Filling the funding gap

As budgets are squeezed, entrepreneurial headteachers – or ‘headtrepreneurs’ – are turning to business donations and sponsorship to help them balance the books. But is this something all schools can replicate – and should they even try? Simon Creasey reports

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I was brought up on Only Fools and Horses, so I learned the need to be able to sell – and sell big I do,” explains Chris Dyson, headteacher at Parklands Primary School in Seacroft, Leeds. Dyson is the self-proclaimed “market leader” in getting extra money, resources and free “stuff” for his school. By his estimate, it would equate to a spend by the school of around £300,000 per year.

“The kids never contribute even a penny to their education; everything is sponsored and sold,” he says. “And the extra I can bring in is essential to the budget.”

Such a cash injection would be crucial to any ...

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