Schools across the country are being urged to sign up for a scheme which could boost their budgets by thousands of pounds.


My School Fund, set up by the public sector buying organisation ESPO, enables parents and staff to gain rewards for their school and themselves every time they shop at Sainsbury’s or Argos.


Once a school has registered for the scheme, those connected with it earn back cash on their shopping. For every £1 spent, schools get 1% and individuals 2% through e-gift cards.


Any school in the UK can benefit from the scheme if they have an ESPO account which is totally free and available to all education establishments.


More than 1,300 schools have already signed up for My School Fund, with over 8,000 shoppers spending over £3m through participating retailers – and generating more than £90,000 in rewards.


Amanda Artherton, from Costessey Primary School in Norwich, said: “We found out about the My School Fund scheme via our ESPO Account Manager and were drawn to it because it seemed like a good opportunity to achieve savings for both our staff members and school’s parents, as well as benefiting the school’s budget.


“I would definitely encourage other schools to sign up as it’s a low maintenance way of saving/earning money for the school”.


ESPO is one of the largest public sector buying organisations in the UK, supplying more than 20,000 customers – including schools, police forces, councils and the NHS. It’s owned by six local authorities: Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk.


Kristian Smith, Chief Officer at ESPO, said: “We’re very proud of My School Fund. ESPO already supports thousands of schools by supplying goods and services, and this scheme enables us to do even more.


“We want as many schools as possible to sign up for the scheme. With staff and parents gaining rewards too, this is a real a win-win situation for everyone involved.”


A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “Sainsbury’s and Argos are excited to be part of the My School Fund initiative, finding innovative new ways to help boost school budgets and reward shoppers at the same time”.


Schools can register for My School Fund at www.myschoolfund.org. The more parents and staff they encourage to participate in the scheme, the greater the rewards.


For more information or interview requests, contact Rachel Glover, r.glover@espo.org