- Unless a museum’s education service is fully funded from another source many museums will need to charge for some, or all, of their education provision in order to cover staff and resource costs.
- Even those who are fully funded in terms of staffing may need to charge to cover refurbishment and renewal of resources or to pay freelance staff to extend the capacity of the museum to deliver a service for schools.
What to charge
Charges vary from museum to museum.
- Some museums charge an entry fee plus an additional amount for a led session.
- Fees can be up to £6.50 per child, though the average is £2.50.
- Some museums, especially those run by a local council, make a distinction between charges for local schools and those from outside their region.
- Some charge per session, for a led session, rather than per child or per hour, e.g., £20 – £40 per hour at the museum.
- Charges do not appear to dissuade schools from taking advantage of handling sessions, even for schools situated in areas of high deprivation, especially if the children can walk to the museum (thus avoiding coach hire costs) and the sessions are pertinent to teachers’ needs.
- If you need to hire a freelance educator to deliver the session you will need to take their cost into consideration when setting charges.
- An example of charges per hour for a city based museum: Schools within the City boundaries £35, State schools from outside the City boundaries £50, Private Schools £60, Special Schools (regardless of location) £25, Home School groups (regardless of location) £35.
- An example of charges for a local authority museum: General visit for non local schools, £1.75 per pupil; General visit for local school, free; 2 hour workshop for non local schools, £2.75 per pupil; 2 hour workshop for local school, £2.50 per pupil.
- An example of charges for an independent museum: Range from £3.25 per pupil (for Reception and Years 1 and 2) to £5.25 per pupil (Years 13 and 14) for entry to the museum site. Led sessions cost from £6.50 per pupil to £40 per session.
- If you are going out to a school the charge will need to be slightly higher to allow for the extra time it will take to pack and transport objects. (A sliding scale might be useful e.g. £40 for the first hour, £20 for second hour and so on).
- It is a good idea to find the current day rate for supply teachers and adjust your rate accordingly. (It might also be useful to decide from the start how big an area you are prepared to cover and whether there to apply a sliding scale of cost relating to distance travelled).
Finally it is important to consider a cancellation charge for schools who fail to visit or cancel at the last minute especially if you are paying for additional staff.
- Some organisations such as Eureka! don’t have a cancellation charge but ask for a £30 deposit for groups of 10 or more which is non-refundable so if schools do cancel, Eureka! have at least covered their administration costs. See below for link re their Terms and Conditions.
- Others such as Buckinghamshire County Council have a minimum charge which covers the cost of staffing planned and so covers the museum’s costs. If the school gives notice the chances are that the museum can fill the slot again. With less that 10 days notice the museum is unlikely to fill the slot so a full charge is made but always at the manager’s discretion.
- School Booking Form – Bucks County Museum
- Look at the back page of the Touchstones Schools Programme to see their clause re cancellation.
Terms and conditions on the Eureka website.
The Pricing Institute for pricing insight for the arts.