Education funding threatens challenging times for schools

03rd May 2017 | Insights

These are challenging times for schools across the country. With a projected shortfall of £3bn in necessary education funding, the burden is falling on education leaders to make the savings before 2020.

Government funding reforms, coupled with rising costs, mean that many schools are now being forced into scrutinising every purchasing decision in excruciating detail as the savings translate into dramatic per-pupil funding cuts.

Indeed, a growing number of headteachers and governing bodies are being forced into considering drastic cost reduction exercises, such as shortening the school day, strike action and possible widespread redundancies at a time when they are under more pressure than ever to raise academic standards.

In order to reduce spending, yet still make essential resources and learning experiences available for students, reduction in commodity spending is a good starting point. So, let’s talk about print waste.

Left unchecked, printing waste can significantly impact on a school’s finances and yet a few simple changes can bring about huge dividends.

A modern, properly provisioned Managed Print Solution can make a significant and immediate difference to spending on printing and copying – an almost-unavoidable and necessary day-to-day expense.  Through a combination of efficient hardware with smart power cycling and intelligent sleep / standby modes helping to reduce energy consumption, and bespoke print management software configurations to keep print resource usage in check.

Our print management software solutions incorporate not only pull-printing regulations to ensure that unwanted, accidental and duplicate documents are never printed, but they also allow users to produce one-click, incredibly detailed granular reporting, allowing administrators to pinpoint which devices, users, document types and departments have the highest print spending.

This information and insight is an invaluable resource; it provides actionable data which allows education or enforced restriction of print behaviour via rules-based print protocols.

An underrated aspect of the solutions though, is the cost predictability which it creates. Rather than ad-hoc spending on print consumables and servicing, customers pay a fixed cost-per-copy, and as monthly print volumes tend to average out, they are able to budget for print spend in advance – no more ad-hoc spending or nasty surprises.

A good example of what can be achieved can be seen in our work at Whickham College on Tyneside, which has more than 1,600 students and saw an overall reduction in costs of 20% in their first year read the case study here.

Managed Print Solutions may not be the fix-all solution for the impending school funding crisis, but when working with a trustworthy supplier, education leaders can at least rest easy that at least one essential commodity is being run at maximum cost-efficiency.

United Carlton is a specialist managed print solutions provider, with over 30 years’ experience of servicing clients in the education sector. If you would like advice on reducing your print usage, spending and resource consumption and overall costs, you can contact us here for a free print audit or informal consultation.