In these harsh economic times, there is an impetus on public bodies to make as many cost savings as possible and reduce their budget deficits. This includes schools, many of whom have been forced to make serious cutbacks in order to make themselves financially viable. These moves have included cutting back on staff, certain subjects and certain facilities.
One area of education that has suffered particularly badly as a result of austerity is the arts; such as music, art and drama. Drama, in particular, has had a hard time as theatre trips are cancelled and large-scale performances are scaled back in order to provide funds elsewhere.
Oddly, however, drama possibly holds the key to reducing budget deficit for many educational institutions. How so? Through a school drama studio.
It may seem like a lavish investment and slightly contradictory to the overall goal of saving money but in the long term, making an initial investment in a drama studio kitted out with stage lighting, a sound system and drapes can lead to profits in the future - both monetary and in terms of your students' dramatic education.
So how exactly can one make money from a school facility?
Hire Out The Space
Believe it or not, there are a lot of groups looking for theatre-esque performance spaces in which to rehearse but are unable to find one. These amateur and semi-professional dramatists would kill to have a good rehearsal space, which is where your studio comes in.
It's not just amateur theatre groups who'll want to use the space either; there is also demand from businesses holding team-building exercises and bandr looking to hold a gig. By offering your space out for an hourly fee in the evening and at weekend, you have the potential to make a lot of money - potentially even enough that the studio ends up paying for itself.
Aside from hiring out the space out-of-school hours, you can also hold your own money-making space when the studio isn't in use by students. School plays, talent shows or even just a good old bake sale; a studio space is versatile and has many potential applications. Charge an entrance fee for each of these events and the coffers will soon be swelling.
These kind of events also has value in terms of education, providing your students with the opportunity to organise and run their own events, as well as giving them a taste of what it's like to be involved in the staging of an event.
Of course, it's not just the parents and students of the school you can serve with your shiny new drama studio. You can hold community events open to everyone, including quizzes, movie nights and even the occasional karaoke night!
Making a large investment in new facilities may seem counter-productive at a time when austerity is at the forefront of everyone's thinking, but by thinking long-term rather than short-term you can not only secure your school's immediate financial future but it's long term prosperity too.