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  • Academy Trust Handbook: changes from September 2021 The 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 budget How 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 budgets Find 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 analysis Is 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 salaries How 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 templates UpdatedGet 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 courses How 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 guide See 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.
  • Financial procedures manuals: examples See examples of financial procedures manuals from a range of schools.