So what is your plan for handling a 10% budget cut if you have to?

Cuts of the scale now being spoken of in the press will inevitably lead to staffing reductions and, in many schools, the launch of redundancy procedures.  Schools will be required to set out clearly the financial challenges they face and consult with staff and the trade unions on their plans for addressing them.  In the increasingly complex world of school and academy funding, they will inevitably come under pressure to show that they have explored all possible alternatives to cutting staffing levels.  It makes good sense to take an early and proactive approach to the possibilities of budget cuts.

We are finding that well-handled strategies usually have the following key elements

  • Exploring opportunities to generate additional funding through competitive bidding
  • Taking a more aggressive approach to creating economies of scale by sharing services and handling procurement in partnership with other schools (even bitter rivals!)
  • Conducting staffing and leadership structure reviews to ensure that teaching and support staff with the right mix of skills are in place to deliver a streamlined curriculum offer

If, after all of this, governors can clearly demonstrate that staffing reductions are still required, schools will need to ensure that they are following a well thought-out and statutorily compliant procedure that is fair to both teaching and support staff.

Our Budget Reduction Strategic Planning Service

There is no substitute for a good plan. To ensure that you have explored all possible angles, two consultants spend half a day with you and key colleagues.  One of these will be a school improvement/HR specialist and the other will come from a finance/procurement background.  This will give you the opportunity to talk through the issues you face in confidence, explore the options at your disposal, consider approaches followed in other schools and clear the way to developing a comprehensive overall strategy to share with governors and staff.  The fee of £1500 plus VAT including travel includes 90 minutes post meeting work on producing any follow-up written documentation that you would find helpful.

For some schools, this planning session is all that is required.  For others, we stay in touch throughout the process.  Our experts can produce revised staffing and leadership structures and deal with all aspects of budget reduction exercises, from producing clear and statutorily compliant documentation to dealing with trade union comments and questions.  They can also help groups of schools develop and implement plans for sharing services and conducting joint procurement exercises.

Why We Are Well Placed to Help

Educate’s expertise is centered around helping schools and academies get the best value for money from their resources – both human and physical.

On the staffing side, the work of Nigel Middleton and Neil Clifton over the last decade had made us national leaders in the complex and contentious fields of appraisal and performance-related pay.  As part of this work, we have helped many schools develop alternative and often shorter staffing and leadership structures.  It is apparent at the moment that – faced with the need to take a hard look at structures – a significant number of schools are looking to transfer all or some of their TLR post into posts paid on the leadership spine.

On the resources side – we have extensive experience in helping schools with smart purchasing, bid writing and procuring more effectively. 

If you would like more information, please contact Tom Goldsmith – tomgoldsmith@educate.co.uk or on 020 3411 1080.