How one school made £350,000 from its local high street

Chris Dyson, a headteacher in one of the most deprived areas of the country, has discovered an untapped revenue stream: businesses that want to give back. Last year they helped him save £350,000 and now he says “money isn’t a problem at our school.” Chris explains how he does it, and how others can too.

Last reviewed on 19 March 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 39365
  1. This’ll work for you if …
  2. 1. Get in touch with every local and national business in reach
  3. 2. “Sell them the dream” and share your challenges
  4. 3. Never turn anything down, never turn anyone away
  5. 4. Keep businesses sweet
  6. 5. Get press interest and businesses will come to you
  7. Contribute your own idea for boosting income

This’ll work for you if …

  • You have local or national businesses within 10 miles of your school – anything from Morrisons to an independent hardware shop
  • As a headteacher you can free up a few hours a week to focus on it. Businesses will be impressed that it's you contacting them, not your PA or admin staff

1. Get in touch with every local and national business in reach

Do an internet search to find all shops, cafes, restaurants and companies within a 10-mile radius of your school Contact as many of these as you can. Find the right person to talk to (someone senior, usually the manager or CEO) and invite them into your school. Pick up the phone, and send an email (see below) Never send a generic email. Personalise it to the person