Seven things needed to be an effective School Resource Management Adviser (SRMA)

    Published: 11 June 2019

    Accredited SRMAs form part of a DfE national initiative as practising sector experts that work collaboratively with schools and trusts identified by the ESFA as having the greatest financial need. Once accredited by the Institute of School Business Leaders (ISBL), SRMAs provide expert and tailored advice to schools and trusts on how they should make best use of their revenue and capital resources to deliver the best possible educational outcomes for their pupils.

    In October 2018, HfL successfully won a DfE bid to provide 20 SRMAs to work with schools and trusts with a focus on the eastern regions including Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Kent and London Boroughs.

    The aim of the SRMA deployment is to:

    • Support schools in managing their workforce costs
    • Help schools get the best value from their non-staffing expenditure
    • Provide hands on support to schools at risk
    • Continue to develop the school’s capability for effective financial management and delivering the best possible education for pupils

    Here are just a few things you need to know to become an effective SRMA.

    Investigative

    SRMAs must be able to investigate underlying reasons why the school/trust is facing financial difficulty, avoiding taking a single issue approach. They should consider the extent to which the school/trust is taking an integrated approach to its curriculum and financial planning.

    Advisable

    SRMAs need to review the efficiency with which the school/trust leadership is deployed to support the delivery of pupil outcomes and be able to suggest ways to streamline and improve existing plans and practices within a setting. Advice should be independent and impartial.

    Knowledgeable

    HfL advises that potential SRMAs should have at least five years’ experience as a school business leader and be an active member of a school’s senior leadership team. It is also advised that there should be in depth knowledge and experience in the use of, and the application of, Integrated Curriculum Financial Planning (ICFP).

    Willingness to develop expertise

    SRMAs represent the Department for Education and ISBL, as SRMA accreditor, will provide a detailed induction within the three stage accreditation process to assess whether individuals are suitable to become an SRMA. This induction is further supported by the HfL team and mentoring within the forum of the existing SRMA team. To maintain accreditation, an SRMA must do a minimum of two, five day deployments, per year.

    Collaborative

    SRMAs, employed by HfL, have the opportunity to work in a variety of different settings, facing their own set of challenges. In working with other settings, SRMAs will have the opportunity to both influence and experience effective practise that can further shape their own ways of working and efficiencies within their setting.

    Dedicated

    This role is in addition to any existing employment so it is important that in assessing suitability, candidates discuss the role and its demands with their senior leadership team.  Potential candidates should be dedicated individuals motivated to support  schools and trusts who may be in significant need.  

    Display an in depth understanding and application of Integrated Curriculum Financial Planning (ICFP)

    • Calculating – ICFP metric values from accurate, consistent data
    • Comparing – these metrics against threshold ranges to identify where there are likely to be inefficiencies in the resource deployment of the schools
    • Interpreting – what the metric values are actually telling you so that you are identifying possible causes of the inefficiencies being identified and possible areas of issue
    • Quantifying – how large these inefficiencies might be both in financial terms but also in terms of actual resources (teacher FTEs, leadership structures, specific curriculum support staff roles, contracts)
    • Identifying strategic – actions that need to be undertaken towards improving the metric values and having a positive impact on the school’s financial position
    • Identifying management actions – that need to be taken to start that process off and make the necessary efficiency savings and/or redistribution of resource use

    What the Herts for Learning SRMA team say:

    “I’ve found the experience of being an SRMA challenging, but very interesting.  Myself and my colleagues have already managed to secure significant savings for schools since the initiative began last year, and the experience is rewarding both in developing my own professional development and in my ability to support schools’ capability for effective financial management and delivering the best possible education for pupils.”

    How to join HfL as a SRMA

    If you are interested in becoming a School Resource Management Adviser or have any questions about the role, please contact Donia Knott at donia.knott@hertsforlearning.co.uk and provide your mobile number so a mutually convenient time can be arranged to discuss the role.

     

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