The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Financial management

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 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 whether...
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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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Alex Masters

Academy conversion: how SBMs can prepare

Could your school be considering converting to an academy? We offer expert advice on how school business managers can feel prepared. Despite the recent government U-turn on academisation, the prospect of academy conversion is still inevitable for many and SBMs are concerned about life without LA...
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Alex Masters

How to save your school money: small changes with a big impact

Imminent changes to school funding, tighter budgets and higher expectations… the pressure is on. Our exclusive report suggests simple ways your school could save hundreds of pounds. The recent news about a grammar school asking parents to pay for their children’s exams is yet another example of how...
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Alex Masters

Charging for activities at your school: the dos and don’ts

Schools are always keen to find new ways to generate income and charging for activities is a common and often lucrative way to do this. But sometimes the territory is murky and there are certain rules about when you should and shouldn’t charge. Check out our charging and remissions dos and don’ts...
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Alex Masters

How to budget effectively

Budgeting will be a primary focus for school business managers, especially as schools face budget deficits, higher costs and frozen incomes. In a survey of more than 1,000 state schools published by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), nearly two out of three schools said they could...
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Gareth D Morewood

Personal budgets are like hen's teeth

Understanding the legislation around personal budgets can be the first step to making them more common place. Gareth D Morewood examines what the law says and answers some of the most common questions. Earlier this year in SENCology I wrote a blog post about the personal budgets project I am...
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