Cash flow forecasts: guidance for academiesLearn how to manage cash flow as a school business manager (SBM). Find out what to include in your monthly forecasts to help you monitor and report income and expenditure. See a template from the ISBL and get tips for filling out cash flow templates.
Procedures for keeping track of money in schoolHow can schools keep track of money? We look at guidance from the Audit Commission on financial controls. We also relay advice from one of our associate experts on how to keep track of incoming cash, and guidance from another of our experts on petty cash management.
Rules for off-payroll workers (IR35 rules)The off-payroll working rules changed on 6 April 2021. Understand what the new rules are and how they might affect the way you pay for services from a worker with an intermediary.
Voluntary funds: what can they be used for?Read guidance from the Charity Commission and our education experts on using voluntary funds, and see examples of how schools use their funds, including cases where the school is registered as a charitable organisation.
Charging for educational visitsFind out which educational visits you can charge for and how much you should charge. Download our template to help you calculate your costs. Plus, find out what to do with any money that's left over.
Charging for residential school tripsUnderstand what you can and can't charge for with respect to residential trips, and read guidance on when parents may be exempt from paying for elements that are normally chargeable.
Recovering debt from parents: what to doUse our step-by-step guide to find out how to proceed if a parent hasn't paid fees for things like school meals or trips. Plus, download our template letters that you can send to remind, and issue warnings to, parents.
7 fundraising ideas for small schoolsSmall, rural schools often struggle with fundraising, as they don't have the same amount of time, resources or parents to help them. Two of our experts with experience as small school headteachers set out some practical ways of fundraising successfully despite these extra challenges.
Funds and freebies: monthly highlightsUpdatedCheck out the latest deadlines for funding opportunities. You'll also find a selection of the grants available to schools across a range of areas and details of freebies your school can access.
Generating income and maximising fundsWith more pupils back in the classroom, you might be thinking about re-starting fundraising initiatives for your school. Read on for ways to make the most of your funding, how to generate extra income and how schools have put their ideas into practice.
Grants for small capital projectsWhat grants are available for small capital projects? This article highlights sources of capital funding that may be suitable for lower-value capital projects in schools. It also points to scheme that donates unsellable DIY materials and surplus paint to charities, including schools.
How one school made £350,000 from its local high streetChris Dyson, a headteacher in one of the most deprived areas of the country, has discovered an untapped revenue stream: businesses that want to give back. Last year they helped him save £350,000 and now he says “money isn’t a problem at our school.” Chris explains how he does it, and how others can too.
Risk protection arrangement (RPA)The RPA is open to maintained schools and academies. It's an alternative to commercial insurance and managed by the DfE. Learn what it covers, how much it costs and how to join.
Academy Trust Handbook: changes from September 2021The Academies Financial Handbook has been refreshed and renamed. There are no major changes, but you should still be familiar with what’s different in the new handbook. Use our summary to get up to speed.
Achieving efficiency in the staffing budgetHow can schools be more efficient with the staffing budget? The largest proportion of any school’s budget will be spent on staffing, so we look at how schools can achieve best value for money.
Allocating departmental budgetsFind out about ways in which you can calculate curriculum department budgets, including by using a formula or by negotiation or bidding. You will also find case studies on methods used by teaching schools.
Benchmarking data: questions to generate discussion and analysisIs there a list of questions we can use to analyse our benchmarking data? One of our associate education experts has suggested a list of questions to help schools analyse benchmarking data, which we provide as a printable KeyDoc. We also relay information from the Department for Education.
Benchmarking staff salariesHow should schools benchmark staff salaries? We outline advice on benchmarking salaries from the unions ASCL and NAHT, the National Association of School Business Management, and one of our associate education experts. We also link to further articles from The Key on benchmarking.
Budget planning: how to and templatesUpdatedGet to grips with your budget planning. Use our template 5-year budget plan spreadsheets to help you model a range of scenarios and then cost your chosen one in detail.
Calculating the cost of lessons and coursesHow can we calculate the cost of lessons and courses? Three of our associate education experts set out some variables schools should consider when costing lessons, as well as examples of methods to calculate these costs. We also look at working out the curriculum costs of a Key Stage.
Consistent financial reporting (CFR)Find out the purpose of the consistent financial reporting (CFR) framework for maintained schools and pupil referral units (PRUs), and how to use COLLECT to submit a data return. Plus, see changes for 2020-21.
Financial benchmarking: how-to guideSee how you can identify schools similar to yours and make comparisons using the financial benchmarking service from the DfE. You'll also understand the benefits and limitations of benchmarking, and see examples of how other schools use it.
How to calculate the cost of your whole-school SEN provisionKnow how to calculate staffing costs for your SEN provision so you can get a better estimate of how much money you're spending on your overall SEN provision. Download our tools to help you keep track of how much each intervention costs and whether it's providing value for money.
Presenting your budget to governors: templatesKeep your governors fully informed about your budget planning and decision making with our downloadable templates. You'll find a detailed budget planner, and a planning report that'll help you head off likely questions from governors.
School budget: expenditure on staffingWhat percentage of the budget should be spent on staffing? We relay advice from our associate experts on how much of the school budget should be spent on staff costs. We also answer some FAQs about budgeting for staff expenditure and point to financial benchmarking data.
School budget monitoring: questions to discussLearn about what you'll want to cover in your leadership budget monitoring meetings. Use our questions to help you spot any issues and get suggested next steps to help you keep costs down.
How to use your school Facebook pageUse our top tips to make your school Facebook page a success. Learn what to post, the settings that will save you a headache, and how to respond to negative comments.
Marketing to parents: how to choose your selling pointsUse our article to help you identify what parents are looking for in a school, so you can choose the messages that will make your school stand out. Get guidance and tips on how to use the likes of Facebook and Twitter to get your message out there.
Academy reviews of value for moneyAcademies must include a review of value for money in their annual accounts. Read about the purpose and structure of the review, and see examples from other academy trusts.
Contracts register: templateUse our template contracts register to keep a record of all of your school's contracts or service level agreements in one place.
How to buy goods, works or servicesAs a maintained school or an academy, you have a duty to get the best value for money from any contracts you enter into. Follow our step-by-step procurement guide to make sure you're buying in the right way and complying with the law.