The phrase “sweat your assets” is one that still leaves me cold and it often feels like a throwback from the 1980’s. However, in an age where Schools (and especially Academies) are struggling for cash, the phrase seems ever more relevant.
What do you mean sweat your school’s assets?
In this context sweating your assets is referring to making the most out of the buildings, facilities, fields and perhaps equipment your school owns.
Many independent schools were requested by Damian Hinds (Education Secretary) to open their swimming pools to state pupils; other schools have opened their sporting facilities to local clubs – all in return for something that helps them thrive, rather than just survive (at least financially).
Raising money through links to the local community.
Creating links with the local community is something that many Academies are good at doing, and other schools are interested in doing. This might be local charities, local businesses, or local clubs.
One of the ways of creating those links is through opening their facilities to the community, which helps raise money for the school.
Considerations to make sweating your assets easier
- Health and Safety: This is often a major concern. A sensible risk assessment relating to the room(s) and access corridors is important. Then ensuring the “customers” only use the relevant areas will help contain potential issues.
- One person: Different bookings at different times, involving different areas of the school and different people (site manager, marketing, office staff etc.) can lead to complexity. Having one person coordinate the activities of your team will ease this.
- Online bookings: There are many online systems that can reduce admin, and it easier for the local community to arrange their bookings. There is normally a small fee, although compared to the cost of admin staff it’s probably worth paying as it makes life a lot easier.
Getting more income, from your assets
Overall there is some effort required to get this type of programme working, however the results in financial terms, links to local businesses and local communities can be well worth it.
We help Schools and Academies with their financial management, see the results of good practices (and hear about less good practices). If you would like to discuss how to improve the financial management in your school, please call us.