The two most outstanding idea I have ever come across for easily and cost effectively improving resources are the following ones
1. Bealings School decided to challenge teams of students to do a better job of creating resources than the teachers. To do this you just have to give your worksheet or PPT to the class and set a competition for who can make it amazing. The resources you get often must be seen to be believed.
2. Silverton Primary School has a trolley in a central location and any new electronic device that comes on the market is bought and placed in the trolley. For six weeks students are able to go and use the devices and (Silverton allows students to self direct in quite an amazing fashion) after six weeks the students are asked to recommend what the school should buy more of. Simple yet hugely effective way of maximising the use from resources.
3. Unfortunately for my own profession, investing in more teachers does not improve education as much as you would think. Class sizes between 30 and 15 achieve similar results and some indications are that smaller groups do worse. Unfortunately for teaching assistants the impact here can be even less. The trick is making sure that the roles of individuals are clearly defined and there is a willingness to see the whole resource budget as inclusive of staff. For example how far could students begin to lead learning and what resources would be needed to allow this to happen?