Kathy Roddy offers advice to schools on dealing with the ethical issues raised by some forms of fundraising

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Peter Kent looks at the prospect of higher university tuition fees for students at his school, and worries about how it will affect their decisions on their future. Will removing the cap on tuition fees put some young people off going to university altogether, despite academic ability?

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The best solutions to any uncertainty, says Josephine Smith, are often those that can be found close to home. Here, she suggests how school leaders can steady the ship and ensure that there is no loss in staff motivation as another period of change gets underway

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Steve Mynard analyses the recent comprehensive spending review and considers the implications for heads and schools

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James Croft looks at ways to tighten up on your spending on ICT

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It’s vital that school business managers avoid inadvertently leaving gaps between the school’s budget and its development plan. This ebulletin flags up ways to avoid these gaps and keep your budget in line with the school’s development needs

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In an educational management world filled with assessment, the FMSiS may seem at first to be yet another drain on the school business manager’s time – but this ebulletin shows the vital supportive role it can play for all of those involved in leading the school

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This issue takes a deeper look at the role of the educational visits coordinator, answering some of the queries raised by readers about charging, staffing and organisation procedures

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The roles of school business manager (SBM) and educational visits coordinator (EVC) have many parallel responsibilities. As people often hold both posts, we look at what is involved in organising a school visit

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Welcome to the first edition of our new e-bulletin, School Financial Management, written by School Business Manager Lindsey Lester. This issue will be looking at the new staffing agreement of ‘rarely cover’

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The Audit Commission’s report Valuable Lessons questions whether taxpayers are getting value for money from the education system. The Commission has also issued guidance on how schools can improve economy and efficiency while still optimising outcomes for children. Gill O’Donnell looks at the recommendations

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The Audit Commission wants schools, including SENCOs, to show that they are getting value for money from their SEN and AEN budgets, and has produced the tools they need

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The role of finance director at an academy school is potentially a very attractive career opportunity for ambitious school business managers and bursars. Ruth Bradbury explains why

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There is value in building a working link between school governors and school business managers says Crispin Andrews, who strongly advises bringing them into the senior leadership team

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Timely fee payments at independent schools can be achieved through a clear fee policy and a watertight contract, but if this fails you may need to go to court. Maggie Moodie explains

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School business managers can use their influence and expertise to ensure effective CPD and professionalisation of support staff. Nina Siddle describes the role she recently played in reviewing her school’s policies

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How can the process for meeting the government’s Financial Management Standard be made more manageable for school governors? Lindsey Wharmby offers some tips

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There can be inherent funding challenges involved with gaining specialist status for your school. Crispin Andrews explains how the expanded community role of specialist schools has important financial implications

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Jill Cameron gives a comprehensive briefing on the highs and lows of the Building Schools for the Future initiative from her personal experience with the programme

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A private finance initiative (PFI) project can transform a school. Headteacher Brian Rossiter describes the final stages of his school’s project, the initial aim of which was to turn his school into an educational establishment for the future

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With an increasing number of schools placing business managers on the senior leadership team, Lindsey Lester offers some of her own experience to others who are about to embark on this role

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Once implemented, VLEs can be used as an integrated tool to improve students’ progress and school administration. School business managers and bursars are key to this development, in terms of sustaining the VLE

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Is accessing a grant to fund educational improvements to your school something that interests you? Gill O’Donnell explains the scope of the Foyle Foundation and how it could benefit your institution

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School business managers and bursars can play a key role in ensuring their schools establish efficient and effective visual learning environments

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Bringing your school catering in-house can have benefits for your school finances while at the same time creating a better experience for students

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Should we be encouraging school business managers and bursars to progress into headship? Ruth Bradbury, who speaks on financial management at schools, voices her thoughts on the subject, as do three School Financial Management readers

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Gary Dawson provides a comprehensive briefing which explains how to ensure the build of your new school sports hall goes smoothly

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Have you ever been attracted by the financial freedom of academies but wondered what the drawbacks are? Gary Dawson guides you through the issues read more

Business managers and bursars are ideally placed to help their schools develop more robust approaches to fundraising, argue Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith

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Ruth Bradbury considers the relationship and boundaries between the roles of school business manager and teaching and learning leader read more

School governor and former headteacher Peter Downes takes the long view on what ‘local management’ set out to achieve 25 years ago and where he believes it has gone partially wrong read more

Steve Smith makes the case to governors for outsourcing the ICT element of Building Schools for the Future projects

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To err is human, to forgive, divine… Ruth Bradbury ponders the fallibility of senior leaders read more

Lindsey Wharmby puts cost prediction and risk assessment under the spotlight

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Prudence, consistency, accruals and going concern: Ruth Bradbury explains how the four principles of effective accountancy can help schools develop robust financial systems read more

My new school is in a different local authority to my previous school, and since taking up my post I have met with a wide range of LA representatives to introduce myself and to get an understanding of the way that we can work together in areas such as finance, personnel, premises and extended services read more

Josie Earnshaw outlines the benefits of a comprehensive support staff review at her Barnsley school read more

Lucy Fitzgerald highlights the financial and environmental benefits of more switched-on energy management in schools

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Kim Sparling, headteacher of Oldfield School in Bath, explores the concept of ‘value for money’ in a secondary school context and outlines some suggestions on ways to achieve it

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Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith argue that it is increasingly important for school finance managers – especially those aspiring to lead schools – to understand the process of teaching and learning read more

Nina Siddle explains how a primary cluster in East Yorkshire tackled the challenge of providing high-quality ICT support read more

A major new report could herald a new era in the leadership of schools, paving the way for the first headteachers to be appointed from finance, not teaching backgrounds read more

Tracy Doyle maps out a way to align the budget process with the school improvement plan read more

Schools face a huge procurement challenge, and the DfES has set up services to help them make savings read more

There are pros and cons of chosing to take the franchise option to expand. Angela Youngman reports read more

The school business manager’s role goes beyond simply managing finances, says Hilary Morrison read more

Sharon Wallwork provides comprehensive advice on dealing with a decline in student numbers. She argues that, far from being something that only schools in specific circumstances should be concerned about, all educational institutions need to assess the risks of declining numbers and the huge financial implications this can bring read more

What are the benefits of becoming a bank account school? We begin a series of best practice advice features with a look at the implications of a school having its own bank account

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I have just got back from the SFM annual conference in London: a long journey for me, but definitely worth it – not only because it gave me the opportunity to present a couple of sessions, but also because it is encouraging to see the quality and variety of business management professionals who are now working in our schools. read more

Proving public benefit will be essential if you want to retain tax exemptions, write William Colacicchi and Mark Blois

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