Some schools generating as much as £350,000 annually by using BookingsPlus helping them to cope with ever tightening budgets
Even if only 10% of the UK’s 24,317 schools adopted such online booking and marketing systems it could virtually wipe out the £103m schools deficit
Kajima Community, which specialises in marketing and managing the community use of schools and other academic institutions, recorded a 129% year on year rise to £11.7 million in revenue generated for the close to 150 schools using BookingsPlus, its unique web-based booking and marketing system, over the past year. If just 10% of the UK’s 24,317 schools were to use such systems it could virtually wipe out the £103 million schools deficit.
BookingsPlus was only launched in 2013 and provides a web-based, total administration system, including a room booking tool, white-labeled website, automated invoicing, online payments system and automated communications.
Users can choose to use the system as a stand-alone platform, or incorporate the marketing services offered by Kajima Community to help boost bookings. All this helps schools open up their facilities for use by community groups such as dance and sports organisations, social clubs, holiday camp providers and charities. According to Sport England, 39% of sporting facilities in England are on school sites.
The technology offers schools a way of using their existing assets to generate fresh revenue and is being used by a full range of academic institutions including primary and secondary schools, academies and higher education institutions.
BookingsPlus is now generating average annual revenues of £40,000 for each of its client schools, with some schools generating as much as £350,000 annually. The system’s popularity is clear from the sharp rise in its use last year and the income generated.
Enquiries in the system are up 211%, invoices raised are up 178, value of invoices has increased by 170%, value of payments is up by 164%, bookings have risen by 160%, value of bookings in the system are up 129% and the number of schools using the system has risen 115% to 146.
Schools have used the revenue to invest in new equipment, carry out maintenance, offset existing budget deficits or invest in staffing. Leading alternative education provider Westside School, which caters for 30 students who have disengaged from mainstream education, now generates over double the average annual revenue by using the system, providing sufficient funding to maintain an optimum staff to student ratio. This has enabled the level of pastoral care needed by its pupils, some of whom have, with extra support, gone on to take 5-6 GCSEs.
BookingsPlus is being used to manage the out of hours activity in Haverstock School, a leading secondary facility in Camden, which counts David and Ed Milliband amongst its alumni, and William Edwards School in Essex, which has maintained an Ofsted outstanding accreditation since 2010.
Steve Munday, Head Teacher of William Edwards School commented:
“The BookingsPlus system gives us a significant revenue boost, which we have been able to invest in ICT/ technology, sporting equipment and staffing to ensure that we can provide the best possible learning environments and opportunities for our students. Equally importantly it has helped us to become an integral part of the local community by giving local groups, charities and organisations the chance to use our exceptional facilities. Everybody wins!”
Chris Smith, Head of Kajima Community, commented:
“Over the past five years particularly, there has been mounting pressure on education budgets and for many schools and other establishments the ability to generate additional revenue streams is vital in enabling them to offer the best possible facilities and learning environments.
For years, the time and costs of administration and organisation for letting out space, whether it be sports halls, playing fields, classrooms, has meant the margins for generating additional revenues have been minimal. Kajima Community is changing that by making this process simple and profitable, whether schools are just looking for an effective booking system or for a more comprehensive marketing service.
We have seen uptake for our service more than double in the last year and our belief is that schools need to adapt to maximise the profitability of their premises, which we expect to see happening more and more in the coming years.”
 Total budget deficits for local authority maintained schools rose to £103 million in 2014/15Schools, education and children’s services spending document – Department for Education (DfE) 2015