Alternative Finance can help education vendors ease the school funding challenge

From enhancing student engagement to improving behaviour management, more educational institutes are embracing modern technology and equipment to enable pupils to learn at their own pace, on any device.

However, the biggest school funding shortages in England since the 1990s are threatening to undermine teachers’ efforts to break away from traditional classroom and curriculum models.

guide to leasing for education

46% of people surveyed said their school had experienced lower spending on ICT.

Findings show reductions in spending

A recent survey conducted by The Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the National Union of Teachers has revealed that almost three-quarters (73%) of schools have cut spending on books and equipment, while 46% of respondents admitted they had reduced their ICT expenditure. Furthermore according to BESA, the average ICT budget for a primary school is forecast to be £13,800 in 2017/18 and £58,230 for secondaries. This represents a year-on-year decline of 4% and 7% respectively.

Do schools need guidance on leasing equipment?

At a time when the funding challenge shows no signs of abating, the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) has recently published its ‘Leasing guidance for schools’ document in partnership with National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) and the Department for Education (DfE). The guide highlights what should be considered when taking out a lease and how finance can help educational establishments to secure the facilities they need.

The FLA’s guide is a timely reminder to educational vendors and resellers that working with a trusted and experienced finance partner can help them to overcome budgetary objections and accelerate their sales cycles. Specialist alternative finance providers to the education sector, such as Wesleyan Bank, offer flexible funding programmes to give schools an effective alternative to capital spending which enables them to acquire innovative solutions and services they need to further enhance the learning experience.

The opportunity for educational vendors and resellers

Tailored asset finance solutions can support investment in specialist equipment, the latest IT solutions and associated support services, refurbished classrooms and buildings as well as introducing 1:1 learning schemes based on the Bring Your Own Device model. Leasing allows schools greater flexibility compared with purchasing new assets outright. They can obtain the equipment they need today and pay over time by spreading the cost of their investments over one to five years. In turn, by adopting a prudent financial strategy, schools can better manage cash flow by gaining predictability over their spending instead of being burdened by major upfront costs.

With government cuts set to hit already stretched budgets in education hard the option of alternative finance makes it easier for schools to invest in new assets, inside and outside of the classroom, so they can maintain high teaching standards whilst keeping costs down. Specialist finance partners also work collaboratively with vendors and resellers to ensure they can grow and develop their educational sales by offering flexible solutions that are tailored to schools’ needs.

To download the FLA’s ‘Leasing guidance for schools’ document, click here.