How to effectively manage your school budget?
Schools set their budget at the start of every year. But the real challenge is for the months that follow, it is crucial to plan your budget effectively.
It is important to continually review and forecast your expenditures against your budget and be prepared to adapt when changes occur. In the past, a budget might have been set for a certain amount of money and as long as it wasn’t overspent, that might have been considered acceptable. But in this day and age, schools have to demonstrate the impact of that spend and ensure it’s bringing value for pupils and the school.
There are many ways to effectively plan your budget. Here are some important things to keep in mind.
1. Linking with the school improvement plan
The first and foremost thing to do is align your budget with your school improvement plan. By linking your school improvement plan and your annual budget you will have a clear idea of your goals and the resources needed to accomplish those goals.
When aligning with your school improvement plan, you may want to consider how you can raise standards and the quality of education in your school, the school’s current financial position, what your spending priorities are and what you expect your budget to look like over the next 12 months.
2. Accountability for all
In a school, it is important the each department is held accountable for their improvement. Departments should be able to provide evidence of the impact that their spending is going to have on pupils. This could include analysing the impact your pupil premium spend has had on a pupil’s progress. Schools need to be looking at the impact and then measuring the value of this on the pupils. If it is not what you want to be delivering, then you need to make sure you can change it.
3. The Unplanned Expenditure
Unplanned expenditure is one thing that no one likes. One cannot be prepared for it, which means you have to prioritise the tasks that come up unplanned. Health and safety expenditure is always the biggest issue and can be called the most justified of unplanned expenditure. There are things that you can’t budget for and you just have to accept that, and work out where else in your budget you can offset this, but you can negate quite a lot of unplanned expenditure if it’s challenged properly.
4. Different needs
Ultimately every school’s needs differ from each other. Schools have to cope up with tight budgets, scrutinizing the spending, other financial issues.
The biggest factor is understanding what it is you need and what you currently have available at your school that you can utilise. Perhaps you could share resources or look at ways to deliver the curriculum more creatively? You might even be able to find alternative ways of delivering what is needed.
This article has been inspired by and contains excerpts from Capita Sims website. Read the original here.