Balancing the books: the challenge of saving costs in the classroom

The biggest challenge facing schools today is budget. Teachers are being made redundant and subjects are being dropped from the curriculum, as head teachers struggle to cope with funding cuts. More than 80% of teachers surveyed by the Guardian Teacher Network said their school has made cutbacks, or is planning to. Funding pressures, leading to overpopulated classrooms and excessive workloads are contributing to low morale, less pupil support and curriculum cuts. Budgets for books and even paper are being slashed, and after-school clubs, field work and school trips are being undermined.

balancing books

Steps can be taken to improve purchasing decisions, and there are options available to help alleviate some of the financial pressures facing schools. Hygiene provisions can be easily overlooked, especially in the current economic climate, but making the smallest changes can have a significant impact. All schools need to continually focus on saving money, and reducing water and energy bills can free up valuable resource, which could be used to fund beneficial educational activities. Find out more about our cost-saving product range by clicking here

One school which has significantly improved energy efficiency, reduced unnecessary water usage and subsequently reduced expenditure is St. Andrew’s Prep school in Eastbourne. They were looking to reduce costs and improve energy efficiency whilst still providing a safe and hygienic environment for their pupils. To help reduce water consumption and cut costs, phs supplied its FLOWSAVER URINAL water management system that uses innovative technology to prevent unnecessary flushing. Saving up to 80% of urinal flush water, it detects movement and adjusts flushes according to footfall, which amounts to considerable savings when you consider the number of pupils coming in-and-out of toilets all day!

Wayne Archer, facilities manager at the school commented, “The focus for us was to reduce the amount we were spending on our washrooms without jeopardising hygiene. With the help of phs we were able to introduce a number of energy-saving, cost effective products as well as create a cleaner, more pleasant environment within our washrooms with hygienic waste disposal bins and a reliable waste collection service”. Click here to read the full story

Considering a typical British summer time usually consists of thunderstorms, flash floods and interrupted play at Wimbledon, (and the all-important school sports day), the talking point around the staffroom kettle is usually the rain. So, with all this water around us, it can seem incongruous to talk about water-saving, but making small changes to water consumption can have a big impact on the budget. And with excitable pupils running in-and-out of washrooms all day, turning taps on and off, leaving them running while they chat to their friends, money is being washed down the drain.

phs has a quick and easy tool to help limit the water flow from taps, reducing the amount of water used by up to 70%, the perfect solution for a busy school environment. The FLOWSAVER TAP is an insert which fits into most existing taps, both hot and cold. It reduces flow from an average of 6-10 litres per minute down to 1.7 litres per minute, saving both money and energy. Educate yourself about the FLOWSAVER TAP here

And if getting children to wash their hands isn’t hard enough, making sure they dry them effectively can be an ongoing struggle. We know wet hands harbour all sorts of filth, flu and faeces, so hand drying is as important as hand washing. Whilst paper towels may seem like a cheap option, they create a job no school caretaker or cleaner wants. Bins overflowing with paper and blocked toilets do not make for a hygienic and clean environment! But recent innovation in hand dryer technology means modern hand dryers are not only more hygienic, but also energy efficient and cost effective. School children will tend to go to the toilet and dry their hands a minimum of three times a day so in a large school the number of uses hand dryers get can really add up. So it’s imperative schools choose a hand dryer that’s both hygienic and energy efficient. The Airstream PURE® hand dryer from phs gets an A* from most schools, as it ticks all boxes. It’s fast, so perfect for small, impatient little hands. It’s hygienic, as it’s fitted with a HEPA filter to remove bacteria, E.coli and MRSA. And most importantly, it’s energy efficient, so expect to see your school budget stretch further. Teach yourself the benefits of our entire Airstream hand dryer range by clicking here

Funding cuts in schools is reaching crisis levels with the abolition of service grants, rising costs and stagnant budgets, but there are savings to be made, even in a small space like a school washroom. Reducing water and energy bills is sometimes looked upon as an addendum which follows many other pressing issues. But small changes to small spaces can contribute to big savings.

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