A number of resources are available when funding school grounds improvements, explains Gill O’Donnell

The parental fundraising team is a fanstastic resource. Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith look at how to maximise the work it does

Effective management of support staff depends on a set of basic systems being in place. Ruth Bradbury looks at how to build teams, define roles and establish effective performance management

The support of a school business manager can make all the difference to your next Ofsted inspection, explains Nina Siddle

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

Gill O’Donnell describes funding available from the organisation Youth Music

The contribution of support staff to student achievement must be recognised and promoted, says Paul Ainsworth

Many schools are happy to leave assessment of health and safety on work experience placements to outside agencies, but does this allow them to properly exercise their duty of care? Ruth Bradbury examines the problems and provides practical advice on how schools can play a more active role in the process

Deputy headteacher David Morley examines how best to provide feedback, how to prepare for it and how to train others to do it

A £7bn programme will transform 8,000 primary and special schools over the next 15 years. Crispin Andrews looks at some of the innovative projects being planned in the pathfinder schools

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

Phil Williams, chair of governors of Kelmscott Secondary School, gives a personal view of his school’s involvement in the first wave of the Building Schools for the Future scheme

While measuring school performance is important, it is vital that the data used is properly understood and that the broader picture is not lost, says headteacher Peter Kent

The advantages of being part of a local authority where all schools have specialist status are enormous, as education writer Crispin Andrews found out when he spoke to headteachers in one of them – Plymouth

Headteacher Anne Clarke reveals how her personal experience of taking a risk as a headteacher led to success and highlights why risk taking is often vital to school improvement

Jenni Whitehead provides clarification on when the Data Protection Act applies to photographing and filming students in school

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

Lindsey Wharmby puts cost prediction and risk assessment under the spotlight

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

From taking assemblies to sharing your professional expertise, there are many ways for business managers to raise the profile of their work. Paul Ainsworth and Josephine Smith explain how to make a bigger contribution and climb the career ladder at the same time

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

School data is an exceptionally valuable asset and schools are not doing enough to safeguard it. Mark Hoyland talks us through the issue

Steve Smith, former deputy headteacher at a technology college and now business development director for education at ICT specialist Ramseys, looks at the technological challenges and opportunities that extended service schools present

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

Josephine Smith and Paul Ainsworth describe how school financial managers can contribute to school improvement by becoming involved in class observation and work scrutiny

Back in October 2007, Gill O’Donnell explained how to review health and safety procedures at the start of an academic year

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

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

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

As part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative initiative it is recommended that schools work with a managed service provider to procure, manage, maintain and refresh their ICT infrastructure and equipment. Steve Smith explores ICT outsourcing and highlights the potential cost savings

Paul Howells considers the changing nature of recruitment in our schools, and encourages you to consider how you can best save time while also getting best value

Dough balls and garlic bread…why does an assistant head find herself negotiating event sponsorship on a Saturday and why are schools having to attract sponsorship to gain specialist status in the first place?

Patrick Ferguson, headteacher of De la Salle Humanities College, Liverpool, looks at the important role effective security plays in school improvement

Data protection law sets firm boundaries around what information you can collect. Educators retain excessive data at their peril, writes Simon White

We live in a data-rich age where almost every aspect of childhood is quantified! School improvement partner, Dave Weston, helps you see the wood from the trees

In this third article on marketing and promotion, Early Years Update looks at creating a range of promotional material to make potential customers aware of the services you provide

Penny Cottee offers some top tips on self-evaluation and the teaching of school sport

Ruth Bradbury offers a wealth of practical advice on getting the most from the extended schools initiative

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

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

Climate change is in the headlines every day. What are schools doing about this issue? Angela Youngman looks at the Eco-Schools programme

Which is more important — a pupil’s right to privacy, or the public interest in education?

Wireless technology is useful, but raises health concerns. Vicky Lapins looks at schools’ obligations for safer use

Martin Ainsworth, headteacher of Wellfield Business and Enterprise College and chairperson of South Ribble Learning Foundation explains how group working has helped 14 educational establishments reduce isolation and increase effectiveness

Small schools have limited resources and some funding streams can be very restrictive. Paul Ainsworth describes how one group of schools is seeking to overcome these problems

Brin Best explains why your school’s fundraising work will not be truly effective unless it is underpinned by a clear vision and strategy

There is no easy solution to the problem of supply cover costs, but more effective management can reduce negative impacts. Ruth Bradbury shares her advice

In the first part of a series on marketing, Early Years Update looks at the vital area of creating an ‘image’ as part of marketing and promoting your organisation

Joining forces brings benefit, but there are implications for governance, employment, and leadership, writes Mark Blois

Your school profile communicates essential information to parents. Roger Smith gives tips on how to present that information in a positive way

Recognising and minimising risk in the school environment is a vital part of a headteacher’s management role, says former head Roger Smith

No organisation can operate effectively without good quality information, provided in good time. Governors need the right sort of information, provided in an accessible format, to play their full part in effective governance. Martin Pounce reports

What’s an acceptable collective term for all the school business managers, administrators, catering staff, HR professionals, caretakers, secretaries and everyone else other than teachers?

The CPR Learning Space is a building with a ‘wow’ factor, providing services to schools and the wider community. Jane West looks at its development

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Donald Maclean outlines some of the latest techniques and new technologies being introduced to help school finance staff keep utility costs under control

As schools open their doors to new categories of visitor, they must take an audit of risk and danger on the premises, writes Sarah Freeston.

Can – and indeed should – someone from a background other than teaching become a school leader? Join this growing debate

Working to promote a positive image for your school can be a powerful tool for school improvement and can provide a focus for staff efforts on many fronts, argues Brin Best, education writer and director of Innovation for Education Ltd.

In my own school, and I suspect in many others, each summer holiday sees the introduction of more and more ICT equipment.

I’ve been on maternity leave for over two months now, and although my hands are more than full most of the time with my beautiful baby daughter, I find myself occasionally considering what might be going on at work in my absence.

Nina Siddle explains how her school is working to improve the effectiveness of the governing body with respect to the new financial management standard for schools.

Gill O’Donnell argues that schools need to take a proactive approach to fire alarms if they are not to fall foul of the new disability discrimination legislation.

Government initiatives should be accompanied by more training and support, says Geri Skwarek.

Sima Goldsmith considers the environmental and financial implications of the sustainable schools agenda

Ruth Bradbury provides some practical advice for how you can stay ahead of the game.

Ruth Bradbury outlines the cost of staff absence to schools and explains how a range of practical measures can help staff to maintain a better attendance record for the benefit of themselves and the school.

Nina Siddle explains how one school in East Yorkshire found widespread benefits from engaging with the Investors in People programme

Q – SOMETIMES a child suffers so badly from bullying that parents keep her at home. But is this legally justified?

Working to meet the standards laid down by Investors in People (IIP) is an effective way of raising standards and improving staff morale, argues former head Roger Smith.

New rules call for closer cooperation between local authority and school, giving increased protection to children at risk, writes Ingrid Sutherland.

Christian Webb-Jenkins, of Browne Jacobson LLP, discusses the act.

Working to promote a positive image for your school can be a powerful tool for school improvement and can provide a focus for staff efforts on many fronts, argues Brin Best, education writer and director of Innovation for Education Ltd.

Involvement in European energy awareness projects can bring a multitude of benefits to the pupils and staff of schools, as well as to the planet, says headteacher David Dixon.

Ollie McFadden describes improvements at Sutton Grammar School for Boys.

New maternity and flexible working rights mean employers must brush up on the law, says Derek Eccleston.

No matter how watertight the contract with parents, schools must implement it correctly and fairly if they want removal of a pupil to be upheld, says Mark Blois.

In the second of two articles exploring what helps new teachers feel welcome in a school, teacher Colin Smith looks at how social relations and the delivery of lessons impact on their experience.

QUESTION: What considerations should we apply when considering permanent exclusion of a pupil with special educational needs?

Schools should take note of new reporting and training requirements, as well as changes to appeal panel representation rights, says Ingrid Sutherland.

New technology can be a comfort or a threat. Vicky Lapins outlines legal duties on educators to keep children safe.

What should employers do when faced with requests for allowances to be made at work on religious grounds? Helen Badger takes a look at the law.

Taking on an old building is a commitment that can pay dividends, says Angela Youngman.

Ruth Bradbury outlines the things that all senior school finance managers need to know in order to contribute effectively to the running of their school.

We outline the key child safety issues to be born in mind when recruiting staff and explain the financial implications of getting it wrong.

Ruth Bradbury explains why it is vital to create development plans for support staff in schools, and outlines a range of practical measures to make the process more manageable in your own school.

THE ADVENT OF ICT across the curriculum is beginning to place a whole range of new resource demands on schools that usually fall to the bursar/business manager to manage.

Under the extended schools agenda, all schools are expected to enhance their community provision and open up their sites to embrace a range of wider community initiatives. Nina Siddle explains how one school in East Yorkshire is developing an innovative garden area, and outlines the key role that school business managers can play in such initiatives

Teacher Colin Smith, supported by fellow teacher/researchers seconded to a TLRP-funded project looking at the early professional learning (EPL) of teachers, reports on findings on what helps new teachers feel welcome in a school.

Ross Midgley of the Crocus Early Years group offers some practical ideas for managing payments by voucher.

Locally produced food is increasingly popular in schools and may become more important than going organic, writes Angela Youngman

Judy Durrant and John Bartholomew of Canterbury Christ Church University describe developments that are leading to real and sustainable improvements in CPD and pupil’s learning.

Anne Clarke explores the role of the headteacher and asks: ‘Is the notion of a headteacher an out-of-date concept?’

Most schools have not kept up with what management information systems can do for them, says education writer and former headteacher Gerald Haigh. Here he illustrates how they can make more of equipment they already have in school.

Schools are having to tighten up their record keeping after an Ofsted survey found confusion surrounding procedures for vetting staff.

New initiatives, including travel plans and school transport advisers, are being introduced. Managers ignore these at their peril, writes Ingrid Sutherland.

Kris Lines takes the story of a girl who wanted to play mixed football after the age of 12, and explains its implications across the spectrum of school sport.

Advice and ideas for securing the school site and buildings, compiled by Dave Cotton, West Midlands Police Force and Nick Bason, Arson Prevention Bureau.

Dave Cotton, Force Crime Reduction Officer at West Midlands Police Force, looks at security risks and gives safety advice for schools, staff and pupils.

Risk assessment and needs analysis are key areas of school security. Gill O’Donnell and Brin Best guide you though the systems that need to be in place to ensure that your school is prepared for all eventualities.

The security risks faced by schools are many and varied. This breadth of scope is mirrored by the numerous legal issues relating to security. Mark Blois from Browne Jacobson LLP offers an overview of some of the most important issues, followed by some advice on good practice.

Carole Farrar, an experienced headteacher, takes you through the process of appointing new staff members.

Angela Youngman looks at a scheme in Norwich that is raising interest around the country and two other awards that encourage good hygiene and healthy eating.

The Foundation Stage induction process can be supported by existing staff in your setting, as demonstrated at Nottingham University’s Day Nursery

Half of all primary schools and a third of all secondary schools are due to be open from 8am to 6pm throughout the year by 2008.

If you have equipment which is fixed or too large to be put away, what can you do to prevent the threat of damage overnight? Police Sergeant Cotton of West Midlands Police has some advice for you to follow.

We all have policies; we monitor them, we evaluate them and every year or so we review them. Lynn Cousins suggests a different approach.

Nathan Archer, from the children’s house consultancy, guides you through the regulations relating to managing any money that you have raised from outside sources, and reminds you of the legalities surrounding local fundraising.

How much does food affect children’s behaviour? Mary Whiting reveals some research-based facts and offers some tips.

Marketing a nursery is more than advertising and promotion. Marketing covers other activities, including the development of the nursery, market research and what prices should be charged. Whether your nursery is at the planning stage or is an existing business, you will still have to think about marketing. Joanne Taylor talks us through.

Schools should be at the centre of professional support for children and heads should champion change, argues Nick Johnson OBE.

Changing attitudes is fundamental to achieving full inclusion argues Liz Fitzpatrick.

Creating an effective school

Deputy head Rob Bray considers how his responsibilities have changed over the years as the core function of deputy headship has developed from ‘management’ into ‘leadership’.

Headteacher Ian Bauckham attacks some common myths about faith schools and argues that their abolition would seriously reduce parental choice as well as being detrimental to the government’s commitment to raising standards.

Sue Moores, headteacher of a secondary school in the Isle of Man, compares the island’s educational system with that of England and concludes that she won’t be moving back here!

Healthy meals for children, pristine premises and lovely grounds are within the grasp of every school, argues headteacher Mark Barnett.

Headteacher Carole Hawkins lays to rest the common perception that independent schools enjoy a privileged and problem-free position in today’s education market.

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), suggests that heads – and those appointing them – should consider the myths they need to match.

This month’s professional update summarises the requirements of the Disability Equality Duty (DED) for the public sector and outlines the steps that schools, colleges and local authorities will need to take to ensure that they comply with new legislative requirements.

Gill O’Donnell provides practical advice on looking after these key staff and argues that a proactive approach to health and safety is needed to ensure that they are protected from injury.

Charitable trusts give more than £350m to education annually. Louise Germaney looks at some of the biggest grant-giving foundations.

The Certificate of School Business Management is fast becoming an essential qualification for all school finance staff. But what is the course actually like from a delegate’s perspective? SFM asked a recent delegate to share her views.

The cashless school will bring a dramatic range of benefits for students, parents and schools.

It is estimated that one in six truants on any given day is absent with their parents on a family holiday. As part of the government’s drive to curb unauthorised term-time absences, the DfES and the Association of British Travel Agents are currently promoting the Every Lesson Counts scheme, which offers discounts, free child places and early booking deals for families.

The closure of hundreds of schools across the country as a result of the recent Unison day of action over pensions can serve as a reminder of how essential support staff are for the day-to-day functioning of our schools.

Many communities are keen to know what is happening in local schools and the profile of your school can be raised and presented in a positive light by successful use of the media. This counters a great deal of the damage done to the public view of education by more generalised central reporting, where sensationalism is the main criterion for publishing/reporting. By Linda Trapnell

There is always room for enhancing the curriculum through the creation and development of special events in school that pull teachers, pupils, local businesses and the wider community together, writes Rosemary Cairns

Headteacher David Dixon considers the inequalities of the schools admissions system, including negative effects on social cohesion and the ability of some schools to raise achievement and attainment.

The BSF scheme relies on successful public-private partnerships. Sharon Jones and Rachel Williams look at how the local authority goes about putting these in place.

The new framework comes into effect this September. It will give schools more freedom — but this comes with tough new duties, says Mark Blois.

The Education Act 2005: an overview for school staff.

Amelia Wallington looks at what schools can do to counteract increasing appeals from parents.

Headteachers working together in a National College for School Leadership (NCSL) research project have announced progress in overcoming differences in performance between departments within schools.

The Government has just published an Independent Study into School Leadership, which includes recommendations on training and recruitment of leaders. This article examines the current shortage of leadership candidates, and contrasts this with the surplus of NQTs.

The DfES has produced an extensive toolkit to support financial management in schools.

A report by Ofsted is largely enthusiastic about the success of a selection of full service extended schools.

Some time this term your school will be sent an email which will give a site reference and password for downloading the template of your school profile.

The important role of governors in school improvement is acknowledged in a report by the National Audit Office.

The drive to improve the quality of food in schools has taken another step forward with the publication of a report by the independent School Meals Review Panel.

In previous issues of Secondary Headship headteacher Brian Rossiter has described his experiences of PFI in the Bassetlaw district of North Nottinghamshire. In this article he describes the parallel development of a coordinated approach to delivering post-16 education across the area.

In our September issue headteacher Brian Rossiter described the first part of the PFI route to rebuild his and other schools in the Bassetlaw district – creating the vision for the project and meeting with the bidders. Here he shares his experience of the next steps towards making the vision a reality.

Schools do not need to make massive improvements to school buildings to bring about improvements in learning – simple, inexpensive changes can make all the difference, according to Design Council research.

Surplus places and rotting and inadequate building stock was a common experience for schools in the late 20th century. Here, Brian Rossiter, head of the Valley School in Worksop, Notts, describes the arduous PFI route he took to rebuild his school and other dilapidated schools in his district.

Detailed guidance on fire safety in school building design has been published, in draft form, by the DfES.

In our governing bodies we blithely talk about ‘team-building’. And in our more serious moments we may even think about ‘group effectiveness’ and ‘the quality of our decision making’.

Professor David Jesson of the University of York has expressed concern that talent is ‘going to waste’ because state schools fail to develop the potential of more-able students

The able, gifted and talented continue to make strides at the first school to receive NACE’s Challenge Award, as deputy headteacher and G&T coordinator David Futerman explains

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