Cash flow forecasts: guidance for academiesLearn how to manage cash flow as an SBM. Find out what to include in your monthly forecasts to help you monitor and report income and expenditure. Use 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.
Voluntary funds: what can they be used for?What can a voluntary school fund be used for? We highlight guidelines from the Charity Commission and a local authority on the use of voluntary funds. We also look at an example of how a school uses its voluntary fund and relay advice from the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL).
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.
Requesting voluntary contributions for activitiesCan we request voluntary contributions for school activities? We look at what the Education Act 1996 says about requesting voluntary contributions. We also relay guidance on charging from the Department for Education, and look at ways that schools have requested contributions.
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 highlightsUpdatedSee 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 you can access. Plus, a round up of free support and resources to help during coronavirus.
Generating income and maximising fundsUpdatedWith 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.
School fundraising strategies: template and guidanceHow can we create a fundraising strategy? This article features a KeyDoc template for a school fundraising strategy, which includes example text. We relay guidance on creating a fundraising strategy from three organisations, and point to an example of a fundraising policy from a school.
Guide to seeking high-quality legal advice With many different providers available, and large amounts of money involved, it's important that schools have access to high-quality, reliable legal advice. Our guide will help you choose the right provider if you don't have one, decide when you need a legal opinion, and prepare for the phone call to get the best advice.
Public liability insuranceWhat is an appropriate level of public liability insurance? This article relays advice from two of our associate education experts on public liability insurance, and points to suggested levels of insurance for schools and external providers in schools.
Risk protection arrangement (RPA)The RPA is open to all state-funded schools, including 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.
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 spendingSee 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.
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 reporting and monitoring systemsAre there reporting systems to monitor the progress of the budget? We link to budget reporting systems from an LA and private companies. There is also a link to information about the schools financial benchmarking websites, where schools can compare their income and expenditure with other statistically similar schools.
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.
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.
Managing the school budgetWe summarise key information about managing the school budget in just one page. You can also download a copy of this QuickRead as a ready-made resource to share with colleagues.
Paying for refreshments out of the school budgetCan schools use their funds for refreshments for staff? We cite the DfE's guidance on the use of school funds for staff refreshments, and highlight some school hospitality arrangements. One of our associate experts discusses how a school's context may affect whether it pays for staff refreshments.
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.
Request form for curriculum funds: template and guidanceIs there a form for curriculum budget holders to request annual funds? One of our associate education experts has created a template budget holder application form, which you can download as a KeyDoc. This article also relays guidance on bid request forms for one-off projects.
School budget: effective monitoring meetingsHow can we hold effective budget monitoring meetings? In this article, one of The Key's associate education experts advises on good practice for budget monitoring meetings between the headteacher and the SBM. You will also find a case study from a school on monitoring the budget.
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.
How to market your school to parentsUse our article to help you identify what parents are looking for in a school and how to make your school stand out. Get to grips with how to use the likes of Facebook and Twitter to get your message out there and pull people in.
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.
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.
Declaring pecuniary interestsIs there guidance for schools on declaring pecuniary interests? This article refers to guidance from a local authority and a school, and relays advice from one of our associate education experts on who should declare pecuniary interests. We also point to examples of registers of pecuniary interests.
How to buy goods, works or servicesAs a maintained school or an academy, you have a duty to make sure you obtain 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.
School catering: improving financial efficiencyHow can we improve the financial efficiency of our school's catering provision? We link to guidance from the National Audit Office (NAO) and relay advice from one of our associate education experts. We cover such topics as in-house and out-sourced catering, food waste and pricing structures.