With over 15 years of experience managing school lettings, Schools Plus has built up extensive operating procedures, knowledge and expertise that we would like to share.
Considering letting of your school facilities is a hugely important decision that impacts many stakeholders. It will most likely be a new venture for your school to provide access to the local community whilst benefitting from the additional income that lettings can provide.
All schools vary in size, stage, location and objectives so lettings in-house may be a viable option but the decision and implication of managed lettings requires careful planning and consideration.
The community access to the opportunities that schools hold is hugely important and we are committed to helping all schools find a solution.
We are sharing our top tips for managing community lettings below. For more on all of these and the key components to managing a successful lettings business, we have created a Guide to Managing Community Lettings with detailed information on; sales, marketing, operations, safeguarding, finance, health and safety, lettings staff and customers.
- Decide on your lettings times, the types of activity/event you will allow to take place and look into the sites planning restrictions or any community use agreements that will need to be honoured.
- Document all information about the facilities you will be letting out including; room size, capacity, available equipment, type of flooring and any restricted activities. All of this information will allow you to set a guide price that is competitive for customers whilst being generous for the site.
- Create a separate email address for customers to use as a contact point allowing you to keep lettings a separate entity.
- Compile a site Operating Manual, this will help you to run an operation that is safe and compliant. –For a full list of documents required in your manual please download our guide.
- Set out a detailed guide for staff and their day to day responsibilities during a lettings shift. We call this The Routine and it includes premises handover, cleaning, customer sign-in, escalation procedures and lockdown.
- The Health and Safety of a site during community lettings is essential to a successful operation you will need Risk Assessments of the site and each facility and the activities which will take place, to consider cleaning, fire and reporting.
- All Lettings staff should be fully trained to deal with the many challenges that can arise from community lettings. All staff should be in uniform, have an enhanced DBS and be clear of their general responsibilities.
- All relevant lettings staff should have an enhanced DBS, it is also necessary to have DBS details on customers who have a responsibility for children. You should store the DBS number within the customer contract.
- It is imperative to set clear and consistent expectations for your customers whilst honouring a level of customer service. Creating contracts for every customer is hugely important. – For full information of what to include in a customer contract please view our Guide to Managing Community Lettings.
- You will need to consider if charging VAT is applicable for the facility in use and the activity taking place. For more information on this please visit – https:// www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-on-land-and-property-notice-742. We would also recommend taking tax advice regarding your specific circumstances when considering school lettings.
For more information on any of these points or to see the full 20-page Guide to Managing Community Lettings please fill out the box below.
If you have any questions surrounding our guide or school lettings please don’t hesitate to get in touch.