DfE plans for more cost-cutting consultants to support schools


Nine organisations are to recruit and manage a set of cost-cutting consultants that will help schools to save money.

The Department for Education has revealed that the school resource management advisors (SRMA) scheme is being expanded and has named the groups that will enable it to happen.

Under the scheme, consultants are sent to schools to assess their financial management processes and to find potential areas for savings.

An estimated £2.3 million has been set aside to cover the costs of the contracts – awarded by the Education Skills and Funding Agency – to support at least 160 consultants.

Each consultant is meant to provide schools with “impartial, expert business advice” that relates to how the use of revenue and resources can be maximised.

According to the DfE, a pilot of the use of consultants in schools earlier in 2018 revealed more than £35 million of potential savings and revenue generation openings in schools and academy trusts.

The government has now named the organisations to carry it forward, although the amount of funding that each will receive is yet to be announced. They are as follows:

  • The Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust – an academy trust with three schools in Gloucestershire
  • Institute of School Business Leadership
  • North Yorkshire county council
  • Schools Choice – based in Suffolk
  • Avec Partnership Ltd – based in Darlington
  • MLG Education Services Ltd – based in Warwick
  • Herts for Learning – based in Hertfordshire
  • Babcock Learning and Development Partnership LLP – based in London
  • Education Performance Improvement Ltd – based in Leicestershire

Lord Agnew, Secretary of State for the Schools System, said he was delighted to announce that the SRMA scheme will have a greater capacity to support schools.

“Excellent school resource management is vital in ensuring pupils receive the very best education possible,” he said.

“It is clear from the success of the pilot that SRMAs will be valued partners for schools and trusts as they work to ensure they make the most of the resources available to them and are maximising investment in the classroom.”