Following our survey of school minibus ownership which discovered a worryingly high percentage of schools using buses which were over five years old, focus has moved to the issue of how the leasing or purchase of minibuses can be funded.
Traditionally the PTA has been a source of funding, although that comes with the disadvantage of the fact that it can take several years for the average PTA to raise sufficient funds to purchase the bus (although they can of course make donations to help with the monthly lease payments if they wish).
But recently another source of funding has emerged, and it seems a lot of primary schools are rapidly taking up this new option.
The thinking behind this new approach is that the department that often has the strongest desire for use of the minibus is PE and sport, with its need to take teams to away games, and the desire to make use of off-site facilities such as swimming pools.
As such it makes a lot of sense for some of this department’s recently acquired additional funding to be used on the bus.
This money can be further topped up with part of its pupil premium money, not least in recognition of the fact that the learning outside the classroom that an extra minibus encourages, can be especially beneficial for such pupils.
Indeed in a report from the school that pioneered this approach the head of the school noted that the inspectorate were particularly impressed with the way the money had been used to enhance the learning experience of the children.
There are two points that come out of this. First, and perhaps most obviously, one or more minibuses can make a major difference to a school in terms of giving children access to local facilities.
Second, while the PE department might want first call on an extra bus, because its extra funding has helped pay for it, there will still be time for other departments to use the bus to visit historic monuments, art galleries, theatres and other sites.
If you would like to talk about leasing or purchasing a minibus – or even more than one minibus – please do call us on 01753 859 944.
Alternatively you can find more information on our website.