According to the UK Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) over 90% of teachers buy supplies for their pupils. While most purchases are to enhance in-class or extra-curricular activities, as many as half of all teachers have bought stationary, pens and disturbingly textbooks. UK school teachers are dishing out on average £250 a year from their own pockets.
In the US teachers are turning to Crowdfunding to help fund everything from pencils to microscopes.
One such schools Crowdfunding platform, DonorsChoose.org, have raised a staggering $250 million for 464,596 projects that have assisted the education of more than 10 million pupils across in the US. Most Crowdfunding requests are for grass-roots supplies.
The thanks from Reddit's 'Gifts For the Teachers' Program, which raised £200,000 in 2013, gives an indication of the level of appreciation Crowdfunding can bring to our children’s teachers – ‘Thank you so much for your generous gift of colored pencils and tape! I literally squealed in excitement when I opened the box...I can't wait to give the supplies to my students who cannot afford to buy their own. THANK YOU!!!’
Crowdfunding for schools is not just about basic school supplies. Some are reaching for more lofty targets, science Crowdfunding platform experiment.com have seen a number of teaching related projects aiming to get secondary school students involved in real science.
Crowdfunding in schools has yet to really kick off here in the UK. Hubbub is an education reward-based platform that is well placed to be there when it does. While most projects through the platform have so far have been university focused, it is open to schools, teachers and individual students.
As the gap between state funding and the ambitions of schools grow, Crowdfunding will have a greater prominence in UK education.