School Resource Management Advisor Program – 3 Years Later
The School Resource Management Advisor (SRMA) program
After a successful pilot phase in 2017/18, 979 other establishments, including 79 local authorities, accepted the offer to work with an SRMA until March 2021.
The recent National Audit Office report on the financial sustainability of schools in England examined the overall cost-effectiveness of the program. This confirmed that the SRMAs had identified total potential savings of £ 303million and that stakeholders were generally positive about the School Resource Management Advisors program.
Our follow-up survey received 257 responses from academies and local authority schools, of which 84% rated the visit experience as “good” or “very good”.
The Hackney Council school finance director said:
“I would highly recommend the process as both a corrective and preventative measure to help secure the financial health of schools, especially in authorities that have excess student spaces. The SRMA was professional, accessible, flexible and extremely competent. We would be happy to have all schools reviewed using this methodology. “
The SRMA program aims to anchor financial excellence across the industry and promote the efficient use of school resources for the benefit of students. Due to the program’s positive impact in helping schools make the best spending decisions, ESFA has extended the SRMA program for an additional 3 years, until August 2024.
When deploying at Minerva Learning Trust, SRMA identified a range of cost savings. This highlighted specific areas for development and improvement resulting in expected savings of around £ 5.2million over a 3 year period.
Learn more about the Minerva Learning Trust
SRMAs are practicing industry experts, such as school business professionals, who work in conjunction with schools and trusts. They provide independent expert advice and tailor-made support to address current or future forecast deficits where they exist. Either way, they help trusts and schools identify opportunities to better use their funding, allowing them to target resources where they will have the most impact on children’s outcomes.
All deployments include a review of data with school or trusted principals. The SRMA then produces a report that summarizes the historical, current and projected state of the budget, as well as an overview of how financial matters are managed at a high level.
Each report should contain a budget analysis using the program’s Integrated Financial Planning (ICFP) tools. This can be used to make recommendations as to where resources might be reallocated to support school improvement priorities that promote good academic performance. While ICFP tools are important to how ADRs approach resource management, it is recognized that one size does not fit all and reports will pay particular attention to the unique circumstances and educational priorities of each environment. All recommendations are strictly advisory and there is no obligation to implement them.
The principal of St Ives Infant School said:
“The work of the SRMA has saved us weeks of research and time that we just don’t have at the moment. In many cases, we wouldn’t have known if we had to start the search. The impact of personalized assistance is that we can apply the suggestions with real purpose and be proactive.
Six months after a deployment, the SRMA will conduct a brief follow-up visit to determine which recommendations the school or trust has deemed appropriate to adopt and to answer any questions regarding the effective implementation of the recommendations.
Learn more about working with an SRMA
SRMA visits can be requested for a variety of reasons and can also be used as part of a larger aid package, for example supporting schools in regional opportunity areas.
Following the positive response from schools that received hands-on assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, ESFA continues to offer flexible or ‘tailor-made’ deployments when there is an urgent need for commercial support. short-term practice.
ESFA will continue to make SRMA support available to all schools, free of charge and any school that wishes to take advantage of this offer should contact ESFA using the request form.