5 practical ways to make money for your school

Paul Main

Paul is an expert in business and enterprise in schools.

Website: vimeo.com/28049896 Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Finding new ways for schools to save money seems to be the ‘hot potato’ at the moment, and quite understandably so. There is another option though: find new ways to make money. With all that intellectual property, skills and knowledge floating through the corridors, are there any opportunities for new business ventures to emerge from your school?

There has always been a contribution culture amongst teachers: 'We can get hold of lesson plans at the click of a button and reuse someone else’s work', or, as the saying goes: ‘There’s no point reinventing the wheel’. However, should we be more business-minded about giving our hard work away?

With the gap left by local authorities, we are entering a time of change. Gone are the days of free school improvement support, so who’s offering these services now? It could be schools. Why are Outstanding schools not using their status as quality assurance for selling products and services? I spend many hours talking with education professionals about current needs and potential markets, and there are certainly many opportunities nationally and internationally. One of the biggest contributing factors to ‘flattening’ the market has been technology and its ability to create new channels for information to flow through; this is where schools need to be.

Here are five business ideas for your school to think about:

  1. Using web conferencing facilities, you could provide extra tuition in the run up to GCSEs or SATs. Many parents would appreciate extra input at these crucial times and with sites like Google+, video chat becomes very straightforward. Also, think beyond your own students, could this be opened up to other schools in your area?
  2. Sell your lessons via a video link to other schools. We cannot all be experts on quantum physics but if someone could offer to instruct this session in real time to be broadcasted into other classrooms, would this have a value? It would mean that the teachers receiving the content could concentrate on facilitating learning and monitoring progress.
  3. Package up your schemes of work and sell them. If you have a past record in creating great content, why not take the extra step of employing a graphic designer to make your work into a commercial product?
  4. Share your success story. If you can show another school how you improved literacy levels or integrated a new formative assessment strategy, then you definitely have a value proposition.
  5. Think Big. How about a cluster of schools teaming up with a University to conduct their own research into teaching and learning. The end product could be a publication, film or CPD that could be marketed in different countries. Your eager deputy head could then become famous on the conference circuit!

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