When you think of the world of education, you don’t tend to consider the realm of fat cats with pound signs for eyes and stacks of cash.
However, as the world of education becomes more privatised and funded by industry, the education sector is taking on a more business-like tone.
There is money to be made from the world of education; you simply need to know where to look and how to tap into it.
Since the emergence of the academy status, schools have been able to escape from the restrictive reigns of local authorities to strike a more independent stance.
While the funding from the local authority may have diminished, government funding is still in place direct from the Department for Education.
Schools are freer to set their own curriculum, set their own wage structure for staff and most importantly they are freer to choose how to spend their budget.
This is where you may come in. Can you offer a service or product that schools and educational establishments up and down the country will be willing to part with their hard-earned cash for?
As multi-academy trusts begin to take hold and schools begin linking up to forge a hive mind of educational thought and resources, there is an even bigger market to tap.
Take a look at these ways you could find yourself becoming part of big business within the education sector.
If you have a link to education, know someone who does, or you have been a teacher in a past life, making, selling and distributing teaching materials and resources can be a lucrative money spinner.
As the bureaucratic nature of the job has become ever more intense in recent years for teachers, education professionals have had less time to create resources and lessons from scratch.
If you understand schemes of work and can create long-term plans, stand-alone lessons and all of the resources to match including Powerpoint slides and handouts, you could generate quite a following.
The Times Educational Supplement has a section on its website encouraging the sale and sharing of teaching resources. It’s free to sign up and could provide the perfect platform from which to sell your lesson plans, worksheets, and slides.
In the USA, the Teachers Pay Teachers website allows individuals from all over the globe to sell high-quality resources for use in American schools.
If you want to make a bigger impact, you could get in touch with educational publishers who can promote your resources and sell them within schools, academies, and other education settings.
This could give you the exposure you need to forge a name for yourself in the world of teaching resources.
If you are part of the building industry, you may find that more schools are requesting quotes for work. As the population of the UK increases and certain areas are seeing an influx of new housing, more school places are inevitably needed.
This results in new schools being built or older ones being extended leading to a lot of work for builders and other tradespeople. Some building firms have even chosen to specialise in the building of schools.
If you can tweak your skill set to include the installation of school signs, the set up of networking capabilities across a site and the integration of educational tools across a building, you may be head and shoulders above your competitors when it comes to bidding for a lucrative building project.
Be A Specialist
Although this is a tad outside the box, why not consider your own skill set and work out how you can pass this on to the next generation.
You don’t have to give up your full-time job in the corporate sector or relinquish your building company or stop working for the emergency services.
You simply need to dedicate some of your time to teaching. Consultancy type roles are now almost always on a self-employed basis.
You may wish to head into schools teaching the under-fives the joys of poetry through a workshop. You might want to take a jaunt to the local catering college to enthuse the students about Trinidadian cuisine.
Or you might want to go into schools and aid the teachers in the pedagogy of their craft.
If you are keen to explore this way of working within educational establishments you will need to ensure your ID is verified, you hold a criminal records check and that you have a sound reputation.
Schools talk to one another all the time and headteachers are eager to secure the best consultants for their school. At the same time, if you obtain a couple of negative reviews, you could find securing work within schools very difficult.
Consultancy fees can be astronomical with the most in-demand consultants being booked up to a term in advance and charging £600 a day depending on the services they are offering.
If you think that you have what it takes, put the feelers out and offer a free taster session or a discounted rate to get your foot in the door. If the school sees value in your offering, they will hire you again.
Design An Online Course
While you won’t be affiliated with a university, you can still design an online course using your knowledge and skills to help others within the education sector.
This doesn’t have to be directly related to teaching and could be a soft skill to help them with their practice. Leadership, communication, and behaviour management are all aspects of the profession that individuals could do with refresher training on every so often.
Online courses tend to be cheaper than those in a classroom setting. However, once you have compiled your materials and set up the course, you can sell it again and again to different establishments or professionals.
If an online course isn’t your thing, why not consider an eBook instead? Self-publishing on Amazon, you could find teachers and other professionals downloading your book to enhance their knowledge on a given topic.
The more niche your subject is, the greater the chance of it selling quickly. There are plenty of books detailing how to teach English or what makes a good teacher but there are fewer on learning through play and utilising the Singapore bar method for maths word problems.
Offer Up Your Venue
If you are a business with wasted office space that doesn’t get used, you could lease this to schools who need space for away days, team building exercises and inset training for teachers.
Schools will be working to tight budgets, but sometimes a school setting isn’t right for the activity they have planned for staff. As such an office environment may be more suitable.
Get in touch with local schools and colleges in your area and notify them of your day hire rates. You may find a regular source of income coming your way as academy trusts book out your office space each term for a couple of days a time.
Although schools still have the children they teach at the heart of everything that they do, the influence of business is becoming more obvious.
Schools can be sponsored by a company or affiliated in some way. School budgets are set in the same way that businesses compile their financial forecasts.
Because the education sector will forever be present and the need for schools is constant, this is a good industry to try and tap in some way. With the right approach, you too could jump on the education big business bandwagon.