Across the country: how are SBMs really feeling?
Whatever the age range, type or location of their schools, there are a number of issues that are keeping school business leaders awake at night. Funding (including the long-awaited national funding formula), academisation and the rise in importance of multi-academy trusts are big concerns.
These issues are played out over and over in the national press. But how representative are these national debates?
Find out SBMs' key issues below as well as links to relevant resources and expert advice.
Research (carried out by Matthew Clements-Wheeler) showed that 75% of school leaders describe themselves as concerned about the financial position of their school.
Key issues were:
- long-term funding
- changes to the national funding formula
- impact on school resources
- the impact of increased teachers’ pension contribution and NI on budgets
- no additional funding for pay rises
- support staff easily seen as targets for reduced funding
- reduced funding alongside cost increases, affording outstanding teachers, health and safety issues are harder to address with reduced funding.
- National insurance and pensions update
- Making money for your school: expert advice
- Webinar: School budgets - how to plan and monitor effectively
Recruitment has to be one of the key ‘buzzwords’ this year. The main concerns are:
- issues with recruiting science, humanities and maths staff
- general lack of candidates
- poor quality applicants, especially for leadership posts.
- retaining skilled support staff in the face of rising living costs
- worried about their ability to grow capacity in advance of demand
- maintain standards during a period of expansion.
- becoming harder to be certain of recruiting the best quality NQTs.
- Recruitment checklist: keeping children safe
- Support staff review and restructure
- The role of SBMs in recruitment: the interview
While there are clearly many benefits to collaboration (as we wills see later) there were also many concerns:
- MATs and staff restructures
- working collaboratively in rural areas
- competing agendas
- appetite for collaboration.
- MATs report: How to grow successfully and sustainably
- SBMs working in multi-academy trusts
- Financial benefits for academies converting to partnerships
Thankfully, there was also much optimism across the country, particularly with regards to collaboration, including:
- MATs are ideal for schools with particularly large deficits
- collaboration is great for sharing ICT services, employing educational psychologists, facilities management, cleaning and catering
- outstanding and teaching schools can monetise their expertise and generate traded income to support their budgets
- moving procurement away from LA provision.
- Offering SBM services to primary schools
- Multi-academy trusts: working together for school improvement
- How collaboration can be the key to outstanding
This is a summary taken from Matthew's article in our most recent (September 2016) issue of Insight magazine.