You are here:

  • Cash flow forecasts: guidance for academies Learn how to manage cash flow as a school business manager (SBM). Find out what to include in your monthly forecasts to help you monitor and report income and expenditure. See a template from the ISBL and get tips for filling out cash flow templates.
  • Charging for school premises: lettings Generate income for your school by letting your school premises. Learn how to set your costs and where to turn for advice on VAT.
  • Monthly financial management for academies Get to grips with what you need to prepare and do when it comes to monthly budget monitoring reports for academy trusts.
  • Procedures for keeping track of money in school How 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.
  • Returns required from academies UpdatedFind out what data and returns you must submit and by when - including your audited accounts, budget forecast return and teachers' pension returns.
  • Rules for off-payroll workers (IR35 rules) The off-payroll working rules changed on 6 April 2021. Understand what the new rules are and how they might affect the way you pay for services from a worker with an intermediary.
  • Voluntary funds: what can they be used for? Read guidance from the Charity Commission and our education experts on using voluntary funds, and see examples of how schools use their funds, including cases where the school is registered as a charitable organisation.
Show all articles
  • Charging for educational visits Find 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 trips Understand 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.
  • Charging for school activities Find out what activities and equipment you can and can't charge parents for and how to request payment.
  • Recovering debt from parents: what to do Use 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.
Show all articles
  • 7 fundraising ideas for small schools Small, 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.
  • Case study: how to make your school community your best fundraising asset Struggling to balance the budget? Lucky enough to have parents who can help out? Read on to see how Horniman Primary School has harnessed the power of the local community to double the PTA's annual fundraising income, to maintain what parents value most about the school.
  • Case study: Increase pupil numbers with a targeted marketing strategy UpdatedRural schools frequently struggle with funding and many are fighting to stay viable. Here’s how one rural academy trust used marketing to increase pupil numbers by 20% - and, as a result, boost its school’s income.
  • Funds and freebies: monthly highlights UpdatedCheck out 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.
  • Generating income and maximising funds With 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.
  • How a small, rural primary school raised £50,000 for a new classroom Snape Primary School needed to raise money to build a new classroom, so it could expand to take more pupils. Here’s how they did it, and how you can too.
  • How one school made £350,000 from its local high street Chris 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.
  • How to write a successful grant application Know the ins and outs of writing a successful funding application and find out about the latest opportunities.
Show all articles
  • Risk protection arrangement (RPA) The RPA is open to 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.
Show all articles
  • 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.
  • 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 Get 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.
  • Financial transparency: requirements for maintained schools Get up to speed with the changes to financial regulations for maintained schools to improve financial transparency. Find out what you’re required to do, so you can make sure you're compliant.
  • How 3 schools achieved efficiency in their staffing budgets The largest proportion of any school’s budget is spent on staffing. Learn how 3 schools achieved optimum value for money by re-evaluating their hiring processes, contracts and staffing structures.
  • How to calculate the cost of your whole-school SEN provision Know 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.
  • Integrated curriculum and financial planning (ICFP): checklist and guidance Find out more about integrated curriculum and financial planning (ICFP), which can help you improve your school's financial efficiency and maximise resources. Use our checklist to walk you through the process.
  • Paying for refreshments out of the school budget Understand the rules on using school funds to pay for staff food and drink and see examples of others schools' policies.
  • Presenting your budget to governors: templates Keep 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 guidance Get your curriculum budget holders to use our form to request annual funds. Use our checklist to make sure your budget bid request forms for one-off projects cover everything they need to.
  • School budget: expenditure on staffing What 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.
  • School budget monitoring: questions to discuss Learn about what you'll want to cover in your leadership budget monitoring meetings. Use our questions to help you spot any issues and get suggested next steps to help you keep costs down.
  • Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS): summary Maintained schools must complete the SFVS every year. Here's a rundown of what it covers, so you know what to expect.
  • Teachers' pension grant: what you need to know Learn about how the grant will soon be included in the national funding formula, the most recent allocations of the grant, and how it's calculated.
Show all articles
4 articles
  • Marketing
  • Show all articles
    9 articles
  • Purchasing
  • Show all articles