What are schools sharing in the bid to save money?

On-site facilities are not all that schools are sharing
in the bid to save money

Schools have reported that they are saving a considerable amount of money by sharing their facilities (an IT suite, play area, school hall…) with neighbouring schools, and vice versa.

But on-site facilities are not all that schools are sharing in the bid to save money.

Indeed, a growing numbers of schools are leasing an extra minibus (meaning that there is no initial large payment required – just a monthly lease fee) and then sharing it part time with one or two other schools or groups.

In this way, the cost of running the minibus is shared, and each school knows exactly when it has the extra bus and arranges events around it.

Better still, there is no issue about the cost of repairs, servicing and the like, since leased minibuses come with all the arrangements and all the costs of servicing and repairs built into the lease.

If you haven’t before leased a minibus, or thought about of 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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How half a minibus can be an absolute bonus – and a perfectly practical idea

Much of the world comes in unbreakable units.  You can’t really have half a person (unless you work in a mortuary and really need to do the odd bit of dissecting).  You can’t have half a football either – or at least not meaningfully.

And you might imagine that the same applies to half a minibus?  But strangely enough, the notion of half a minibus is not only practical, but it is one that hundreds of schools now utilise.

Not surprisingly large numbers of schools have a situation in which their minibus is booked to overflowing, meaning that some sports events, such as away fixtures and the like, become hugely difficult operations to arrange.

You know you can’t possibly justify another minibus, because you only have this problem a few times a week, but you also know that if you could have a minibus for these additional occasions life would be so much easier.

However, there is a solution.

Growing numbers of secondary schools are leasing an extra minibus (meaning that there is no initial large payment required – just a monthly lease fee) and then sharing it part time with one or two other schools.  There are many ways in which this can be done, but sharing with a local feeder primary school is one of the most popular.

In this way the cost of running the minibus is shared, and each school knows exactly when it has the extra bus and arranges events around it.

Better still, there is no issue about the cost of repairs, servicing and the like, since leased minibuses come with all the arrangements and all the costs of servicing and repairs built into the lease.

If you have not leased a minibus before, or not thought of sharing one before, probably the best way forward is to give me a call and I can talk you through how it works – not least because a fair number of schools are now involved in shared minibus leasing projects, so we have a lot of experience in helping to set up such a project.

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.

Email: minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk

Tel: 01753 859944

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Operating a minibus – the legal requirements

There is one barrier to LOtC in particular that Benchmark Leasing are trying to remove, not least because it is something that 34% of primary schools and 50% of secondary schools report to be the main reason for them not offering as much LOtC as they would like.

This barrier is school transport – from the costs and legalities, to everything in between.

Thus Benchmark Leasing has provided schools with a wealth of information about school minibuses ahead of Learning outside the Classroom Week (27 June to 1 July) which can be found on the Learning Outside the Classroom website.

Our guide to the legal requirements of operating a minibus can be found at www.learningoutside.info/index.php/operating-a-minibus-legal-stuff, or if you’d prefer to go straight to a specific topic in this area, you can do so by clicking through the links below.

  1. Who can drive
  2. Operator’s Licence – what types are there and do you need one?
  3. Seatbelts – the rules
  4. Taking a minibus abroad
  5. Towing with a minibus
  6. Tachographs – what are they and do you need one?
  7. Signage for School minibuses
  8. Safety inspections and MOT’s – what are the rules and recommendations?
  9. Driver training
  10. Additional reading and information sources

If you would like to get your school involved with Learning Outside the Classroom Week, please visit: http://www.learningoutside.info/.

Alternatively, if you are looking to lease a minibus, you can have a look at the different minibus leasing arrangements that we offer by visiting: http://www.minibusleasing.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

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Learning Outside the Classroom Week (27 June to 1 July 2016)

As a mode of teaching and learning LOtC is probably the most powerful system that we have.

Our aim in setting up Learning Outside the Classroom Week is very simple – we want to encourage educators in schools across the UK who don’t engage in LOtC to do it. And we want those who do it occasionally to do it more.

Why? Because learning outside the classroom works. Indeed, as a mode of teaching and learning LOtC is probably the most powerful system that we have.

In believing this, the team behind Learning Outside the Classroom Week has been searching for the answers to two simple questions:

  1. What is it that encourages educators to become involved in LOtC?
  2. What is it that stops some educators in schools from becoming involved in LOtC?

The answer to the first question is obvious (or so we think).

Indeed, pupils and students can gain enormous benefits from LOtC that they either would not gain from learning inside the classroom or at the very least would not gain so quickly.

Such as, that learning outside the classroom is more readily remembered than learning inside the classroom. And that learning outside the classroom can also help pupils and students to develop socially and mentally.

There are also huge benefits for schools – benefits which parents are very quick to pick up on and which thus make the school more popular and parents more willing to get involved.

In asking the second question we quickly realised that there are several basic issues here, but that one barrier to LOtC is more prevalent than any other?

After analysing the results of a survey issued to educators in UK schools, both primary and secondary school teachers stated that transport was the main issue (50% secondary, 34% primary). Or, more specifically, the cost of transport.

So how can this be overcome?

In getting your school involved with LOtC Week which is running from the 27 June to the 1 July 2016 you will be privy to a wealth of information surrounding the issue of transport, including transport costs, restrictions, legalities, and regulations.

This information has been supplied by Benchmark Leasing – a company which specialises in the leasing of school minibuses and without whom LOtC Week and the research conducted ahead of the Week’s launch would not be possible.

I do hope you will take a look at the LOtC Week website (www.learningoutside.info/) and take advantage of all it has to offer. And if you find we haven’t covered a particular topic, please do email Jenny Burrows at HQ@LearningOutside.info.

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Breaking down the barriers to LOtC

How we are helping an increasing number of schools to remove the barriers to LOtC?

A survey conducted ahead of Learning Outside the Classroom Week (27 June – 1 July) in consultation with Benchmark Leasing has revealed that 34% of primary schools report transport to be the main barrier to offering (more) LOtC to their pupils.

Furthermore, it transpires that there are three things in particular that led the respondents to select transport as a barrier to LOtC: affordability, safety and access.

With this in mind 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, please click here.

Affordability

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 hiring a coach each time.

Safety

Given that the majority of school minibuses on the road are over five years old, it is no surprise that concerns over safety are a barrier to LOtC. Thus, our minibuses are always supplied brand new, so concerns over safety are significantly reduced.

Additionally, our minibus leasing arrangements include routine servicing, replacement of worn tyres, replacement of worn brakes, repair of the exhaust, repair of the battery, and Breakdown Cover for the full term of the agreement.

Accessibility

Some schools report that there isn’t always a licensed driver readily available to drive the school minibus, which limits the amount of LOtC that you and your colleagues can offer.

Fortunately, we have a range of minibus leasing arrangements for minibuses below 3500kg, which means that the school minibus can often be driven by any member of staff who holds a standard car driving licence (subject to meeting certain requirements).

For more information about the minibus leasing arrangements that we offer, including minibus specifications, maintenance and prices, please do visit www.minibusleasing.co.uk or call us on 01753 859944.

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Survey results ahead of LOtC Week (27 June – 1 July 2016)

What percentage of teachers have been engaged in at least one LOtC project during the past year? What is the most popular type of LOtC? What do teachers aim to achieve through offering LOtC? What factors limit the amount of LOtC that teachers can offer?

These are just a few of the questions that we, as sponsors of LOtC Week 2016, asked primary and secondary school teachers across the UK in a recent survey. And now we have the answers.

You can find the full Learning Outside the Classroom report which contains analyses of the survey results at www.learningoutside.info/index.php/lotc-survey-results.

However, in this email I would like to give particular focus to the question ‘What factors limit the amount of LOtC that teachers can offer?’. Clearly if we can offer a solution, more students and pupils will be able to reap the various and numerous benefits that LOtC offers.

In the survey both primary and secondary school teachers stated that transport was the main issue (50% secondary, 34% primary). Or more specifically, the cost of transport.

So how can this be overcome?

You might want to get your school involved with LOtC Week which is running from the 27 June to the 1 July 2016 as in doing so you will be privy to a wealth of information about how to overcome this issue, including transport costs, restrictions, legalities and regulations.

This information has been supplied by Benchmark Leasing – a company which specialises in the leasing of school minibuses and without whom, LOtC Week and the research conducted ahead of the Week’s launch would not be possible.

I do hope you will take a look at the LOtC Week website (www.learningoutside.info) and take advantage of all it has to offer.

And, if your school is looking to acquire a minibus, you can find more information about our school minibus leasing packages by visiting our website. Or, if you’d prefer, you can call us on 01753 859944 or email us at 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

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What is the most effective way of reducing the impact of depreciation of a brand new school minibus?

There is one thing that infuriates vehicle owners more than anything else (other than fuel prices, which rather frustratingly seem to be on the rise again). That is depreciation.

Drive a brand new vehicle out of the garage. Depreciation.

Own the vehicle for six months. Depreciation. A year. Depreciation. Two years……

Get a couple of Advisory Notices on your MOT. Depreciation.

……………………….. Depreciation.

…………………………….Depreciation.

………………………………. Depreciation.

Of course, the most effective way of reducing the impact of depreciation of a vehicle would be to buy it second-hand (when it has already had its fair share of depreciation), but when it comes to the school minibus you want to be sure that it is safe – which can (usually) be guaranteed by buying a brand new school minibus.

So the question remains, what is the most effective way of reducing the impact of depreciation of a brand new school minibus?

One word; leasing.

Indeed, many steer away from leasing because there is a common misconception that leasing is more expensive than buying a minibus outright or on finance. However, we’ve done the figures and have found that this is simply not the case, particularly when you take depreciation into consideration and lease from a company such as Benchmark Leasing.

Benchmark Leasing have for some time been working hard to create minibus leasing packages tailored especially for schools – evolving the arrangement through feedback from administrators, school managers, site managers…

Thus, our leasing arrangements offer substantial discounts so the impact of depreciation is much less than if you were to purchase a school minibus outright. Furthermore, the leasing rentals make the lowered depreciation easier to budget for as it is spread over the term in monthly payments.

You’ll also be glad to know that if the used vehicle marketplace worsens, our rentals are fixed so the school is protected.

For more information about the minibus leasing packages that we offer, please do visit www.minibusleasing.co.uk or call us on 01753 859944.

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street
Eton
Berkshire
SL4 6AS

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

minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk

Tel: 01753 859944

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Overcoming the obstacles to LOtC

How can you overcome the overwhelming number of obstacles to LOtC?

Because LOtC offers so many benefits, most educators would like to spend more time teaching their students outside the typical classroom setting. However, many can’t offer LOtC to their students as often as they would like because of the various obstacles in the way.

Just one of these obstacles is the issue of school transport – and, more specifically, the bureaucracy, legalities, paperwork, and costs that come with acquiring a school minibus (reported to be the most desired LOtC transport option).

Which is why, as a company which supplies school minibuses, we are sponsoring LOtC Week – to support schools in overcoming at least one of the obstacles to offering regular LOtC, in the hope that your students will be able to enjoy more LOtC in the future.

As sponsors of LOtC Week we have put together a wealth of information on acquiring a school minibus (including information about the practicalities, legalities, paperwork, and costs involved) which is easy to navigate and even easier to understand:

  1. Who can drive
  2. Operator’s Licence – what types are there and do you need one?
  3. Seatbelts – the rules
  4. Taking a minibus abroad
  5. Towing with a minibus
  6. Tachographs – what are they and do you need one?
  7. Signage for School minibuses
  8. Safety inspections and MOT’s – what are the rules and recommendations?
  9. Driver training
  10. Additional reading and information sources

To see this information all in one place, please do visit www.learningoutside.info.

On the LOtC Week website (www.learningoutside.info) you will also find information on the benefits of LOtC, as well as how your school can get involved with LOtC Week which is set to take place between 27th June and 1st July 2016.

Furthermore, the team here at Benchmark Leasing have for some time been working hard to create the most convenient minibus leasing packages especially for schools – evolving the arrangement through feedback, primarily from administrators and school managers.

To see these minibus leasing packages, please do visit www.minibusleasing.co.uk or call us on 01753 859944.

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Help us outside

Learning Outside the Classroom Week is from
27 June to 1 July.  But first we’d love you to
help us with our survey.

Our survey on Learning Outside the Classroom will help us get a snapshot view of what is happening in schools in terms of LOtC, and I promise it will take no more than two minutes to complete.

We’ll then publish the result on the Learning Outside the Classroom Week website.  Indeed we already have a lot of information on the website, and you’ll be given the option to view the site at the end of the questionnaire.

If you are working in a secondary school or sixth form college, please click here for the survey.

If you are working in a primary school, prep school or middle school please click here.

Benchmark Leasing Ltd
11 High Street
Eton
Berkshire
SL4 6AS

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

minibus@benchmarkleasing.co.uk

Tel: 01753 859944

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A child… or a maximum-security prisoner?

Who spends more time outside, a child… or a maximum-security prisoner?

Following the results of a survey which found that most children spend less time outside during the day than maximum security prisoners, Persil, the detergent manufacturer, is encouraging UK schools to take part in ‘Empty Classroom Day’ – a worldwide campaign.

The survey, which was conducted by Persil and completed by 1000 parents and 1000 children (aged six to 11), revealed that 74% of children in the UK play outside for less than one hour a day.

Furthermore, it was found that almost a third of children (in ten countries) play outside for 30 minutes or less each day and 20% of children don’t play outside at all on an average day.

In fact, separate research revealed that children spend twice as much time playing video games, watching TV, and playing/surfing on the internet as they do playing outside.

Indeed, following on from the notion of Persil’s worldwide ‘Empty Classroom Day’ campaign, there is no doubt that more schools would provide pupils with more learning-outside-the-classroom opportunities if they had cost-effective school transport readily available to them.

Therefore, the team here at Benchmark Leasing have for some time been working hard to create the most convenient minibus leasing packages especially for schools – evolving the arrangement through feedback, primarily from administrators and school managers.

Here are the three most popular school minibus leasing arrangements that we have put together to date: 

The New Ford Transit Minibus

Key features: Daytime running lights, Bluetooth, power side step, curve control, tinted glass, and remote central locking. The Trend in addition (for a modest rental increase) includes such items as metallic paint, power heated and folding mirrors, heated front windscreen, and parking sensors.

12 Seater
2 years, 20,000 Total Miles gives Monthly Rentals of £299 + VAT* (Can be driven on a regular driving license).
15 Seater
2 years, 20,000 Total Miles gives Monthly Rentals of £317 + VAT*

 

17 Seater
2 years, 20,000 Total Miles gives Monthly Rentals of £368 + VAT*

 

Renault Trafic Minibus
Key features: 62 mph speed limiter, electronic stability control, digital tachograph, two 2kg fully compliant water/foam fire extinguishers, first aid kit with VOSA approved content, electric side step, individual spot lights and air vents for passengers and rear safety doors.

9 Seat Minibus

2 years, 20,000 Total Miles gives Monthly Rentals of £318 + VAT*

Vauxhall Movano
Key features: Padded head restraints, dual front passenger bench seat, individual saloon lighting, optional air conditioning, illuminated rear passenger walkway, overhead storage and coat racks, retracting side step, and standard Electronic Stability Programme (ESP).

17 Seat Minibus

3 years, 30,000 Total Miles gives Monthly Rentals of £470 + VAT*

Prices include a Full Maintenance package consisting of tyre replacement, servicing, Road Tax, MOT’s, and 6 Monthly Safety Inspections. Based on an initial payment equivalent to 3 monthly rentals.

You can find more information about Benchmark Leasing’s school minibus packages by visiting our website. Or, if you’d prefer, you can call us on 01753 859944 or email us at 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

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