1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Science budget per pupil

Discussion in 'Independent' started by PtolemyTortoise, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. PtolemyTortoise

    PtolemyTortoise New commenter

    As HoD at a prep school (around 500 pupils) I have a budget of £9.50 per year per pupil. Years 3-6 are relatively cheap to fund. Years 7 and 8 are quite expensive - the text book is £20 for example, and needs replacing every 3-4 years. Chemicals cost £300 a year, replacement glass wear about the same.
    Can anyone tell me what they think is reasonable?
    install likes this.
  2. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    I know of a school about half the size of yours where the annual Science budget is about £2,000.
    Do you have to put in an annual Budget Request indicating what is essential and what is desirable? This can help to show the budget decision-makers what it costs just to run the department and what budget is required to do something special/extra.
    install likes this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    OK, we only find years 3-6 from our science budget, but it certainly doesn't come out as anything like £9.50 a year. More like tuppence h'penny.

    I don't know of any school I have ever worked in which replaces textbooks every 3-4 years. Every 9-10 is much more usual, more if pupils don't take them home.
  4. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter


    Ah, that will explain that book from the school library I threw out, that was talking about what will happen when man eventually walks on the moon... :D
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Some of ours probably speculate about men and their flying machines!
    jarndyce likes this.
  6. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Established commenter

    I discovered a textbook that talked about how "Negros" were tall and thin to increase heat loss compared to white people.
    install likes this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter


    Let's pray to whichever god exists that this textbook is more than 3-4 years old...
  8. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Established commenter

    You can add a zero to those... it was more like 30-40 years old and might even have been from the 1950s. Still, it had an excellent play with script for the "plague at Eyam".

    I am abhorred by the way that people throw out resources like these so readily. Yes they contain some irrelevant and sometimes wrong information, but that's part of my job isn't it, to filter and approve material based on suitability. I hate the assumption that the 'new' books are better just because they are specifically matched to a particular course.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    That sounds pretty decent to me. ;)

    You could try checking with other Science teachers/depts ;)
  10. Snorkers

    Snorkers New commenter

    With my slightly legal hat on, actually you can't - not without breaking the law, at least. There were a number of independent schools who were sharing financial information, including information like this, and were raided/censured by the Office of Fair Trading (as it was then). We have very strong warnings about it every year from our Bursar, so it's worth bearing in mind.
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    Good point but you can do it - and legally if the Employer/Bursar agrees to it and/or if they dont mind it being anonymized.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    And if the OP doesn't mind attending a disciplinary hearing and answering to misconduct!

    Besides which it is irrelevant how different schools allocate a budget. Some schools need to prioritise music and some maths, others science or English.
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    Mmmm..still nice to compare though OP if allowed and good to do.

    Always interesting to see which subjects a school puts its money into or doesn't. And also nice to do if schools are working together in some way - if they are not toooooo scared to share.
  14. geoff1954

    geoff1954 New commenter

    I retired as a prep school (yrs 3 to 8) head of science about five years ago. The science budget was £5 per pupil, and it was not enough! Whether or not text books are to be paid from the dept budget makes a big difference. Like you, I could not afford to buy the recommended text book for Common Entrance. With hindsight I should have made more of a fuss: my school was not poor. Here's a thought: Do you find that a common question at parents evenings is 'What could I do to improve the progress of my son/daughter?' If you were to reply 'I can recommend you buy this test book, which the school cannot afford to buy, despite your £12000 a year fees.' Worth mentioning this as a possible conversation to your Head? (Not as a threat, of course!)
    install likes this.

Share This Page