Achieving Value for Money and Improved Outcomes: A team approach to budget management

Achieving Value for Money and Improved Outcomes: A team approach to budget management

Primary, Secondary
Nov 2012


‘What matters isn’t the amount of money spent per pupil, but how that money is spent. So we should all be focusing on improving value for money in schools’ spending’

DfE, (undated)

Enable a whole school approach to effective financial management that supports the school’s improvement plan and improves outcomes for pupils.

Close scrutiny on public spending demands that schools and academies manage their finances carefully to ensure their funds provide the best possible outcomes for young people. The Schools Financial Value Standard advocates a value-for-money culture right across the school, stating that if the best spending decisions are to be made, everyone with responsibility for the procurement or use of goods or services should understand the importance of value for money for the whole school.

Getting people to understand their individual and collective responsibility for sound financial management requires a structured, determined strategy.   Achieving Value for Money and Improved Outcomes enables School Business Managers to lead a targeted training programme to help your school operate effective financial management and a value-for-money culture.


This unique package provides School Business Managers with all the resources they need to deliver training sessions to three key stakeholder groups – governors, senior leaders and budget holders – as well as the tools and confidence to lead whole school improvement in this vital area.

This package enables School Business Managers to train their governors, senior leaders and budget holders to:

  • Improve outcomes for pupils using the most effective procurement and deployment of resources
  • Make high-level strategic decisions that impact positively on whole-school outcomes
  • Achieve best value by using review and evaluation to assess whether planned actions are viable and cost-effective now and in the future
  • Focus funds on the school’s priorities by aligning the school’s budget with its improvement plan
  • Make successful departmental funding bids by understanding the whole-school budget context and process
  • Understand how budget decisions sit within the framework of sound financial management and how they impact on the bigger picture.

Why buy an Optimus Education DIY Training resource?

Achieving Value for Money and Improved Outcomes: A team approach to budget management is part of the Optimus Education D-I-Y (deliver it yourself) training portfolio. Our D-I-Y training packages provide:

  • value for money – training sessions can be delivered multiple times to different groups of staff
  • comprehensive training materials – detailed training plans, presentations, handouts and a variety of practical activities to engage participants are all provided in the package
  • flexibility – training sessions can be customised with case studies, questions or exercises which are specific to your school’s needs
  • excellent quality – the training materials have been written by experienced trainers with expertise in the topic area; you benefit from their knowledge and guidance
  • measurable outcomes – each package includes ways to monitor effectiveness and learning outcomes.


Summary of contents

Achieving Value for Money and Improved Outcomes contains 3 practical sessions with all the resources and advice needed to run them effectively.  It offers complete guidance in selecting the key, relevant, information needed to ensure colleagues understand it in a consistent and whole-school context.  This resource will enable all staff to:

  • Understand the impact of budget decisions
  • Align spending decisions with whole-school improvement plans
  • Get best value for goods and services
  • Improve outcomes for pupils with effective financial management

Session Breakdown

Training session 1 – Importance of strategic financial management for governors

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand their role in the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) and where to find out more
  • Understand the strategic picture of school budgets – especially where capital and revenue income come from and the main expenditure headlines
  • Understand the key link between the development plan and the budget and how to ask the right questions about the strategic financial plans
  • Consider the relevance of benchmarking in measuring their own school’s spending
  • Be aware of what best value involves, how to achieve and measure it, as well as its importance in ensuring the best possible outcomes.

Training session 2 – Whole-school strategic financial management for the senior leadership team and other senior leaders

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) and SLT responsibilities
  • Understand the strategic picture of the whole-school budget and how the budget cycle works
  • Understand the key link between improvement plans and the budget and how improvement plan priorities need to drive the budget
  • Appreciate the importance of prioritising spending decisions to ensure the best outcomes for pupils
  • Know what Best Value involves and the importance of evaluating best value for school improvement priorities

Training session 3 – Understanding budgets for school budget holders

Learning Outcomes:

  • Have an overview of how the whole-school budget works.
  • Understand the rationale behind prioritising funding for key school improvement strategies and how this links to departmental budget bids.
  • Be able to read and interpret departmental monthly reports.
  • Understand how to put a departmental bid together.
  • Be aware of what best value involves and the importance of ensuring that spending decisions represent the optimum value for moneyns represent the optimum value for money.

About the expert

Nickii is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable freelance consultant and trainer specialising in developing and promoting support staff leadership. Having worked as a school business manager across three school phases for 15 years, she now delivers her own bespoke leadership programmes for school and academy support staff.


  • A4 Ringbinder, c. 80 pages
  • CD-ROM containing PowerPoint presentations and accompanying resources


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