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How school facilities can make a social impact

School Space reveals their passion for bringing together communities by making school facilities accessible

Posted by Lucinda Reid | January 03, 2018 | Facilities & buildings

School Space is an award-winning social enterprise with the mission of knitting together engaged communities around school lettings. A return to older values, with innovation at its core.

Inspirational founders, Jemma and James, began School Space at 17 years old after their own school went into special measures. While on the Head Boy and Head Girl team, they pinpointed the use of the school’s own facilities as a way to bring in thousands in extra revenue. After a period of expansion from Oxford into London and the home counties, while padding out an impressive team from the education and start-up sectors, School Space now have many successful schools and academies making up to four times their usual bookings revenue. Jemma, James and the School Space team are continuously looking for more schools and academies to bring the same community cohesion and financial help, closing funding gaps whilst impacting student, teacher and community lives for the better.

A partnership with School Space works on the following simple facets; School Space market school facilities in the best possible light and bring in local users to begin reinvigorating the local community. They manage the booking process and customer enquiries in a bid to remove the stress of lettings from already stretched school staff. School Space also staff all bookings including opening the school, caretaking, cleaning and locking up. Finance, audit trails, health and safety and insurance are also part of the School Space plan.

But, the key to this service is the level of social impact that comes from a School Space partnership. The core of the School Space mission is to drive social and educational change through encouraging community participation and allowing schools to close their funding gaps through using what they have to hand. With a rise in attendance of student groups, creating a myriad of new relations between the community and the school and even eliminating anti-social behaviour around unattended schools at night, we can start to see the impact of a company that seriously wants to affect hyper-local social change.

We spoke to Ridgeway Education Trust who have been working with School Space since 2015. They have only good things to say about the relationship with the School Space team and the results of allowing them to market and manage their facilities.

“We have been working with School Space as our trusted lettings provider since 2015. In that time, we have significantly increased our annual income from lettings. The staff are cooperative and supportive, providing regular communication and updates to us. Using School Space to manage our lettings has reduced the burden on our own staff and we know that customers using our facilities always have an expert point of contact,” said Chris Powell, Director of Finance & Services, Ridgeway Education Trust.

So the only question left is why aren't all schools and academies using School Space? Considering how fast they are growing and the valuable data they are collecting on social impact and education, we’re certain that School Space will be working with many more local schools and academies very soon.    

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