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In many ways, resource deployment is where school improvement and finance meet. The door between back office and front office, if you like. This article is about strategy and resources, and is written from a school finance perspective. There are many approaches to resource deployment, but in this age of tightening budgets, you may want to approach it using the thought process laid out in this article.
For example, let’s suppose our objective is to improve our Ofsted rating from Requires Improvement to Good.
Our strategy would be to improve the quality of front-line teaching. It is worth noting that the strategy does not state how it will be achieved, merely what should be done. In reality there will be more aspects to this strategy but to keep this example simple we will limit it to one.
Next, we should consider our plan which is to divert more money to frontline teaching. The sequences of tasks involved in this are:
Finally, we come to the processes. The steps involved to carry out our plan are:
The Education Endowment Foundation has some interesting research that could help with your staffing strategies. Another example of a school strategy is ways of encouraging high-achieving, disadvantaged pupils into higher education, found on the Gov.uk website.
Vision and values sit above strategy (and objectives). They apply to the entire school, through and through, regardless of the various objectives. Moreover, they inform the objectives and therefore the strategies.
Vision is sometimes rolled in with mission and together they state the purpose of the school (what it exists to achieve) and a description of where you hope this purpose will lead (where you aspire to be).
Values are a way of defining the type of school you want to be. They show how you are going to operate, alongside the what and where of mission/vision.
The SLT and the governors will usually formulate the various strategies required to keep the school moving forward. The two main issues to watch out for formulating school strategy are:
When it is too late, and things have gone wrong financially, it is usually the case that either of these two issues were the source.
There are many facets to this but here are some useful broad-brush action points you may want to consider:
Author: Patrick Leavy, Finance Services to Schools
Octavo’s School Finance team are able to support the strategic planning in your school. For more information contact Patrick.Leavy@octavopartnership.org.