Schools to see a reduction in back-office spending

March 19th, 2015 Category: Schools

Schools will see a reduction in back-office spending, according to the recently released Budget document.

Instead, the government claimed that more money will be spent on teachers, while there will also be measures to improve benchmarking information so that schools can compare spending.

In addition, parents will also be able to access information, detailing how the money is spent. The government will also increase the ceiling for the gift aid small donations scheme (GASDS).

The initiative is open to all charities including academies, from £5,000 to £8,000 per donor from April 2016.

This legislation change means that academies can claim up to £750 more in gift aid. 

It is thought that these changes will result in schools receiving funding in areas where it is needed the most.

According to the Budget document: "In education, evidence shows that the best performing schools focus their spending on teachers over the ‘back-office’.

"To help schools further improve their efficiency and focus their budgets on providing excellent teachers for their students, the government is launching a number of initiatives."

However, the challenge for many schools will be to ensure they are still offering their pupils good value for money.

Some have also suggested that schools need to receive more information about exactly how they will be affected by the changes.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said that she was concerned that any cuts or major changes to funding may limit the ability of local authorities to open schools. However, others have welcomed the new directives.

Phil Reynolds, academies and education manager at accountancy firm Kreston Reeves, lauded the government’s information-sharing plans.

He said in an interview published by Schools Week: "Improved benchmarking will be welcomed by the education sector however, it will only be valuable if up to date and relevant."

However, he added: "Currently the data provided by the Department for Education is not provided quickly enough and therefore this does not enable schools to make timely decisions to implement the change required to make a difference – particularly when budgets and funding is tight.

“The cost comparison will be a useful tool for schools with tight budgets and decreases in funding.”