Schools Plus were pleased to learn this week that Downing Street is considering pushing through legislation to encourage all schools to open up their facilities for public use during the summer holidays. [Find out more here]
As this is at the heart of what we do as a business, working with schools to manage the lettings for their facilities all year round, we feel we are in a position to attest for how much of a positive impact the increase in available general use venues can have to local communities.
We would love to reach out and speak with the leaders on this project, which include Prof. Rosie Meek, and celebrated athletes Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson, John McAvoy and Lawrence Dallaglio, to share our knowledge and demonstrate how Schools Plus has been leading the way since 2004 to increase the use of school facilities across the country.
Having had experience of going into schools that have had traditionally said no to bookings in their facilities, we can attest how quickly bookings do pick up once the local community hear of the new availability at their local education centers.
From relatively low customer numbers in the opening weeks, we will often find schools become suddenly inundated with bookings of all types from dance groups, football league nights, worship groups, business conferences, learning workshops and so much more.
Other respected public figures that have called for this movement include Steve Howell, the headteacher of the City of Birmingham School and Adrian Packer, the chief executive of the Core education trust. We again would welcome the opportunity to share our findings with them as to how busy schools can be during the off weeks in summer.
In terms of summer bookings, we’re always impressed by the variety of bookings we see at the 80+ schools that we currently work with. Summer bookings are interesting because they are not typically the weekly classes we book in year-round, as these classes usually take the time off.
Instead during summer, the customers, we often see are holiday and summer camps. These big groups often take over all aspects of a school, from classrooms to main halls and sports halls to astro turfs.
A partner of ours who fits this billing is The Challenge, currently booked in over 10 of our schools each summer, who aim to design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills. The Challenge prove that not only public physical health, but mental health also benefits with the increased availability of school facilities.
We do support the statement that opening up all schools facilities would certainly increase fitness and active levels across the general public for this period, however would advise that it is often unique bookings rather than dedicated sport clubs we see during this time.
Schools Plus welcomes this latest government attempt to address failing public health figures and we would be open to working alongside leaders from Downing Street if they do require any detailed information or a nationwide partner on this topic.
Schools Plus is a dedicated community lettings organisation that, since our foundation in 2004, has had the mission to transform school lettings. To find out more about our company please take the time to visit our website –