to support the weight of a brick! Will your students design it so cheaply that it collapses or will they spend more money to make it strong and sturdy?  The exercise runs over one lesson.  The winning team is the one who can build the oil rig, support the weight of a brick and is the cheapest to build.  Cost only £20

The Jazzy Jotters Exercise the task is to design, produce and sell Jazzy Jotter notebooks and make a profit.  The class is divided into small teams and job roles agreed.  Each team is given a £10 loan which they use to buy raw materials and basic equipment.  Financial decisions are taken and by working together they strive to make a profit within the time allowed.  Students enjoy dealing with the money and haggling for a good deal.  Contains worksheets, money, job roles, account sheets and is really easy to deliver.  Cost only £25

The Dice Exercise The task is to run a small business that manufactures Dice. Students develop their maths and financial literacy skills and their knowledge of fixed and variable costs, the calculations of total costs, revenue and profit. Students are divided into small teams, given management job roles and a production line formed. Teams are given a £40 loan to buy raw materials and basic equipment.  Financial decisions are taken, equipment purchased, the deadline set and production begins. The accountant must keep a careful record of every purchase and every sale. Will the students haggle to get a good deal or just accept the price offered? Who will make a good profit and win the exercise? Cost Only £25

Special offer – Buy all four items for £70

You can pay and download the exercise direct from our website using Paypal or you may wish to pay with a purchase order number. If you would like to take advantage of the special offer price or order with a purchase order please e-mail Julie@c-l-e.co.uk. Your order will be dealt with within 24 hours.

Julie O’Brien
Creative Learning Events
0113 3909814
07977 489779
www.c-l-e.co.uk