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Warwickshire company to help schools with budget battles

School leaders are under increasing pressure to find extra revenue streams to support overstretched budgets.

Onside Live enables schools to run their own after school club or wraparound care instead of outsourcing them. This enables them to generate an income stream.

It is the brainchild of the founders of Onside Coaching: Richard Butler, Mark Morrey and Tom Sidwell. Onside Coaching is the children’s activities and childcare business they’ve been running for 20 years, based in Warwickshire.

Director Mark Morrey explains:

“We’ve launched Onside Live to help as many schools as possible generate an income from running their own provision. It’s never been more needed.

“Primary schools know the benefits of running their own provision, but are reluctant to take on the challenge. Managing the admin is such a daunting prospect. We provide the software they need to deal with admin but, just as importantly, we also consult on how to set up a profitable business with longevity.”

Based on a typical single form entry primary school, Onside Live calculates that running wraparound care can easily generate sales of between £80,000 – £100,000 in the first year alone; netting an annual profit upwards of £40,000. “That’s enough for a class teacher or additional support staff. The potential in larger schools is actually quite staggering,” Mark continues.

Priors Field Primary School in Kenilworth is one of the early adopters of the model

After being let down by a wraparound supplier in the middle of the pandemic. They made the decision to take the service in-house in June 2020 and haven’t looked back.

Katy Braley, Deputy Headteacher at Priors Field School in Kenilworth, explains:

“We were hugely overwhelmed, but with the help of Onside Live we were able to see a clear vision of where our club could go and what it could do for our community. Rainbow Club now serves around 140 children across the week which represents two thirds of pupils on roll.  The money we bring in allows us to think about making improvements to our ageing 1970s building, and more aspirational projects like improving the sports fields or creating a nurture room; everything that will make our school an even better place to be.

“It’s inevitable we’re going to see real spending cuts across the entire public sector as a result of the pandemic, yet we’re already seeing requirements for children’s mental health and SEND services increase. That costs money. School leadership now needs to think more innovatively about how to fund for the next three years, and taking our wraparound care in-house has been a revelation for us.”

For more information about Onside Live you can visit onsidelive.co.uk.

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