What does the DfE’s new policy paper mean for you? School resource management: Building a stronger system

Finance Team

June 27 2022
The DfE issued their refreshed School Resource Management Strategy on 10 June, setting out their offer and approach to supporting schools and trusts to get the best value from all their resources.

The strategy covers much of the current support available, but positions this under the lens of the ‘Opportunity for All’ White Paper; highlighting their intention to work in partnership with the sector to help create a strong, robust and sustainable future school’s system.

The strategy sets out three key actions:

Supporting professionals to achieve effective SRM

This action focuses on training and professional development. It includes a commitment to extend the current pilot programme of bursaries for aspiring CFO/COOs, and to support a refresh of ISBL’s SBP professional standards so that SBPs, school leaders and boards have clarity on ‘what good looks like’. There is an intention to invest in training for boards, to support them in their financial oversight role. Peer-to-peer support is also highlighted, with offers such as a free School Resource Management Adviser (SRMA) visit for any trust or local authority, and the continuation of support to SBP networks. Streamlining processes also features: with encouragement to adopt the Chart of Accounts for standardisation and automation.


Effectiveness and efficiency in the school's workforce

You can’t mention school resource management without mentioning Integrated Curriculum and Financial Planning (ICFP). The DfE state that they want all schools and academy trusts to be using ICFP to measure and plan their curriculum, staffing structure and finances, and will continue to improve their guidance, templates, and tools. There is a commitment to review policy and support for Teaching Assistants as it’s expected they will play a crucial part in achieving ‘The Parent Pledge’: more on that to follow. Wellbeing features in this section too, with schools being encouraged to sign up to the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter alongside continued support for flexible working arrangements. There is a commitment to improve and join up digital services, and to streamline recruitment by improving the Teacher Vacancies service and the Supply Teachers deal.


Supporting schools and academy trusts to get the best value and impact from non-staff spend

The Get Help Buying for Schools service will continue - helping schools with complex procurements and tailored support. The team are also carrying out some analysis on the energy market to understand the impact on schools, which we eagerly await the outcome of. Schools and trusts are encouraged to use the Good Estates Management for Schools (GEMS) tool to ensure safe and well-maintained school buildings. Maximising the use of digital technology is another important part of this strategy and the intention is to set out the core technology that schools should have in place, building on the new technology standards. Later in the year, a set of standards will be released to support procurement, long-term investment, sustainability and efficiency. Guidance on choosing a Management Information System (MIS) will also be issued. The Schools Financial Benchmarking and View My Financial Insights (VMFI) tools will also be continually improved to help schools and trusts identify areas for improvement.

Using this guidance and approach sets out the roadmap for what good (dare I say it – strong) resource management looks like in schools.


If you’re looking for support with managing finances, budgets and resource management or would like to learn more about our finance briefings and relevant training, please talk to us.

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