Savings of £500,000 a year could be made by schools in Wiltshire if they changed their phone contracts.

It comes after research by Dave Millett, who is an expert in the telecommunications industry, found that eight in ten schools have not reviewed their phone bills in the last five years. He said: “I was really interested in finding out more because my son is a teacher and I was wondering if I could use my statistical expertise to see if I could make any savings for schools.

“I found out that on average schools can cut their phone bills by 50 per cent and the minimum saving I have found so far is 30 per cent.”

Mr Millett believes that the reason behind the higher tariffs are that staff at schools have too much demands on their time and probably don’t realise the money that could be saved.

He said: “The people in schools that are in charge of the phone contracts don’t have any expertise in the industry.

“They have probably just kept old contracts from a few years ago and have not realised that they can find cheaper deals elsewhere.”

A lot of the problems have also come from the more expensive calls of mobile phones that would have been previously non-existent for schools making calls to landlines.

But these have fallen in recent years after new rules put in place by Ofcom and schools have not responded by changing their contracts.

Mr Millett is concerned that the money being wasted on phone bills could be used to help fund other much needed services.

He added: “Even if the school is just saving a few hundred pounds a year that could be money used elsewhere especially at a time when education services are being cut.”