SCHOOLS in Chelmsford need to start acting more like businesses, according to the head of education at Essex law firm Birkett Long.

Emily Brown has urged schools to look at their options and think about setting up trading subsidiaries to protect their future.

Ms Brown said a lot of schools that have converted to academy status with the freedom of running their own budgets should seriously consider this as another option for raising the cash they need.

She added: “A lot of schools we talk to are looking ahead to what kind of money they are going to need in the next few years and have realised that the money from central government just won’t be there.

“This is about protecting the future of the schools. They urgently need to start thinking creatively about making their assets work for them, such as hiring out school premises after hours, at the weekend and in the holidays."