Government to provide struggling schools with efficiency advisors


The Government is set to deploy the first ‘efficiency advisors’ into schools next month to help those who are struggling to manage their finances.

Costing around £400-a-day, the Department for Education (DfE) is recruiting school efficiency advisors as part of a pilot that is set to be rolled out in January to help schools that are in need of ‘financial therapy’.

All of the advisors will be school business managers from the Institute for Business Leadership (ISBL) and will be funded by the DfE.

Each school will be given tailored support on how they can manage their resources and improve their overall efficiency.

Education Secretary Justine Greening has said the efficiency experts will be provided to schools that have poor financial health, but that schools will still make their own decisions over finances and budget.

According to Bethan Cullen, the ISBL’s Commercial and Business Development Director, 71 students have passed through an induction day and accreditation process.

“Independent advisors are part of our pilot to provide additional support to schools to help ensure all resources are used as effectively as possible,” said a spokesperson for the DfE.Depending on the success of the pilot, advisors could be given a longer-term role from September 2018.

Val Andrew, business leadership specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and a member of the DfE’s school and academy funding efficiency sub-group, said: “ASCL welcomes the fact that they are using practitioners from within the sector and we welcome the fact that the DfE has recognised they need to fund the process.”

It is expected that there are around 90 schools that require urgent assistance and the DfE will be looking to provide support as quickly as possible.