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More than 95% of school leaders consider the budget when devising their school’s strategy.
With state schools focusing restricted resources on delivering better results in compulsory subjects, it seems any given programme’s funding is proportional to the advantage it gives pupils in preparing for the labour market.
Plain and simple this means that anything that doesn’t support compulsory curricular activities isn’t a top spending priority.
This could be good or bad news depending on where your business falls on the spectrum of schools’ needs.
Whatever you’re selling to schools, inform your next marketing campaign with some additional analysis – here are a few insights we gleaned from Promethean’s “The State of Technology in Education” report on how to compete under austerity.
Consistent with the over two-thirds of leaders that cite budgets as a key factor in devising their schools’ strategies are the over 88% of SMTs that state budgetary constraints will make it at least somewhat difficult to achieve these strategic objectives in the coming year.
Not even 3% of SMTs stated that budgets played little to no part (2.9%) in the creation of their strategies. Indicating that they are either unburdened by fiscal responsibility or perhaps weren’t paying attention.
As budgets play such a massive roll in determining strategy, it follows that most school leaders (71.7%) acknowledge budgets as having the largest impact on student education. However, this figure had declined from 86.4% three years ago.
This impact on student education can be seen in the small number of (20.3%) teachers that believe enough is spent on training compared to the nearly half of senior leaders (49.4%) that say the same thing. A significant difference in opinion that leaves teachers feeling as though they lack support and students missing out on new developments in pedagogy.
Trends and opportunities identified:
School leaders are quickly coming to terms with the potential tech has to improve student learning.
The number of school leaders that anticipate edtech as having a significant impact on education has doubled in the previous year from 17.6% to an all-time high of 40.9% for 2020.
This acceptance of technology is reflected in the ever-increasing allocation of schools’ budgets for tech with three times more SMTs reporting that technology will account for their largest spend this year as opposed to last.
15.5% of the schools that responded to this survey indicated that they would be spending more on tech than they will on salaries, operations and maintenance, or additional learning support in the coming year – typically the three largest allocations of school budgets.
Almost all groups canvassed report that technology should receive a larger allocation, but they also all agree that there’s not enough money. So the logical next step is determining how to spend what they do have.
Trends and opportunities identified:
Much like when the body experiences a loss in blood supply, and the heart redirects blood flow to vital organs, when schools experience a loss in funding, SMTs must reallocate the budget to areas of the school associated with core curricular activities.
In the human body, this results in reduced blood flow to your extremities. In schools, it means non-compulsory programmes experience a shortfall in funding.
What this doesn’t mean: The extremities of schools, or the human body, cease to function or fall off altogether (fingers crossed).
What it does mean: Schools have become more prudent and efficient with their allocation of funds, something businesses will need to take into consideration.
If you’re in the business of providing products and services to schools’ vital organs, those being operations and maintenance or additional learning support, then you’re in the top tier of schools’ spending priorities after paying salaries.
Businesses that provide non-essential products and services, however, will need to make their marketing work a bit harder and more efficiently. Not only are these businesses competing amongst themselves, but they are also competing against the other limbs of the school fighting for an allocation of the school’s budget not earmarked for vital spending priorities.
So here’s what you need to do.
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