It seems that there is always some agenda forcing itself onto the Education sector and that schools are just expected to cope.

 

 

The Department of Education (DfE) have recently decided to redistribute the dedicated schools grant (DSG) amongst English schools. At the moment, schools in London and inner city areas receive better grants than schools in less expensive towns. The changes will involve a redistribution of money; the inner city schools will lose out but the outer city schools will benefit. Now, whether you agree or disagree with these changes is somewhat irrelevant, the real issue is that: ‘the government is concentrating on unfairness and disparity, rather than underfunding.[1] Rather than addressing the real, core issue – lack of budget overall – those in power are attempting a quick fix solution and are assuming that schools will adapt accordingly, without suffering detrimental consequences.

 

Professionals in the education sector are not provided with an alternative. They have to maintain their balance on the government’s ever lightening seesaw: ‘school budgets are already under severe pressure, with a real-terms fall in school spending per pupil of about 6.5% up to 2019/20, according to the IFS’.[2]  It is no wonder, then, that people are concerned.  Equilibrium cannot be achieved by short term solutions put in place to temporarily appease an increasingly restrictive budget. Schools will forever trail behind their student budgetary needs unless they get ahead of the curve.

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In truth, there is no magical solution that will create money where there is none. Schools need to take steps and invest in their financial futures by undertaking long-term money saving strategies. Otherwise, they will constantly be undermined by those capricious politicians.

It is shocking how few schools make serious energy savings measures. In 2010, UK schools spent £500 million on energy bills. This is estimated to double to £1 billion by 2020.[1] Frightening, right? What is worse is that this could be drastically improved. UK schools could reduce energy costs by around £44 million per year which would prevent 625,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.[2] Imagine having an extra £44 million redistributed across UK schools. It would certainly lessen the pressure education professionals feel when the government decides to interfere.

What is more, an eco-friendly school is hardly a bad selling point to parents. It shows foresight and efficiency, particularly upon consideration that taking such actions offers an opportunity to educate students. They are able to see energy-saving methods in action and will therefore be more receptive when learning about climate change. Pupils can receive invaluable, practical experience in many energy saving activities and will thus gain a deeper understanding of the environment, which can only benefit them in later life. How can teachers inform their pupils of global warming, the consequences and the necessary actions, when schools do not take their own measures to save energy?

Schools can implement energy saving tactics that require minimal effort, just investment and regular maintenance. There are the obvious actions: recycling, switching lights off, etc. These are tasks that students can carry out, teaching them the importance of responsibility. What most schools neglect are the systems, the pipes and the boilers that waste energy and money.

Education Budget

Most educators are unaware of the multitude of energy-saving technologies available at a reasonable rate. The use of the words budget and investment in the same sentence will make almost any professional shudder, which is why it is important to emphasise that not all eco-friendly technologies will break the bank. Certainly, if you can have solar panels installed, modern boilers fitted, or an insulation overhaul, then fantastic. These actions will save you money and reduce your energy outgoings in the long run. However, the changes implemented need not be this severe, at least while the budget is particularly tight. Magnetic collars are an innovative, cost effective method for reducing your energy expenditure. They are not invasive but work to improve your current system. These fantastic tools fit around your pipes and their magnetic flux interacts with the fuel molecules, which means that more oxygen molecules have room to react with the hydrocarbons under heat. This in turn results in a conditioned fuel that increases the flame temperature and thus expels more energy, more efficiently.  Magnetic collars are also useful on water pipes, although the impact is not necessarily energy saving. The collars affect the bonding of water and various minerals in the pipes, resulting in a purer stream. Obviously, cleaner water means that the likelihood of limescale is thoroughly reduced, a benefit that will save you maintenance costs later down the line.

School budgets will always be subject to alterations and cuts. The government continues to reinforce this preconception time and time again. The education sector cannot evolve or improve without investing in the future. Energy efficiency is a safe choice because it has been proven to save money and has multiple societal and educational benefits.

 

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/18/unfairness-school-funding-vandalism-conservatives

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/mar/22/about-1000-schools-in-england-at-risk-of-cuts-well-in-to-next-decade

[3] http://www.schoolenergyefficiency.co.uk/

[4] http://www.maximus-green.co.uk/education/