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Centralisation of services - when is it a consideration and is it worth it? (workshop three)

Workshop leaders
Nicky Gillhespy, SBM, Cheam Fields Primary School; and Karen Castelow, ABM, St Barnabus MAT and member of NAHT's SBL Council.

Workshop details 

With the growth of MATs, federations, co-operatives and many unofficial groupings of establishments, what are the options regarding the centralisation of services and are financial savings possible? What services can be centralised? What impact is there on staffing and infrastructure? What about software? Will you need to upgrade it and how will you harmonise across the schools? 

Workshop outcomes
This workshop will provide areas for discussion and look at how others have addressed the various issues caused by centralising services, including some of the pitfalls.

Target audience
All SBLs.

Leaders' biographies
Nicky Gillhespy

Nicky has been a school business leader at Cheam Fields Primary since 2006, and prior to that, a bursar at another London primary school for 12 years. Cheam Fields joined the LEO multi-academy trust in September 2016, and Nicky officially took up her new post as chief operating officer last May. The LEO trust is a primary phase only MAT with currently four schools, 2,500 pupils and 250 members of staff. There are two other schools currently consulting to join the trust. Nicky was also the SBM representative on NAHT's national executive and chair of the SBM national committee up until June 2017. Voted SBM of the year (primary) in 2014 and the first SBM to complete the University of Chester's Leadership and Management bridging module, she was made a NASBM fellow in 2016. Nicky is known for her down to earth and practical approach.

Karen Castelow

Karen has worked in education and school administration for 27 years in Cornwall, and she has been part of the senior leadership team over the past 12 years. Karen was the school business leader for St Martin's CofE Primary school, and when the school joined the St Barnabus CE MAT along with five other church primary schools, she took over the role as academy business manager for the trust in 2013. Karen has experience in the academy conversion process, and she has been fully involved in the redesign of office staffing structures and the centralisation of services. Karen sits on NAHT's SBL council representing the South West, and she sits on the Schools Forum in Cornwall. Karen feels privileged to be able to be part of a team shaping the future of education in Cornish church schools in a time of significant and rapid change.