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show profits / production float

Discussion in 'Music' started by starfluf, May 7, 2011.

  1. Hi all
    We have staged our first production for a number of years. We had sell out audience and made a profit of approx £1200. We had approx 10 members of staff off timetable (great we had so many involved) and have now been told post production that the staff cover and supply costs must come out of this profit??
    We were presuming this money would be used for future productions as this show had minimal costs of £125 license fee and downloaded scripts and music (we have had to hire sound and lighting equipment as our capacity in insuffienct).
    Advise please! Thanks
     
  2. We still have a separate production budget that is guarded fiercely (luckily the finance officer is on our side.) The cover costs didn't come out of it as we agree rehearsal time and cover with the head before we start rehearsing and it all goes into the calendar. (We do try and help out as much with the cover as we can by collapsing classes where the majority of pupils are involved and bringing the odd class over to watch the rehearsal. Our production budget then funds future productions and also the buying and maintenance of sound and light equipment. If we had to factor in staffing costs we wouldn't be able to put on a production.
     
  3. Silverfern - Our HoD booked off the staff needed - at no point did the person in charge of cover or SLT who signs off as approved flag the cover. The budget we had was from the previous drama production, and we tightly budgeted as we knew we didn't have much. That's one of the reasons we picked this show! We payed out for things as we wnet - SLT did not ask for outgoings. Our new Head has flagged work in the community as a priority and as we are now in SM shows look like good things to inspectors.

    We don't have a HoD for music - when the HoD left at Easter last year his TLR disappeared with him! I've proposed a pot of £1000 to be kept to invest in future productions. It's good you ask about short fall - we mentioned what would have happened if the show has lost money! That question wasn't answered. We charged £5 / £3 and and £11 for family ticket. We had 3 good turn outs of which one was a sell out. We have poor provision of staging, sound and lighting so we could self fund improvements there.

    After being in touch with 4 HoD I know personally all have said the schools trust them to cover and spend as they see fit. It's positive publicity for the school - they should surely be supporting our good will and expertise (albeit naive!)

    Thanks for your advise
     
  4. poemeelectronique - so what's your situation now? Trouble is we're raising money from parents so it should be reinvested in the productions for the future??
     
  5. qu1annie - do you cover requirements change year to year and when do you agree with the Head? Our production was very rushed, we decided in October to do WWRY, cast laster that month and only started rehearsals in Dec, with the show in March. We thought we had reduced cover best we could with some classes going into the hall during rehearsals. That is my exact argument - surely if a production if expected as part of the calendar then if exams etc receive cover then so should a production. Thanks!
     
  6. Well, I'm in FE so things are really very different for us in that sector. Basically, we have to be especially careful we don't have a negative income for any gigs/productions we do else we'll have to pay the shortfall out of the budget.
    Essentially, what's happening is that we make a good profit (large music dept) and are subsidising the rest of the college! Quite unusual for a music department to be able to do that although we also have other sources of income. Rather naughtily (don't tell anyone!!), I am filching away a little bit of cash from the door, keeping really good accounts, and spending it on equipment. I'd much rather the money raised by student activities goes back into their education.
    I think we're lucky but I know of other HoDs in FE who are struggling desperately.
     
  7. silverfern

    silverfern New commenter

    Starfluf... I really feel for you. It sounds as though you are in a really difficult position, and trying to do the very best for the students and school (as you say, school productions are good 'work in the community' and positive publicity). Sounds like you took responsibility for putting on a show, without the support of a TLR'ed HOD Music, which in itself shows that you had your heart in the right place. You showed that you had considered the budget, by choosing an inexpensive show. It is interesting that cover costs weren't flagged when they were approved, and your question about covering a shortfall wasn't answered; lack of 'policies' further up the chain? It sounds as though you got a good turn out to the show, so friends and parents of the school do want to support student productions. I really hope that your school supports you, and puts some policies in place that help avoid this situation again.
     
  8. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    Shouldn't that all be going through the college accounts? [​IMG]
    Wouldn't this be construed as gross misconduct if it were to be discovered?
     
  9. Yes, it is going through the accounts but a <u>different</u> account from the production one. It's the only way to prevent it from going into areas not connected with my department. I'm naughty but not that naughty[​IMG]
     
  10. Silverfern - that's exactly it - we are all working extremely hard. I work 3 days a week and with my brilliant colleague have completely overhauled the KS3 curriculum and are still making tweaks all the time. We have enthusiasm on our side and wanted a show the kids would love and it really came off. When there are questions over money and other politics it makes you question why you bother. But then you are stuck in a catch 22 - if you don't do it they'll be questions and if you do you're taken for granted. We need to write some polices so we ALL know what the future holds (us and above). Have you some production policies we could use a templates please?
     
  11. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    Phew Poem! I thought you were writing it all down but keeping it in a shoe box under the bed [​IMG]
     
  12. We have a production committee, which consists of interested staff e.g. one of the science department enjoys doing the sound, one of the IT staff does stage management. Once the HoD of drama and I have decided on the show, it is taken to the production committee who help with the logistics. A budget is worked out (another member of staff is responsible for this) based on previous years and performing rights costs. Once everything is worked out, e.g. who is going to be responsible for costumes etc. (with a budget that shows us breaking even) the drama HoD and I go to our Head and SLT line manager for a meeting to get the go ahead - we then discuss cover, rehearsals, dress rehearsal to primary schools etc. We're not allowed to do anything on that scale without going through the head and SLT as both of them say quite rightly that we need to make sure all the support is in place before we commit ourselves to a lot of extra work. (We don't have to jump through these hoops for concerts/other smaller drama performances as they don't require the committment from other staff and have smaller numbers of pupils involved.)
     
  13. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    When I was HOF in a school in a deprived inner city the HT gave us a good budget to put on shows/events. He simply had the vision that a 'small investment' of about 5k may attract an extra student or 2 or 3 to the school.
    The shows invariably did attract more students to join the school.
    Just how many HT's are that forward thinking? And there was no question of any money raised being clawed back, that was there for further improvements in equipment, costumes, staging, sets etc.
     
  14. Ok so update is £1000 has been taken from show profits to put on cover. Our remaining profit is approx £500 so do you think we can suggest no production this year? We were thinking about return to the forbidden planet and as that's Joseph Weinbuger that's approx £1000 for just their costs. I'm appalled the money was taken without consultation or negotiation. Advise please??
     
  15. I would suggest that if the show isn't until March you embark on some fundraising to replace some of the money that's been lost. I know your situation sucks, i'm HoD for performance areas and I fiercely guard production money, putting it into a separate account. We raise money towards this throughout the year through small performances. Realistically, if you're wanting to do a full scale production you're going to struggle with £500 so unless you can claw any back you're left with the following choices; a) Refuse to a do a show (while this stamps your point to the management it doesn't help the kids) b) Fundraise so that you can put on what you want to c) Create a production, i.e. using excerpts from shows. I don't know where you're at with talks on this problem - you previously mentioned something about your HoD who should really be raising this problem and trying to get some answers. I would request a budget to be given and clarity on what is happening with profits so that you can plan for future ventures. Sorry to hear you're in this situation.
     
  16. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    I'd do this.
     
  17. Education is free at point of delivery. If parents paid for tickets they are paying for a production which is an extra at school. If their money goes towards cover they are paying for teaching - that is illegal.
    However, I suspect it's a moot point. You COULD try to negotiate - say 50% of cover costs.
    Having said that, 10 members of staff off timetable is a lot of staff. I would only expect to use one, maybe two teachers at most and then only for one day. I would look to support staff for other help.
    As most people have said, learn this year, make sure it is absolutley clear next year.
     

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