Freeing up your time (and your school’s money)

Giving you more time to spend on providing children with an education

There are some tasks which are best done by companies who specialise in that field, not because you or your colleagues can’t do these tasks, but because the time is takes to do these tasks could be better spent on what you are employed for: providing children with an education.

One of these tasks is that of organising the school minibus’ services and MOTs. Which is why, when you lease a minibus with Benchmark Leasing, this is something that we will undertake for you – and, in most cases, the cost of repairs (if applicable) won’t affect the lease price.

Furthermore, if you lease a minibus with Benchmark Leasing there is the added benefit of improved cashflow (as you pay a set fee each month), and it often works out cheaper than buying a minibus outright (especially when one considers the re-sale value).

To explore leasing further, please do visit our website. Or if you would prefer to discuss it with someone, please do call 01753 859944 or email minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk.

 

Due to a dangerous mix of inflation and depreciation, leasing (as opposed to purchasing) is a growing trend

Leasing (as opposed to purchasing) is a growing trend across the board, from housing, equipment, and technology, all the way to school minibuses.

Why? Due to a dangerous mix of inflation and depreciation (with the exception of housing, of course, but the single factor of inflation is a reason in itself not to purchase as many people simply can’t afford it).

For now, however, I would just like to focus on the growing trend to lease a school minibus because Benchmark Leasing has devised a number of minibus leasing packages specifically designed for schools as purchasing a minibus simply isn’t an option for many schools.

Indeed, it is an arrangement which makes it possible for schools to fund the minibus through a small payment each month, which has the added benefit of improved budgeting and cash flow.

But this is not all. Since schools know how much the minibus will cost each month they do sometimes ask the PTA to make a contribution each month – which is often very much welcomed since it means that the parents making the contribution to the minibus know that it is their children who are benefitting, rather than the children in future years.

Furthermore, with Benchmark Leasing the vehicle’s MOTs, repairs* and services are included in the arrangement, and the costs are conveniently built into the lease price. And, as the minibuses that Benchmark lease to schools are always brand new, the lenght of time during which the minibus is out of action due to repairs is significantly reduced.

To explore leasing further, please do visit our website. Or if you would prefer to discuss it with someone, please do call 01753 859944 or email minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk.

* T&Cs apply

A brand new school minibus would solve the issue

A survey revealed that the majority of school minibuses on the road are over five years old – but why does this matter?

When we consider that the majority of school minibuses on the road are over five years old (survey by Benchmark Minibus Leasing), it is no surprise that in a separate survey school managers reported pupil safety (due to the condition of the minibus) as a barrier to offering more LOtC.

Of course, buying a brand new school minibus would solve the issue of pupis safety as the minibus’ safety features (airbags, ABS braking, etc.) are more advanced, but buying a new minibus can be expensive – to the point of being unaffordable.

As a solution to both of these issues (cost and pupil safety), a growing number of schools are opting to lease a brand new school minibus as opposed to buying one (or two) outright.

This is because it is an arrangement which makes it possible for schools to fund the minibus through a small payment each month with the cost of the vehicle’s MOTs, servicing, and repairs included in the lease price.

Furthermore, in some cases where trips are paid for by contributions from parents and the PTA, it is possible to allocate a part of those payments towards the cost of the minibus.

To find out more about leasing a school minibus with us, please do call us on 01753 859944 or click here to see what we can offer.

And if you know that your colleagues are frequently searching for school trip or learning-outside-the-classroom ideas, please direct them to our Facebook and Twitter pages where they will find lots of exciting ideas.

 

Overcoming the barriers to LOtC

Helping you to overcome the barriers to Learning Outside the Classroom

There are two predominant factors that hold schools back from offering more LOtC to pupils. The first is cost, and the second is pupils’ safety due to the condition of the school’s minibus (a survey revealed that the majority of school minibuses on the road are over five years old).

Of course, buying a brand-new school minibus would solve the issue of pupil’s safety as the minibus’ safety features (airbags, ABS braking, etc.) are more advanced, but buying a brand-new minibus can be expensive – which brings us back to the first issue of cost.

As a solution to both of these issues (cost and pupil’s safety), a growing number of schools are opting to lease a brand-new school minibus as opposed to buying one (or two) outright.

This is because it is an arrangement which makes it possible for schools to fund the minibus through a small payment each month with the cost of the vehicle’s MOTs, servicing and repairs included in the lease price.

Furthermore, in some cases where trips are paid for by contributions from parents and the PTA, it is possible to allocate a part of those payments towards the cost of the minibus – reducing the funds being deducted from the school’s capital account.

To find out more about leasing a school minibus with us, please do call us on 01753 859944 or click here to see what we can offer.

And if you know that your colleagues are frequently searching for school trip or learning-outside-the-classroom ideas, please direct them to our Facebook & Twitter pages where they will find lots of exciting ideas

 

A misconception of the term ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’

How can you offer Learning Outside the Classroom in winter?

Due to a misconception of the term ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’, the practice of learning outside the classroom is often abandoned in winter.

The misconception is that ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ means learning in the outdoors, when this is not at all the case. Indeed, Learning Outside the Classroom implies any environment other than the typical classroom setting.

Winter is therefore a great time to plan indoor activities (outside the classroom) such as visits to museums and theatres, to name a couple. But for this you will need cost-effective transport, which is where Benchmark Leasing comes in.

Leasing a minibus with Benchmark can often work out cheaper than buying a minibus outright (especially if one takes into account the re-sale value of a school bus at the end of its working life) or indeed hiring a coach each time.

If you would like to find out more about leasing a school minibus with us, please do call us on 01753 859944 or click here to see what we can offer.

And if you know that your colleagues are frequently searching for school trips or Learning Outside the Classroom ideas, please direct them to our Facebook & Twitter pages where they can see press releases and news about what other schools are doing.

School Minibus Myth #2

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need to have a minibus licence to drive a school minibus. Here’s why…

A school minibus can be driven by any member of staff who holds a standard car driving licence, providing that the gross weight of the vehicle is below 3500kg, the driver is at least 21 years old and isn’t being remunerated for driving the minibus.

To see if you meet the requirements to drive a minibus on a regular car driving licence, you can have a look at the ROSPA leaflet: Minibus safety, under the section entitled “Entitlement to Drive a minibus”.

If it turns out that you can drive a minibus on a regular car driving licence, it is now likely that you can increase your pupils’ opportunities and experiences for LotC because you no longer need to rely on the appointed school minibus driver to be available.

But there is a problem. Although you no longer need to worry about the appointed minibus driver’s availability, you’ll need to ensure that the minibus itself is available – especially because (I can imagine) you are going to share this myth-busting email with your colleagues.

Indeed, the only option here is to acquire an additional minibus – but buying a new school minibus is expensive, to the point of being unaffordable.

Fortunately, a growing number of schools are discovering that by sharing an additional minibus with another school in the same cluster, trust, or council, buying a new school minibus becomes an option.

Better still, if you lease a minibus with Benchmark, there is the added benefit of improved cashflow (as you pay a set fee each month) and it often works out to be much cheaper than buying a minibus outright (especially if one considers the re-sale value).

Furthermore, a full maintenance programme is included, so no matter the outcome of the vehicle’s services and MOTs, the cost of repairs won’t affect the lease price.

If you haven’t leased a minibus or thought about sharing one, please do give me a call on 01753 859944 and I can talk you through how it all works.

But if you want to take a look at who we are and what we do before you call, you’ll find more information about leasing at www.minibusleasing.co.uk.

 

What is the single most effective way of reducing your school’s overall expenditure on school trips (without making cuts to school trips)?

A study which was carried out in America revealed that that a massive 82% of pupils could recall information that they had learnt on a school trip a year later – proving the extent to which learning outside the classroom is beneficial to pupils’ academic attainment.

The problem, however, is that offering lots of learning outside the classroom experiences to your pupils can be expensive to the point of being unaffordable, not least due to the transport that is needed to get pupils from A to B.

Fortunately, there is a solution – a growing number of secondary schools are finding that by leasing a school minibus (meaning that there is no initial large payment required – just a monthly lease fee) rather than purchasing a minibus outright, costs are significantly reduced.

Better still, by leasing a school minibus with Benchmark, any repairs, servicing and the like are included in the arrangement with the costs conveniently built into the lease price.

Moreover, a growing number of secondary schools are also finding that by sharing their minibus with a nearby school that is in the same cluster, trust or council as they are, the transport costs are halved, and thus, their overall expenditure on school outings is reduced.

If you haven’t leased a minibus or thought about sharing one, please do give me a call on 01753 859944 and I can talk you through how it all works.

But if you want to take a look at who we are and what we do before you call, you’ll find more information about leasing at www.minibusleasing.co.uk.

Three things to consider before acquiring a new school minibus (and how Benchmark Leasing can help)

Before acquiring a new (additional) school minibus, there are three things that you will need to consider, these are:

1) The size of the minibus available. Smaller minibuses are cheaper, but they restrict the use of the bus for certain groups. On the flipside, larger minibuses are sometimes more of a liability for town centre parking.

How can Benchmark Leasing help? With a lease option rather than a purchase you can consider a shorter term commitment so that you can be comfortable you have the right minibus for your needs.

2) Contract hire or Purchase. Leasing a minibus can often work out cheaper than buying a minibus outright (especially if one takes into account the re-sale value of a school bus at the end of its working life), or indeed, hiring a coach each time.

How can Benchmark Leasing help? We have devised a number of minibus leasing arrangements to meet the specific and varied needs of schools. To see our top five school leasing arrangements, which we have evolved through feedback, primarily from school managers, click here.

3) Safety and Wellbeing. Schools are centres of learning and teaching and often don’t include anyone who has the time to oversee the condition of the minibus, checking everything from the tyres to the safety belts and ensure that it is serviced as needed.

How can Benchmark Leasing help? Should you wish, Benchmark Leasing can include regular safety inspections in the initial agreement to take the pressure off the school. Furthermore, we can ensure that the minibus is always available for whenever you need it.

For more information about leasing a minibus with Benchmark Leasing you can go to our website, call us on 01753 859944 or email minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk.

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street
Eton
Berkshire
SL4 6AS

www.minibusleasing.co.uk/school-minibus.php

minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk

Tel: 01753 859944

What is the single most effective way of reducing your school’s overall expenditure on school trips (without making cuts to school trips)?

A study which was carried out in America revealed that that a massive 82% of pupils could recall information that they had learnt on a school trip a year later – proving the extent to which learning outside the classroom is beneficial to pupils’ academic attainment.

The only problem is, however, that offering lots of learning outside the classroom experiences to your pupils can be expensive to the point of being unaffordable, not least due to the transport that is needed to get pupils from A to B.

Fortunately, there is a solution – a growing number of primary schools are finding that by leasing a school minibus (meaning that there is no initial large payment required – just a monthly lease fee) rather than purchasing a minibus outright, costs are significantly reduced.

Better still, by leasing a school minibus with Benchmark, any repairs, servicing and the like are included in the arrangement with the costs conveniently built into the lease price.

Moreover, a growing number of primary schools are also finding that by sharing their minibus with a nearby school that is in the same cluster, trust or council as they are, the transport costs are halved, and thus, their overall expenditure on school outings is reduced.

If you haven’t leased a minibus or thought about sharing one, please do give me a call on 01753 859944 and I can talk you through how it all works.

But if you want to take a look at who we are and what we do before you call, you’ll find more information about leasing at www.minibusleasing.co.uk.

For many schools the cost of a minibus seems prohibitive but two developments have cut the price dramatically.

It is rare to find a school that wouldn’t accept the offer of a minibus if it was there, available for them.  But they don’t buy one, because of the cost.

However, two recent developments have ensured that more and more schools are now able to have minibus transport that they previously felt was out of their reach.

But – and this is the key fact – these two new approaches have to be seen together; on their own they look like interesting notions – but not a solution.

The two approaches are a) to lease the minibus on a set monthly fee which includes all servicing, maintenance and repair costs, and b) to share its use with a nearby school that is in the same cluster, trust or council as they are, so that each school has the bus for an agreed amount of time.

What’s more, many schools do then add a third element of their own to the equation – since they know how much the minibus will cost each month they do sometimes ask the PTA or other support group to make a contribution to that cost each month.

Now that is often very much welcomed since it means that the parents making the contribution to the minibus account know that is it their children who are benefitting, rather than the children in future years (as happens when the fund raising goes on for several years before a bus can be bought).

Sharing a leased minibus also has the benefit of ensuring that everyone is always driving a bus that is well maintained – since it is the leasing company that works on maintaining the bus in tip top condition.

If you haven’t leased a minibus or thought about sharing one, please do give me a call on 01753 859944 and I can talk you through how it all works.

But if you want to take a look at who we are and what we do before you call, you’ll find more information about leasing at www.minibusleasing.co.uk.

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