The cost of staffing, particularly site management cover, can be a major component of the cost of community use

However, there are ways of ensuring that these costs can be kept to a minimum.

There will be various options for staffing depending on the management approach you take.

If you wish to directly manage your facilities, one option may be to employ a Community Facilities Manager or set up a separate trading arm. However, you will need to ensure you can generate sufficient income to cover this. Link to Community Facilities Manager job description

Alternatively if you decide to transfer the management to a third party, then this third party organisation will be responsible for the staff and their employment. Link to Guidance re Third Party Providers

If you are considering employing your own designated community staff, there are sample job descriptions and job adverts in the resources section.

Your County Sports Partnership will also be able to link you up with a local qualified workforce of coaches, volunteers and instructors.

Key considerations

Things to consider when assessing your staffing options:

  • The type and number of staff required to run the facilities on a day-to-day basis including reception duties, booking administration and financial management (this is sometimes delivered by school business management staff), coaching, marketing, setting up equipment, cleaning, maintenance and caretaking/security.  It may be a requirement of your insurance provider (or the PFI Insurance where relevant) to have a caretaker/site management cover during community use times, so the correct protocol needs to be followed.
  • Will you be utilising and adapting existing school contracts (cleaning, site management etc) or setting up new contracts with community use specific staff?
  • If appointing part time or sessional staff it may be cost effective to consider joint appointments with neighbouring or federated schools.
  • Some roles may be suitable for community volunteers or for students to carry out rather than deploy paid staff. For example, Landau Forte Charitable Trust employ their sixth form students as community receptionists.
  • If you are a PFI school negotiating with your PFI Facility Management provider, seek advice from other schools delivering community use that are working with the same FM contractor. See our PFI Guidance for more advice.
  • If you are directly managing community use and you decide to not employ a Community Centre Manager (or equivalent) then you will need to identify who will be managing your community use operation and ensure this is factored into their job role. Quite often this role falls to a Business Manager, but it is important to allocate them a number of days per week/month to dedicate to this position.

Managing the Interfaces between School and Community Staff

Teaching staff need to know, understand and support that “their’ space will be a joint use space. So it is important to consider how your management arrangements will accommodate this and how you will communicate with the relevant parties.

Some considerations:

  • What happens when there are changes to key staff and/or operations?
  • How does the supply teacher know about community use? 
  • What is the protocol for the return of a room after use?  

No matter how good the planning and preparation, conflicts and issues are likely to arise between school and community parties, but this can be simply and effectively managed. Practice on the ground suggests that bringing the school and community users together at the start of an arrangement, and gaining regular feedback, often works best to resolve these types of issues.

Whoever has the responsibility for leading on site services at a school level needs to be a core part of your planning and management arrangements.  The best premises teams understand that community users are customers in the same way as school students and staff.  Managing customer expectations and assessing what is realistically deliverable is as important as good customer care.  You will need to ensure community use is planned alongside school events, cleaning schedules, maintenance work and building projects. 

TOP TIP: "Employ a dedicated role to ensure community use is managed professionally and opportunities are maximised." Laurie Marshall, Marketing and Facilities Manager at Landau Forte Charitable Trust