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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

The government’s campaign to persuade more schools to offer extended services continues with the publication of new guidance.

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

Arson attacks on schools are serious and frequent. Nick Bason of the Arson Prevention Bureau sets out the key aspects of awareness and prevention.

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.

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.

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.

Neil Short, education consultant and former head, looks at how schools are facing up to the challenge of supporting and developing sporting talent among young pupils.

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.

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.

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.

Education secretary Ruth Kelly has announced extra funding to help children struggling with basic literacy and numeracy. This will include support for individual one-to-one and small-group tuition at key stage 3.

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

In February 2006, it was announced that Secondary schools in England were to receive a guaranteed minimum increase in their core funding of 3.4% per pupil for 2006-07.

Fundraising for school activities is nothing new. Only now with the pressures of workforce reform and initiatives such as extended schools and specialist status, many schools are reviewing the way they have to raise funds.

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