Costs of setting up a school

I have a few friends who’ve recently set up schools and it’s amazing how much it costs. I’m talking about overheads and desks but all the other small stuff. Then add on the continual costs and it gets even more expensive.

In a previous post I addressed the possible cost saving of using tablets and wondered if this could be used to save further costs….


I saw one for   and then you need pens, lots of them every week also wipers and special cleaning products.


Notebooks for teachers, blank paper for copying and general use

3)Normal pens

For everything

4)Post-its and fancy stuff

Some places like coloured card, paper post-its, drawing pins, pencils, coloured paper, staples, laminated cards etc etc

Then you have subscriptions to journals, magazines, online groups/lesson shares, membership of teaching groups, licences for using software

If it’s an international chain there are also franchisee fees.

The end result?

Lower staff pay. Especially if the school is competing on a price basis but then again does extra stuff=better teaching?

The solution?

Cut backs

This is what Dogme is based on isn’t it? Getting back to what’s important and eliminating all this other stuff. It’s costly and you need time which should be devoted to the students.

A typical Dogme lesson we see online often just has students on chairs and a teacher with a board or flip chart. Do they need it? Could we just do a lesson vocally? After all, we are all supposed to be focussed on communication and a board automatically evokes ‘teacher-centred lecture syndrome’.

Last week I saw a big touch screen in a shop. Wouldn’t that do? Stick it on the wall, use it as a board, TV, video, internet access point, you could run PPT if you wanted, anything really. Maybe it would cost a lot initially but after 2 years it would be saving you money.


I wonder what teachers would say if you announced that all they would have for teaching was that screen but access to the internet and various links to online materials. I’d be very happy but the average teacher may not.

How about you?

Here some info about touch screens:


8 thoughts on “Costs of setting up a school

  1. I have no idea why people start up their own schools. All that cost, not to mention the stress involved! I had to write something about it myself on my own blog a while back.

    As far as your idea for less equipment is concerned, at least here in the south of Brazil new prospective students at a new school would usually like to see sparkling new stuff around. I think a touchscreen, though, would impress in the ‘wow’ factor and I personally would love to have access to one.

  2. You’re right, Phil – running a school is a very costly business. The trouble with investing in hardware like you describe is that it amortises over 2 years tax wise, but by then is obsolete or knackered. Back to financial square one.

    Or am I missing something? I am, after all, a bear of financially little brain.

    • You might be right Anthony. It will be out-of-date after 6 months and you can only deduct it from your taxes for the first year.

      I’ve worked in places though that have been desperate to spend a budget on certain things as otherwise they had to give it back. This resulting in rush purchases of useless software usually.

      Maybe a cheap projector is all we need. I know that many of the places I’ve worked in gave me weird looks when I said “could I have a marker please”? Others kept them locked away as they were expensive and used to moan about their high stationary bills.

      So, what do you think is the best set up with the lowest costs, sustainability and emphasises communication?

  3. If you can write/doodle/draw on these big touchscreens, I’m sold. Is there some kind of IWB software for them? Could you use apps on them or are they just tellies with internet?If so, the new portable IWBs might cost a little more than the touch screen (taking into account the fact you need a laptop and projector to run them too) but the huge advantage would be the scribblability.

    Thanks for this post. I have been thinking of the very possibility of a materials light dogme-style school for a while now, but run as a collective.

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