Why 1%?

More and more spending decisions are now being devolved to schools, and this is likely to continue. Every1counts is a way for pupils to get a piece of the action too. But school heads and governors need to know that the money will be spent wisely. So we feel its a good thing to start small. A little money spent well can go a long way.

We’ve calculated that just 1% (of just some) of your school budget can make a real difference to pupils and give the school council a new sense of purpose. Giving access to thousands of pounds of money each year to pupils means giving school councils a real job to do.

‘Every1Counts’ is the start of something bigger. We all know money is power, and budgets are what controls the money. We know that sharing power over money isn’t always going to be easy. We accept we don’t have a big tradition in this country that schools should act on what their pupils say.

So we have started modestly.

Every school could become a 1% school straight away.

We hope, in time, some will go further.

Why the support services, premises and learning resources budget?

These are budgets spent within every school on things like school meals, library books, cleaning the toilets, maintaining the playground, photocopying, as well as all sorts of classroom resources from books to ICT equipment to educational trips.

In a typical school we believe these budgets could amount to over £400,000 a year. Signing the Every1counts pledge means committing to allow pupils to control just 1% of this money.

Spending money on these things are essential to the life of the school. They can be taken for granted, because no-one understands what they cost, or what else could be done with the same money with just a little imagination.

We believe every school can find better ways of spending these kinds of budgets, ones that are more efficient or contribute to enhancing the wider school experience.

Why not the other bits of the budget?

Lots of what a school spends money on each year isn’t easy to share. Teacher wages, for example, are a big parts of the school budget, but there are complex legal issues that mean pupils can’t easily get involved in those decisions. Even school governors powers are quite limited in these areas.

So we are focusing ‘Every1counts’ on the things we can change. Often these are called the school’s ‘discretionary  budget’

Each school joining in with every1counts will need to consider their own situation and decide for themselves what they can achieve with their school budget.