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< Back to Budget Pressures Toolkit for Schools

Budget reductions are a reality, how do we tackle this?

Make the most of what you have – use educational research, your own experience and that of others on which to base your thinking. Keep your focus on achievement, attainment, progress and outcomes for pupils.

Reductions or rationalisation are a reality if funding is less than your anticipated spend. Solutions will be bespoke for each school and situation.

Be in control and therefore open to creative or uncomfortable solutions. Start now if you have not already – the last thing you want in the current climate is to be a school that has an unwelcome solution imposed.

Challenge your school’s norms – if your spending reflects only a long-term historical spend, it is time for a review and rethink. A range of topics will be addressed in this toolkit to aid change.

Do be the headteacher/chair of governors who secures the future of the school.

Don’t be the headteacher/chair of governors who leaves a deficit as a legacy.

You are not alone. 

David Kilgallon, Ex-Strategic Lead – Secondary, Herts for Learning - discusses the challenges currently facing schools


Some people like to make schools finance sound complicated but it doesn’t need to be. With a willingness to ask questions, and to target the right expertise through dedicated or shared business managers, governors, the Financial Services for Schools Team at Herts for Learning, fellow heads and many others, it is within all heads’ grasp to become financially literate in schools finance. Others face these challenges, similar schools, neighbouring schools and other authorities and there is much to learn from each other.

There is no crystal ball and none of us knows with any certainty how schools funding will develop. We do, however, know that with increased contributions to pensions and national insurance, the pay settlement, the challenge of appointing teaching staff, the reduction of the Education Support Grant (ESG) from academies and with the overall increase of costs, many schools will face a squeeze. The majority of heads will already know what their options are but some will face what seems like an impossible task.

During 2016 the DfE will consult on schools funding, in particular on how it is distributed to schools.

> Understanding your budget


Herts for Learning
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