Making Strategic Finance a Team Pursuit

How can you refine financial and curriculum metrics to support informed strategic decision making across the wider management team?

The Spending Review in October 2021 delivered the financial settlement for the next three funding years (2022 – 2025) and  included spending on the core schools budget for 5-16 year-olds, programme funding for 16-19 and recovery funding . Recovery funding takes different forms, comes with different levels of prescription and has different life spans. However, the need for sustainable strategic financial planning remains constant.

School finance software necessarily provides information in fine detail. This level of detail may not be needed for general strategic discussion and decision making across a wider team that includes those who are not financial experts.  Strategic discussion involving plans for addressing lost periods of  learning  must be aligned with available resource. 

The aim of this course is to show how financial information can be streamlined and used in strategic financial planning and which includes non-financial specialists, governors, and trustees.

We will use a summary of financial and staffing data from the current year, consider the expected financial outturn position and contextualise in terms of three finance and two curriculum parameters. Whichever one of the three possible outcomes that apply - deficit, balance or surplus - will be used in a ‘What if’ context to determine the extent to which key variables can be changed to affect the financial outcomes in future years.

Participants will 

  • understand what funding streams are available and their conditions of grant 
  • consider input data, checks for sense and benchmarking 
  • understand curriculum parameters: teacher contact ratio and average class size
  • use their own data to pull together their learning  into a ‘What if?’ analysis
There will also be the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas with other attendees.

ASCL Professional Development reserves the right to amend the programme should circumstances dictate.

9.45am     Registration
10.00am     Welcome and introductions
10.15am     Funding streams and conditions of grant
11.15am     Refreshment break
11.30am     Input data, checks for sense and benchmarking
12.15pm     Curriculum parameters and levers
12.45pm     Lunch
1.30pm     Curriculum parameters and levers (continued)
2.00pm     'What if' analysis and using your own data
3.00pm      Closing remarks

The principles of this course apply to all types of schools across all age-ranges, however at this particular event we will focus on secondary schools. 

The course is relevant for any members of the leadership team with financial management responsibility.

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Julia Harnden

Funding Specialist

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Sam Ellis

ASCL Funding and Timetabling Consultant

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