As schools are still facing a funding crisis, BESA member Findel Education decided to take it into their own hands to do something about it. This September, they dropped the price of over 700 products in an effort to help schools get significant value for money.
Paired with an online price comparison tool, the price drop affects Stationery and Art & Craft products. Chris Mahady, Managing Director of Findel Education, explained to BESA why they decided to drop their prices and shared his views on what can be done to resolve the funding crisis.
1. School funding cuts have been an issue for a few years; what particular event triggered your decision to lower your prices on Hope Education and GLS?
We can see that the many years of cuts have pushed schools to a critical position, we therefore needed to make life easy and give them the best prices that they can rely on for the long term. Our new online price comparison gives them peace of mind that the comparisons have been done for them. This then supports their requirement to get on with what is most important, teaching children and running the school.
2. What do you see as the biggest challenge that headteachers are currently facing in the UK?
You don’t have to look far. There is a constant pressure to further reduce spending, which now includes their most valuable asset – people. The hardest thing for the headteacher is being able to keep heads held high and a team motivated, while so many other pressures impact them and the real core objectives that they have. The funding crisis must be dealt with, and quickly.
3. For a feature in Craft magazine, Natalie Walker at GLS told me that stationery was a staple goods, and therefore not really affected by the funding crisis. May I then please ask why you have decided to start lowering your prices in stationery and art & craft?
These are the areas that schools spend most on, therefore we can help them save most on at speed. This will then allow them to have additional funds to spend on key areas that they may have been holding back on, such as teaching resources, or to just save the money.
4. What do you think is the solution to the school funding crisis?
The Government must take a long hard look at itself and read everything that is out there. The crisis is at boiling point. Teachers are leaving in droves, and headteachers can’t wait to retire. This country’s future is founded on great education, something we have always been very proud of. It needs to be re-ignited quickly, and the only way they can do this is to redirect billions of pounds of funding back into mainstream education from other areas, not education!
Featured image courtesy of Findel Education