School Finance Award

Fathom Management Solutions Ltd

New for 2019, this award recognises effective financial practices, the results of which provide evidence of a positive impact on schools, academies and MATs.

2019 Winner
The Weald Community School and Sixth Form, West Sussex

 The Weald Community School and Sixth Form, West Sussex
When faced with budget pressures, Weald Community School found a balance between an ideal curriculum and one the school can afford. Options considered include increasing teacher contact time, discontinuing less popular subjects, increasing class sizes for certain year or subject groups and teaching year groups 12 and 13 together in certain subjects. This has led to increased class sizes from 30 to 31, and the discontinuation of ceramics GCSEs and politics A levels. The headteacher has also recruited new intervention teachers on a one year contract.

Commended

Breck Primary School, Lancashire
The new headteacher of Breck Primary recognised the need for the school to have excellent business leadership. A new full time business manager introduced an alternative system whereby they would run the property services for the school, including utilities, building work, catering and grounds maintenance. The impact has been significant - the cost of Breck School’s property services was reduced by more than 50 per cent - from £27,000 down to £13,000 per year.

Ancaster Church of England Primary School, Lincolnshire
Ancaster originally sought a £150,000 grant from Lincolnshire County Council to replace a temporary classroom, housed on the school playground. However, upon examining the funding criteria, funds available and the school’s situation regarding admission of pupils who lived in the village but could not access their local primary school, a request for additional funding was successful and £300,000 was secured for the project, without undue strain being placed on the headteachers’ time.

Morecambe Road School, Lancashire
As a member of the senior leadership team, Morcombe Road School’s business manager ensures that the school’s financial procedures are compliant with value, accountability and transparency, and works diligently to ensure the right policies and procedures are in place, keeping the Governing Body informed of any changes. A recent capital project involved contact with local and national trusts in order to secure grant funding for a new environmentally friendly building for the school,which will provide a much-needed learning space for SEND children.