Generating income and maximising funds

With uncertainties around rising costs, you might be thinking about how to raise more money for your school. Read about how to make the most of your funding and how to generate extra income.

Last reviewed on 23 October 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 4117
  1. Maximise your funding
  2. Be resourceful with staffing
  3. Use your school site to make extra money
  4. Develop relationships with local businesses
  5. Apply for grants
  6. Encourage parents to contribute if they can
  7. School example: discounted rates for the community

Rising costs will impact all schools differently. Learn how to manage the impact of the crisis on your school in our other article. This guide will help you find ways to raise more money.

Maximise your funding

Start by making the most of the funding available to you. Have a good marketing plan in place to attract more pupils and fill your published attendance number (PAN). Having higher pupil numbers means your school will receive more funding.

Make sure that as many eligible pupils as possible apply for free school meals (FSM). This will boost the amount of pupil premium funding your school receives. Use our template letter to encourage parents to register their children for FSM.

Check how much recovery premium funding you are receiving. Schools that are eligible for pupil premium funding are eligible for the recovery premium. Also, make sure you're maximising the impact of your national tutoring grant spending.

Check you're using your school budget effectively

There are plenty of tools and resources that can help you do this. Find these in our articles below:

Be resourceful with staffing

Staffing is where you’ll find you spend most of your budget. To generate and save funds through staffing, you can:

  • Work with other schools to share services, such as site, finance and human resource teams
  • Outsource staff with specialist skills to schools that need the support but cannot afford, or don’t need, full-time staff
  • Employ a procurement consultant
  • Employ a timetabling consultant who will maximise the efficiency of staff and room timetables
  • Recruit volunteers

Further reading

See how you can organise a cost-effective:

Use your school site to make extra money

Consider letting out your school premises to generate additional income. You could provide space for:

  • Yoga, pilates and other exercise classes
  • Weight loss and other support groups
  • Evening and weekend adult education classes
  • Children’s groups, such as Brownies and Scouts

To maximise efficiency:

  • Create a marketing document of the facilities available for hire and send it to local organisations
  • Make sure school staff dealing with lettings respond quickly to enquiries


You could use your school’s car park to provide:

  • Additional parking facilities for nearby events, such as concerts and fairs
  • Space for car boot sales, where the organiser would pay your school a percentage from each car's entry fee

Further reading

Develop relationships with local businesses

Approach local businesses about sponsoring activities or facilities, such as:

  • Sports events and clothing
  • Prize-giving events
  • Open days
  • Community events

Look into developing relationships with companies under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes. This could give you access to free services such as mentoring, or assistance with small capital building works.

You could also work with retailers and restaurants to earn cashback on purchases of certain products or services. These businesses may participate in this in exchange for promotion to the school community. For example, local restaurants may give your school a percentage of the profits from certain meal purchases.

Look for match funding opportunities

Some companies have a scheme where they match the amount of money raised through fundraising by their employees. For example:

  • Thames Water does pound-for-pound matching up to a maximum of £2,000 for registered charities
  • Experian will match raised funds up to £250 per person per year

Ask parents to check with their workplace if they offer this. Some schemes have terms that only registered charities can benefit from matched funding, but this varies by organisation.

Please note that reference to commercial organisations here does not represent endorsement from The Key.

Apply for grants

Take a look at the funding opportunities available from grant-awarding bodies.

Some are unrestricted, while others are aimed at funding a specific project or purchase, such as building refurbishments or new equipment.

Encourage parents to contribute if they can

Raise funds and make savings by working with parents in your school.

Parents might be able to contribute to fundraising through school fairs or other fundraising events, such as quiz nights. Read more about getting the most out of PTA fundraising efforts.

Another way to generate revenue is to sell items directly to parents and pupils, if it's appropriate in your school community at the moment. This might be:

  • Annual school photos
  • Personalised jumpers with pupil names on the back
  • School merchandise such as stationery, water bottles and hats

Parents can also help in practical ways

If you know your school community is particularly struggling with cost-of-living challenges, an alternative might be to ask parents to donate their time.

For example, you could ask parents to help with DIY projects, reducing the need to employ contractors or additional members of staff.

School example: discounted rates for the community

Paddington Academy in the London borough of Westminster is a secondary school with over 1000 students. The academy remains open in the evenings to host local sports activities. It provides facilities and grounds for various groups and occasions at competitive rates in the evenings, on Saturdays, and during the holidays.

The academy also develops a feeling of community spirit by offering discounted rates for those in the local community.


Nazli Hussein is an experienced school business manager who has worked in both primary and secondary schools. She has a degree in business/finance and a diploma in school business management.

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