It can take some time to decide whether you’d like to offer community lettings at your school. Opening up your facilities to the wider public may not be something you currently do and we understand that many stakeholders will need to be involved in the decision-making process.
With over 17 years in the industry today, we are sharing our top five reasons to consider out-of-hours lettings at your school.
1. Earn Additional Income for your School
The financial benefits to opening up your facilities may seem obvious but with education budgets becoming increasingly tighter the leasing of school facilities is a brilliant alternative method to raise money.
Revenue-generating opportunities are determined by your school’s location and the facilities you have available. Generally, sports facilities such as Sports Halls, Floodlit Pitches, MUGAS, and Dance Studios are the most sought after.
Throughout our time in the industry, we have learnt that all schools no matter their status or location can see financial benefits of having out-of-hours lettings.
Whilst there are costs to setting up, staffing your lettings, and marketing the benefits can be huge allowing you to earn thousands or hundreds of thousands of pounds transforming your empty facilities into thriving community spaces.
The UK Government has also recently launched their plans to give funds to Schools that open their facilities after school hours. This funding will be distributed by Sport England through its Active Partnerships county-level networks and more details can be found here https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/feb/05/english-schools-to-get-extra-10m-to-open-sports-facilities-after-hours
2. Become a local Community Hub
Schools already play a hugely important role in their local communities with generations of family members often attending the same school, building happy memories and life-long relationships there.
Running out of hours lettings enhances the feeling of a school being a crucial hub for the local community. It gives residents the chance to return to the school they once attended and experience it again but this time through sports sessions, events, and hobby classes.
Your school can also play an important role in providing safe spaces for children during half-terms and holidays allowing for childcare opportunities and giving children the option for socialising and being active.
You may find that local government rules and regulations will require your school to be able to provide your facilities for community use. In other circumstances, you could be asked to enter into a Community Use Agreement.
Community Use Agreements are made between a school and the Local Authority to make the facilities of the school available (when their use is not required by the school) for use by the local community. For more information on Community Use Agreements, please visit the link below.
3. Provide access to sporting and fitness opportunities
At a time when Public Health is hugely important, the public is keen to look for more convenient ways to stay fit and healthy. Your school can help with this and become a beacon for healthy living. By opening your Sports Halls, Dance Studios, Astro Pitches, Sports Fields, and more for out of hour- lettings, you are creating more opportunities for the local community to play and train together and to help raise the fitness and fun levels of all who attend.
With many barriers both visible and invisible to sport and fitness, a school is a safe space for the local and wider community to be active without having to travel too far.
4. Benefits from partnerships
One of the more exciting sides to the letting of school facilities is allowing local and national groups into the spaces and watching them thrive. Groups that once started with a few attendees may now need to book additional time and facilities.
You may find that some of your customers wish to offer tuition, coaching and, enrichment to pupils during the day assisting with widening your curriculum and giving children even more opportunities to a wide range of activities.
5. Enhance your school’s reputation
In some areas of the country, with increasingly more schools to choose between it can be a competitive environment for school admissions.
Running out of hours lettings will see large numbers of the public visit your school and enjoy the facilities who normally wouldn’t have the chance. Allowing the community through your doors will increase the perception of your school leading prospective parents to learn more about the school resulting in higher admissions.
Willingly opening your doors to the community demonstrates your commitment to active living and the upkeep and improvement of the facilities you have available helping to enhance the school’s reputation.
We know first-hand the benefits that community lettings provide but if you have any questions or would like to discuss the possibility of lettings at your school please get in touch with the team at Schools Plus.