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DfE launches revised school resource management strategy and plan of support for business leaders

The Department for Education has launched a revised version of their school resource management strategy, which includes an increased focus on support for business leaders. The strategy is intended to set out the Department’s offer and approach to supporting schools and academy trusts to get the best value from all their resources.

New initiatives in the strategy include the following:

  • An extension to the CFO/COO pilot bursary programme
  • Undertaking a review into barriers to CPD experienced by business professionals
  • Supporting the planned updates to the school business leadership professional standards and strengthening guidance on effective SRM practice
  • Seeking to develop induction materials and career development guidance for SBPs and others involved in financial decision making
  • Supporting the development of teaching assistants
  • Updating and increasing the scope of the supply teachers’ deal
  • Enhancing the risk protection arrangement to address new risks, including cyber
  • Extend the capital advisers’ programme (CAP), to support trusts to increase their estate management capability.

Alongside the strategy, the Department have also released new case studies and two research reports: results of our survey of school business professionals, our formative evaluation of some SRM tools and resources, and new guidance on accessing support from an SRMA. All of which are available through the school resource management collection page on gov.uk

The free tools and resources included within the strategy remain optional, and it will be for members in their schools to decide if, which, how and when they utilise them.

NAHT’s view

The renewed school resource management strategy, released by the Department for Education, provides some helpful support, tools and resources that schools can seek to utilise according to their context and settings. We know from members that the peer-to-peer resources, such as the CFO mentoring pilot and the capital advisors programme, are particularly welcome and it’s good that this will be aided by additional funding from the Department in order to grow these.

However, any focus on resource management and efficiencies should not be seen as a solution to the funding crisis in education. School funding has not risen in real terms since 2010, representing twelve years of flat investment. As a result, school funding remains under significant pressure and only substantial investment from government will be able to fix this.

While the increased focus on school business leaders as part of the strategy is extremely positive, it sadly does not go far enough in addressing the situation that this part of the profession is facing. In our ‘School business leadership in crisis?’ report, we clearly outlined the need for a holistic strategy for SBLs, with a focus on workload, pay and well-being. Sadly, the suggestions in the new SRM strategy fall far short of this.

You can access our press comment here

First published 15 June 2022

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Whether leaving a labour of love or embracing a life of leisure, there can be no doubt that retirement from school leadership marks a huge change in lifestyle. There will be adjustments to make, new challenges to take and a range of new opportunities. At a time like this, it is important that our experienced members do not lose all the support they received in their working life. Our life members’ committee is here to ensure members are supported in retirement.

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LMSC chair

John Killeen (National Executive member): john.killeen@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC vice-chair

Nigel Patton: nigel.patton@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC communications officer

Michael Wilson: Michael.wilson@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC deputy communications officer

Eugene Symonds: eugene.symonds@nahtofficials.org.uk

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For further details and contact information about all current LMSC members please check out ‘Who’s who’ and the ‘List of LMSC members'.

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