With soaring energy costs and unfunded staff pay rises, schools, Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), and Local Authority (LAs) face unprecedented financial challenges in 2022/23.
Bromcom looks at the financial implications felt by education providers, how it will affect learning outcomes. Then we look at how software such as Management Information Systems (MIS) and Finance and Budgeting solutions can provide help in these challenging economic times.
School funding crisis: the state of play
Many schools have documented the financial jeopardy they are experiencing at the beginning of the academic year.
Senior leaders have taken to social media and the national press to discuss deficit budgets (
The reasons for these financial difficulties are seemingly twofold: soaring energy costs and unfunded staff pay rises.
Despite the government’s recent announcement that there will be a 6-month energy bill support plan in place, there are concerns across the industry that this does not go far enough to stem the problem. Added to this a significant increase in staffing budgets, the largest expenditure in most schools, it’s clear to see a difficult economic picture emerging.
And, with the uncertainty surrounding National Insurance funding, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has stated that even by 2024/25, school funding will lag behind 2010 levels.
What does this mean in practice?
How school funding affects students and staff
Naturally, these fiscal policies will be felt by everyone in schools.
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the ASCL Leaders’ Union believes that the outcome of these price rises across staffing and energy will result in larger classes, cuts to school options, and even job losses.
Ultimately, this means the provision for quality education is likely to suffer. With more children to address in busier classrooms, teachers are left with the job of guaranteeing progress under increasingly challenging circumstances.
It is very possible that schools will need to make tough decisions on which subjects they can fiscally afford to run. This can have potentially devasting consequences on the breadth of a curriculum offered by schools. Potentially, students will not be able to study their desired subjects, and teachers of these ‘at risk’ disciplines face the risk of redundancy.
These drastic decisions on curriculum help schools ensure they will not run on a deficit, something generally only allowed in extenuating circumstances. Some academy trusts have even muted the idea of running a three- or four-day week to save money.
With many schools facing a financial breaking point, how can these budgetary constraints be addressed effectively?
An MIS could be the answer.
Managing school budgets with your MIS
Bromcom’s sustainable, cloud-based model is tailor-made to help you save money across your School, MAT, or LA. Here’s how:
Energy in schools
With Bromcom’s cloud-based infrastructure, there’s no need to pay for server rooms, disaster recovery services, and associated maintenance, we take care of this for you.
Our recent blog explores this in detail, along with the money you stand to recoup when you adopt cloud-based technology.
Bromcom incorporates traditional third-party support features in our MIS, as standard.
Disparate systems, contracts, and interfaces can lead to unwanted costs and confusion. Eradicate these with our award-winning solution.
- Options: Automate the options process for secondary and post-16 education. Run mock trials, add bespoke parameters, and remove the typical complexities of timetabling. Give your students the best chance of studying their desired subjects.
- Safeguarding: Monitor the well-being of all of your students from within your MIS. Log sensitive information in moments and restrict permissions, meaning that data is only accessible to those with clearance. Security is even easier too, there’s no need for an expensive bolt-on provider and communication between both systems.
- My Child at School (MCAS): Our online portal connects home with school, allowing parents visibility over their child’s progress. MCAS also allows schools a way to communicate vital information digitally, with no strain placed on the printing budget. To see how MCAS can revolutionise communication for no additional cost, take a look at our Case Study with Leigh Academies Trust.
- Timetabling: Distribute resource accurately and fairly with Bromcom’s timetabling module. Provide every pupil with a rich curriculum, vulnerable children with appropriate support, and teaching staff the opportunity to teach and plan successfully.
Schools budgets made easy: Bromcom Finance
A key component of Bromcom’s award-winning solution is our finance module.
This integrated component supports vital financial practices, designed to save you money.
Contract Management: Vital for evaluating and reducing spend. Bromcom’s contract management capabilities mean you can see exactly how much you are spending on stationery, curriculum materials, catering, and more. Set renewal reminders to review spending and use our supplier catalogue search function to make sure you are getting the best deal possible across all of your contracts.
Resource Pooling: For MATs, information about resourcing is held centrally and can be distributed accordingly based on need. Instead of paying for expensive agency staff, deploy staff where cover provision is required and ensure any gaps in teaching are plugged effectively with internal reserves.
Benchmarking: Accurately calculate where your budget is being spent relative to schools within your area. Make certain you are not overspending on external providers and that your staffing budget is not too heavily weighted towards UPS.
Budgeting/Staffing Scenarios: Map multiple different staffing makeups with budgeting scenarios and assess how they could affect your existing and future finances. These hypothetical setups give you complete visibility over your biggest expenditure, and how it can be maximised.
Forecasting Factors: Apply our Forecasting Factor functionality to any potential budget and see how the level of RPI could affect your future spend. Plan for every eventuality with Bromcom.
Want a School MIS that saves you money?
Say goodbye to costly third-party providers and plan for a sustainable financial future with Bromcom’s solution.
Book a demo with our industry experts today