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SAAF Education Blog: The Importance of a Financial Health Check For Schools

The Importance of a Financial Health Check For Schools

Some schools and academies may not be using their funds in the most efficient way. This can create significant deficits, meaning a drastic reduction in the quality of experience and outcomes for their pupils.

In order to resolve this, schools and academies must learn how to use their funding efficiently, evaluating every area of their school to see exactly what is a necessity, and what isn’t, to maximise their spending for the full benefit of their pupils.

A financial health check can help headteachers and the governing body evaluate their expenditure and allow them to produce a plan of action for the future.

Why do you need a financial health check?

In every business, the input and output must be evaluated to make sure the business is running effectively. For schools and academies, children’s knowledge, progress, and attainment are the output, whilst: subjects, teachers, early experiences, etc. are the input.

Financial health checks can make this process simple and stress free. An external team can enter your school or academy and check areas such as, financial systems and the skills of staff to recognise strengths and weaknesses and advise on steps to improve these. This can include, extra training to allow your teaching staff to be used more efficiently, a review of the curriculum to make sure every subject is necessary, and creating a 3-5-year plan to forecast budgeting for the future.

Need help?

SAAF Education are now listed in the DfE & ESFA’s schools financial health checks: supplier directory. We can provide a financial health check to review your financial efficiency, and offer advice on how to improve standards.

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Where is all the money going?

There are a number of factors that can result in inefficient use of expenditure, from overstaffing, to high energy bills; all of these can be avoided by effective planning and procurement reviews.

Unnecessary recruitment may be a high cause of deficits. Student needs and the curriculum should be assessed to maximise the teacher’s and student’s output or results.

This can be done by focusing on a curriculum-led strategy which involves;

  • Assessing each year group and understanding which subjects are the most important for the pupils
  • Considering the availability of teachers and support staff
  • Measuring pupil numbers and class size
  • Possibly increasing the number of pupils in each class

Many school staffing structures may also need some thought. Reducing the number of members in the senior leadership team and redistributing them into lower level management teams can have an affect on the amount of staff pay. Allowing teaching and leadership members to manage a combination of subjects can also make for a more efficient staffing structure.

High energy bills can also have a large impact on the school’s budget, but by making some simple changes, like swapping to LED lights, you could save a significant amount of money. Creating a 3-5-year plan can demonstrate how short-term changes, such as these, can create long-term improvements.

How can we help?

SAAF Education are now listed in the DfE & ESFA’s schools financial health checks: supplier directory, offering financial health checks where we can evaluate areas such as, curriculum, workforce planning, governance, and many more to produce a report that will identify specific budgeting pressures and include recommendations and advise on how to improve standards.

Want to know more? Check out our financial health check page!

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