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Budget pressures toolkit for schools

This collection of comments, documents, video clips, benchmarking and helpful contacts has been produced in order to assist schools in dealing with the increasing budget and structural pressure within the education system.

The current generation of school leaders has to act to ensure that educational standards continue to develop, whilst ensuring that schools remain financially viable both now and in the future. Thoughtful, decisive action based on accurate information enables bespoke solutions that support pupil outcomes and enable schools to remain viable.

It is impossible to provide ‘the answer’ to schools as the how to deal with challenging budgets, as each school or cluster of schools is unique. It is possible, however, to raise a series of questions to help schools find the most appropriate way forward.

Some of the components are Hertfordshire-specific and others national. This Budget Pressures Toolkit for Schools will be added to over time and will signpost relevant developments and services relating to the important aspects of adapting to new budget challenges.

The toolkit presents a number of video clips, which are informative and could be helpful to support discussion with the senior team and governors. These clips are signposted at relevant points throughout the toolkit. As well as short clips in appropriate sections, two video interviews are available in full at the end of the toolkit, which may be useful for training purposes. Thank you to the heads and business managers who gave generously of their time and thinking to enable this.

New heads, school business managers and governors, as well as those who have not faced such budget constraints before, will find this toolkit most useful. Experienced colleagues may well find aspects thought-provoking and are encouraged to add to this bank of work. It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that all schools benefit from the collective expertise and experience across Hertfordshire.

Please note: in this toolkit the term ‘governors’ should be interpreted as meaning whoever is responsible for fulfilling governance functions and the accountable body.

Jan Paine, Managing Director, Herts for Learning - national context and background to the toolkit



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

3. Understanding your budget

4. Balancing the budget - strategic overview

5. Staffing - overview

6. School business managers

7. Setting the budget

8. Working with governors (headteachers and senior teams)

9. For governors

10. Collaboration and partnerships

11. Case studies

12. Videos

Contributors to this toolkit are:

Jim Borcherds – ICT Schools Management Adviser (curriculum and timetable design specialist), Herts for Learning
Sharon Carlyon – School Business Manager, Laurance Haines Primary School
Natalie Dalvarez – Head of School Business Management Services, Herts for Learning
Kathy Dunnett – Governance Officer – Chairs Service and SPLASH, Herts for Learning
Cheryl Faint – Head of Financial Services for Schools, Herts for Learning
Helen Foster – Head of HR, Herts for Learning
Carley Holliman – Headteacher, Brockswood Primary School
David Kilgallon – Ex- Strategic Lead – Secondary, Herts for Learning
Mireille Macraild – Early Years Adviser, Herts for Learning
Jan Paine – Managing Director, Herts for Learning
Liz Redman – School Business Manager, Brockswood Primary School
James Roach – Headteacher, Laurance Haines Primary School
Julia Shepard – Consultant
Tracy Warner – District School Effectiveness Adviser, Herts for Learning
Chris Williams – Area HR Manager, Herts for Learning


Herts for Learning
01438 843263