The cost of opening crisis

Before I move onto this week’s message I’ll just quickly refer back to last week. As is the way with sport, the football and the cricket didn’t go as I might have hoped. But Comic Relief was great!

With the Chancellor’s spring statement this week, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the consequential impact upon our household budgets, a short message this week reminding us all of our responsibilities to ensure that the finances of the schools and college are carefully and well managed.

I know that it’s my responsibility to ensure that we can stay open, keep the lights on, pay the wages, etc. but, if I’m frank, things are genuinely more difficult than they ever have been. I’m going to need your help. I’m going to need you all to be conscious of what we collectively spend and how we spend it.

Obviously, there are the regular requests to consider the use of energy: be that electricity or gas for the heating. On this occasion I’m quite comfortable stealing and twisting the Tesco strapline, (really) every little helps. Every light that is turned off, every computer that shuts down, every day that we don’t turn the heating on, does make a significant difference.

You will know that at a Trust and as institutions we are committed to being as environmentally friendly as possible. It is our commitment to ensure that the environment that we all work in is as good as it can be. We are investing significant amounts of money in the obvious and less obvious infrastructural and environmental improvements. You may know about the IT investments, you will see some improvements in your work spaces over the coming months and you will see further improvements on the sites through the summer and into the autumn. It is right and proper that we continue to invest in our environment. In doing so we are ensuring that our children and young people get the very best learning opportunities and that the professionals can make the most of those conditions in their work and support for our children and young people.

All that said, we do need a commitment from everyone to ensure that costs are driven down. There are so many things that you can do to help us and I would welcome any really good ideas or suggestions which might reduce our variable costs.

I’ve put together some thoughts which might prompt your thinking – see below. Please do your bit; we want the lights to stay on, we do want to continue to invest in our working environment.

  • In the use of resources in the classroom and in the office:
  • Utilize both sides of a paper either for writing or for printing jobs.
  • Avoid printing documents, when they could be shared via emails.
  • That is; go paperless.
  • Use the air dryers rather than paper towels.
  • Turn the lights off when you really don’t need them on or when you leave the room. Natural light is often enough on bright days.
  • Turn your computer off.
  • Discard or turn off all those other electrical devices you’ve got.
  • If you have plants in your room, use recycled water.
  • Use real crockery and cutlery.
  • Fill up your water bottle, don’t buy plastic and throw it away.
  • Use your space efficiently. Pack your things away when you leave a space, making that space usable by your colleagues.

I’m sure you can find more that we can do.

‘Energy efficiency not only saves businesses and consumers money, but it also reduces pollution by cutting energy use.’ Jeff Van Drew