How Your School’s Facilities Can Earn Revenue

03.12.2019

When Head of New Schools, Nick Bowen, recently attended The Education People Show in Kent, he was invited to be interviewed by Primary School Management Magazine to give the low-down on SLS.

Read Nick’s interview in full below or on the Primary School Management Magazine website here.

What is SLS?

A company that seeks to assist schools with providing venue hire to businesses and organisations during the evenings, weekends and school holidays.

What does the company do?

School Lettings Solutions in effect seeks to open up schools to communities and facilitate income generation for schools. Groups booking through the company have previously included local sports teams and drama groups, as well as the national governing bodies of sports such as netball and gymnastics.

Who does SLS work with?

Based in central Manchester, the company operates nationwide and is currently working with around 250 school, academies and colleges across the UK, which have so far hired their facilities out to nearly 10,000 community groups. Sport makes up a big proportion of SLS-assisted hires, with groups using school facilities to organise football, gymnastics and swimming activities, but it’s also helped to facilitate language schools, conferences, exhibitions and even weddings.

What can the company offer schools that already organise their own facilities hire?

As a management service, SLS offers to shoulder every aspect of the hiring process, thus freeing up school business and site management staff from having to oversee lettings administration.

The company is presently staffed by over a thousand employees, a proportion of whom work as frontline school lettings assistants. The latter’s role is to man the site while lettings are in progress, monitoring the security of the site and signing in process, checking insurance documents and ensuring the space is used in a practical way. They are then responsible for all post-event clearing and cleaning, so that the space is ready for use by the school the very next day.

The company’s aim is to ensure that clients are able to come in and use the school, and that the space is tidied up and secured afterwards, with the school barely aware of anyone having been there.

What’s the chief appeal for school leaders?

Besides the benefits of additional revenue and engagement with the local community, lettings can encourage greater footfall from parents and families while showcasing the facilities that the school is able to offer.

What’s the payment model?

SLS will visit a school to view its facilities and examine what the school can offer in comparison to other nearby schools and venues. SLS issues the school with a proposal that outlines what it feels the school will be able to generate over the course of three years, and both parties then agree on a percentage split of the profits from future lettings.

Notable lettings:

The restaurant chain Nando’s called upon SLS’ services to hire a school as the venue for a corporate fun day, which involved an extensive barbecue, plus a bouncy castle and other attractions for company employees and their families.