The Impact of School Lettings: Kings Langley Secondary School

The impact of a school lettings programme can go so much further than simply generating revenue. By hiring out school facilities to community groups, the positive impact is endless.

A few weeks ago, we interviewed Diane Bell, Deputy Head (School Manager) at Kings Langley Secondary School.

Read about Diane’s experience with hiring out facilities below:

Why do you choose to offer a community lettings programme?

Why wouldn’t you want to help the community use our facilities and generate income as well? Out of hours, schools are underutilised, they just sit there empty. So, it’s a win-win.

What was running lettings like before working with Vivify? 

Before working with Vivify, it was very admin heavy – it sucked up a lot of the team’s time. Dealing with all the people, hiring the facilities, processing payments, making the bookings, there’s a lot that goes into that. Not having to do it, has released other people to do other things and made it more time efficient for our team.

A big draw of working with Vivify was their team’s marketing experience and knowledge. As a school, we simply don’t have experts in different fields. Being able to tap into a marketing resource with pockets of knowledge was very helpful.

Before Vivify’s marketing activity, our lettings programme wasn’t very diverse, but now we see all different groups come through our doors.

One of our hirers is a dance group, and I can tell you, we just never would have attracted them if it wasn’t for Vivify’s marketing.

Why did you choose to outsource school lettings to Vivify?

It’s Vivify’s understanding of what schools need and their staff’s experience in school lettings that sold it to me. This assured me they knew what they were doing! When you’re looking for any new provider, they really need to show they understand what our challenges as a school are. The staff working at Vivify get this as they’re doing it day in and day out.

How do things run day-to-day? 

There’s very little input from us day-to-day because all the bookings are dealt with by Vivify.

It’s only really when something out of the norm or an issue crops up that we need to be in touch.

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What benefits have you seen for the school and pupils? 

From the school’s point of view, it’s the administrative function being removed and the building being utilised out of hours.

Supporting local clubs that our own students attend is fantastic. Whether they’re doing netball or football, they’re coming somewhere familiar at the weekend to do something fun. Our students benefiting from our hirer groups is a real plus.

We’re planning a 3G pitch to be built at the back of the school in the next 12 months or so, and our local football teams are actually going to partner with us on that. A lot of our children play on these teams too.  For a school, those relationships are really important.

Without partnerships with our local clubs, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to gain funding for the 3G pitch!

Of course, income generation goes without saying. It gives us that little bit extra for things we don’t get funding for from the Department for Education.

So, where does any income generated go?

Specifically, from lettings, we put the income generated back into our facilities.

For example, we have two key strategic projects at the moment.

One is to put a significant amount of money into our upcoming 3G pitch and we’re also building a new sixth-form centre. We’re expanding our current sixth-form social and study place. A new development which means we’ll be able to increase our 6th Form intake.

This level of growth, fuelled by lettings is really exciting for our school and community.

What benefits have you seen for your local community?

For the community, providing facilities that aren’t going to waste and can be used out of hours!

Football clubs in particular are struggling for local playing space. Once we have our 3G pitch in place at our school, it will really benefit them. It will really enhance our partner club’s offer for their players. It won’t just be one or two clubs that will use the space either, there’ll be several!

What's the single biggest change you've seen through working with Vivify?

The single biggest change we’ve seen from outsourcing our lettings to Vivify is removing the administrative burden from our staff.

This was a major challenge that’s now been lifted. We will always do lettings, it’s something we are proud to offer. But having someone else look after them is worth its weight in gold.

What advice would you give to someone considering running lettings? 

If anyone asked, ‘should I do it myself?’ I’d say a resounding ‘No, don’t do that!’

Because our experience with outsourcing has been really good. There are always going to be bumps in the road with a service like lettings. But they are so much easier to resolve when you’ve got someone to take over the management and you’ve not got internal staff burdened by the administration of the task.

Considering outsourcing lettings?

Here at Vivify, we understand the time pressures and financial challenges, schools are facing across the UK. Hearing how lettings has helped our school stakeholders like Diane, makes what we do even more satisfying.

If you are a school interested in letting your facilities visit here or book a 15-minute call here today.

If you are looking for a facility near you for your next sport, event, or game visit here.

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