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At the BETT Show in London in January 2010, I had the luck of telling the story in our theatre called “Top 10 Money Saving Tips”. Of course, I had a few weeks to prepare, and a lot of help from individual schools who looked at their use of ICT and pointed out how it had helped save their school money.

The reason for doing the presentation was that we all know that there’s a bit of a budget crunch going on – and 80% of network managers in a recent survey reported that they’d had their ICT budget cut. But I’ve come across many examples of where a bit of spending on ICT had save a heap of spending on another part of the school budget. So I had one really simple goal: To help the ICT team in school to explain to the leadership team how they can help out the rest of the school. And this isn’t chicken-feed stuff – the very first idea I talked about was saving nearly £45,000 in one school. And plenty of the ideas were saving money in other budgets – like knocking up to £20,000 of the school electricity bill, or £40,000 of the reprographics and printing costs.

I hope that what I’m going to share will help you move the conversation 
FROM
I need £5,000 to upgrade some software
or
Can I go on a training course costing £1,000
TO
If we invest £5,000 now, we’ll save £10,000 by the end of the year
which is the kind of thing that head teachers like to hear!

Hopefully this will build up a helpful stock of ideas for you to think of for next year. They are grouped into three money saving strategies:

image

Save £350,000 over 3 years

If you’re not already doing some of the things in this list, then a secondary school has got a potential to save over £350,000 over the next 3 years. And a primary school could save just under £90,000 over 3 years.

How can that be true, when the average school doesn’t spend that much on ICT? Well, let me go back to what I said when I started this blog series:

  The reason for doing this…was that we all know that there’s a bit of a budget crunch going on – and 80% of network managers in a recent survey reported that they’d had their ICT budget cut. But I’ve come across many examples of where a bit of spending on ICT had saved a heap of spending on another part of the school budget. So I had one really simple goal: To help the ICT team in school to explain to the leadership team how they can help out the rest of the school  

So the savings below aren’t just in your ICT budget, but also in the electricity bill of the school, and the staffing budget, and your phone bill. All things which could be reduced by putting into place some of the advice. And really helping you to have the right conversation in the school – about the way that ICT can save money elsewhere in the school budget. As you get down to the detail for next year’s ICT plans, then I hope this list is helpful in drawing up priorities for your strategic ICT development.

Specific ICT cost savings

I based my assumptions on large-ish schools, who are reasonably technology rich - mainly because that’s probably the closest match to you, as a blog reader. (I’ve put my barebones assumptions at the bottom of the table.)

All of these savings are based on money that could be saved over the next three years, and in most cases, they are based on costs from a real school used in the original blog post.

 

Secondary School Saving

Primary School Saving

Cost/Difficulty to implement
(1-low, 5-high)

Assumptions?
Switch to Virtualisation

£53,000

£12,000

4

See post

Switch on Power Management

£30,000

£9,000

2

See post

Switch to lower energy devices

£15,000

£4,000

3

See post

Switch your communications

£30,000

£10,000

4

See post

Switch to remote access

£15,000

£3,000

3

See post

Stop buying every computer yourself

£60,000

£15,000

3

See post

Stop photocopying/printing

£100,000

£20,000

2

See post

Stop buying so much software

£1,000

-

1

See post

Stop your email servers

£30,000

£7,500

1

See post

Save students money I

-

-

1

See post

Save students money II

-

-

1

See post

Save money on upgrades

£12,800

£3,200

2

See post

Save your old computers

£10,000

£3,000

2

See post

Save your software budget

£1,000

£300

1

See post

GRAND TOTAL

£357,800

£88,000

 

 

  • For Secondary schools I assumed 1,000 pupils, 400 computers and 13 servers.
    The ‘average’ secondary school would have 860 pupils and 300 computers.


 

  • For Primary schools I assumed 100 computers and 4 servers.
    The ‘average’ primary school would have 240 pupils and 50 computers.