‘Social enterprises are picking up the slack for underfunding’. An attention-grabbing headline in the Tes if ever there was one, which got us thinking.
Although this article was about 16-19 education, is there a role for charities to step in to make up for government’s insufficient funding for schools? Certainly you would think there is a need.
The recent National Governance Association (NGA) warning that £2 billion is needed to give pupils the education they deserve is a startling statistic. Last year, a Tes-NGA survey of more than 5,000 governors found that almost three-quarters believed that financial pressures would harm the quality of education that their pupils receive. And these desperate calls aren’t going away.
Each school we speak to has a unique experience of the effects of funding pressures but what unites headteachers, teachers, governors, trustees and parents is immediate and long-term concerns about the damage being caused to education at a time when there are more pupils than ever before and when more is being asked of them.
So something must change for the better. FundStar is linked to Headway, a social enterprise established to help provide our children, and those who teach them, with the most up-to-date, sophisticated, high quality and engaging materials possible. Our mission has begun with 1decision, a PSHE primary education classroom resource that is at the heart of helping schools respond to the new Department for Education guidelines on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education.
Let’s be clear. As a social enterprise we are not in it to make money. Headway has been set up as a way of doing good and putting something back into society. This means that any monies raised either go into developing new, exciting programmes schools need or will be donated to children’s charities. And now we are moving forward with FundStar itself, a new way to help schools raise funds – and it’s totally free for schools.
What role could social enterprises play in solving the school funding crisis? We think there is a role and that we want to and can make a difference.
The FundStar team
20th March 2019