4 ways your school can streamline spending

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How can schools streamline their processes in order to be more cost-effective? Experts from four of the UK’s leading edu-suppliers weigh in...

Carl Sheen, head of training and product development for Genee World

With a lot of technology purchases, a common ‘surprise’ cost is found during installation - this usually comes down to the school “We must seek out better, more efficient resources.”not disclosing the full extent of the installation work. They key to avoiding this is to ensure a thorough site survey has been conducted and relevant information has been provided to the supplier. Doing this in advance will ensure everything can be carried out in one visit, rather than engineers having to return at later dates, at additional cost for unforeseen work.

Cost effectiveness also comes from the value that is extracted from technology. For schools to extract maximum value from their technology purchases, training must be considered as a priority. It will ensure that teachers can access the features of your chosen resource, leading to a tangible effect on teaching and outcomes.

Sofia Fenichell, founder and CEO of Mrs Wordsmith

The knowledge base we as a society have built has not kept pace with technology and the methods today's children use to learn. There is a misalignment between what children need to learn, and the resources that educators have at their disposal. This leads to inefficiencies in spending, too, as schools throw money at out-of-date resources that just don't work.

It's up to all of us working in education and technology to look for the new and the innovative. It's up to us to seek out better, more efficient resources, which will serve us well now, and for decades to come. The teacher is the hero here, but the tools most of them use are woefully inadequate.

Inefficient use of money in schools is the result of a lack of self-education. By opening our eyes and ears to the world of today, we can all save money and, more importantly, raise the standard of education for our children.

George Hammond-Hagan, founder of Studytracks

Streamlining cost-effectiveness is difficult regardless of what type of organisation you are in, but as the saying goes: The first step is always the hardest. As a school leader, it would be helpful for you to start by focusing on one area (for example, edtech, classroom resources, or administrative software), rather than attempting to address everything at once.

After simplifying the processes in one area, you can then work onwards from there, continually circling back to do semi-regular “You can streamline your streamlining process.”tests. In doing so, you can streamline your streamlining process, if you will. Additionally, it would be worthwhile to determine how your school (or MAT) chooses to measure 'cost effectiveness' before you begin to make adjustments, as some things will be more achievable than others. Once you have a clear organisational definition of cost-effectiveness, you can use that as a benchmark to compare with the other areas.

Mark Stevenson, managing director of Bright Spark Energy

It likely won’t surprise you to know that the majority of schools in the UK have an aging infrastructure that results in energy inefficiencies, like ineffective lighting and wasted heating - all of which can really add up! There are a number of small, proactive changes, like turning off lights and PCs, or enlisting students to monitor room temperature and energy-use, that can result in real savings. On the other hand, there are larger investments, like switching to LED lighting and installing solar PV in schools, that can be a vital part of a longer-term sustainability strategy. While the latter options do involve an initial cost, there are funding opportunities, like Less is More Capital, that can limit costs and maximise savings for schools that are already on a tight budget. Streamlining energy processes is a key way to not only improve a school’s bottom line, but improve their carbon footprint as well!

[Comment courtesy of Mango Marketing]

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