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Working with cost centres

Tailored training

This course is only available on a consultancy basis where we come to you.

Course description 

School governors and leaders are under increasing pressures to make sure they direct the school’s resources to activities that deliver maximum educational outcomes and best value for money. In times of budget restraints and sometimes income reduction, this becomes more challenging and governors need to scrutinise budget allocations more critically. A cost centre management approach to the organisation of finances facilitates easy interrogation of financial information and assists in informing appropriate decisions going forward.  Whether or not you are fighting to make your budget go further, this programme will help you to prove and challenge budgetary allocations and support and defend the areas you want to protect. It will inform and ease the budget-setting process.

Templates will be provided to help you get started on your return to the workplace.


Course delegates should bring one laptop per school with Microsoft Word and Excel (not Open Office).

Course facilitator

Larraine Cooper  

Aim of this course

  • to make delegates aware of cost centre management techniques and how they can be used in a school setting to inform decision-making, particularly around budget allocations
  • to provide quick tips, techniques and templates to facilitate easy application on return to the workplace

Objectives of this course

  • understand what cost centre management is and how it can help us by informing our decision-making
  • consider typical cost centres of use in a school setting and how they are applicable to their particular context
  • construct an operating budget for SEND income and expenditure to identify the full cost of the support provided for high cost and other SEND pupils
  • consider how organising finances in a cost centre management framework will help schools to justify their pupil premium spending more easily
  • understand how to assign shared costs to individual activities and cost centres 
  • consider what happens to costs when some activities are discontinued
  • use cost centre management information and data in your school to probe and challenge budgetary allocations and support areas you wish to protect

This course is suitable for

Governors, education leaders and school business leaders who may want to consider managing their schools' finances with different cost centres.