Financial management

Sue Birchall

Dawn of MAT or: the evolution of the SBM

The old days of school business management are gone, but not forgotten. As election uncertainty looms, Sue Birchall looks at the history of this complex role. With the announcement of an election and the subsequent freeze on publishing the response from the grammar school consultation process, the...
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Sue Birchall

SBMs: let's focus on solutions, not problems

Given its skewed portrayal in the media, you'd forgive people for wondering if there's any hope left in education. It's time SBMs took a solution-based approach to funding challenges. ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’ ~ George...
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Nickii Messer

Budget cutting should be long-term, not knee-jerk

In a climate of ever-tightening purse strings, it’s all too easy for school business leaders to overlook strategic plans and make hasty attempts to cut staff in order to balance the budget. With most schools feeling the pinch – or the tight grip of a vice, in some cases – of rapidly shrinking...
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Matthew Clement...

Fairer funding or financial catastrophe? Stephen Morales on challenging the status quo

I recently asked Stephen Morales, CEO of the National Association of School Business Management, for his view on the impact of recent funding issues on schools. Throughout the interview, Stephen was as measured and diplomatic as you would expect of someone in his position. NASBM is an organisation...
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Nickii Messer

Why aren't more schools business savvy?

It is disheartening that so many schools continue to make poor financial decisions at the expense of their pupils' life chances. If they are to stay solvent, SBMs must spend strategically! To prove that I am such a hard-nosed business lady, my friends like to recall the time that, when held up and...
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Sue Birchall

Short-changed: the future of the small school in financial hardship

In a time of ever-shrinking budgets, there is evidence that smaller schools are beginning to feel the financial pinch a little more than the rest of us. A report by the BBC highlights concerns previously raised by the ACSL that smaller schools ‘will fall off a cliff’ before the next round of...
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Lisa Griffin

Establishing or joining a MAT: autonomy vs capacity

Our recent Establishing or Joining Multi-Academy Trusts conference was a day of debate, thoughtful questions and honest answers. Lisa Griffin highlights some of the key learnings. Autonomy and capacity were the big buzz words of the event. For most of the attendees who were looking for guidance on...
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Sue Birchall

Academisation u-turn: a change for the better?

The government's decision to row back on academisation spells uncertainty for many, a welcome relief for others. What will the future hold for the sector? The Education Bill, which included legislation forcing academisation, has been dropped. Yet another conundrum for schools, a change of heart...
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Sue Birchall

The May education philosophy and the SBM

The start of the new school year again brings fresh announcements from the government on the direction of education. The prime minister, Theresa May, announced her wish to increase access to grammar school education for our young people. Theresa May's ideas of a meritocratic education system based...
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John Viner

National funding: new broom, old cobwebs

For most school business managers, the most immediate and urgent concerns will surround funding and it’s important to appreciate that nothing is going to change in the immediate short term. What, you may ask, happened to the much-vaunted National Funding Formula promised from 2017? Details of the...
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