5 Resources that need funding

In this unit you have mainly considered resources that are either already in the school or freely available in the surrounding area or community. There will, however, be times when funds are needed to pay for transport, fees, equipment, materials or tools. This may be for new items or for the maintenance of current resources.

This is a challenge for school leaders in schools where the community is poor. Where there are affluent parents, donors or benefactors, there are options to seek money for resources; however, some school leaders and committees, like the SMC, will need to be more persistent in not only seeking but maximising optimal utilisation of funds.

Funding is most readily given for specific projects (e.g. a library, gardening tools, blackboard paint) and is more likely to be given on an ongoing basis if the resource is seen to be effective in supporting student learning and is well used. The school leader needs to be able to offer a persuasive argument for investing in the school’s resources but then also follow up with evaluation reports on their use in order to inspire further investment. It may be useful to share your resource target and plan with a potential funder in order to encourage their investment. You may even present a budget. It may be that if there is not a single investor, there are individuals who are prepared to contribute to a larger resource target; people may, for example, each donate a single gardening tool or some seeds for a farming project.

Where parents are asked for contributions towards resources, this should be commensurate with their income levels and take account of their other financial outgoings. There is potential to exclude some students if a resource depends on parental contribution (e.g. school field trips) and therefore options for subsidy or payment plans needs to be considered if students are to have equal learning opportunities.

4 Planning for the use of resources