Reduction in funding nationally resulted in the demise of a very useful and important source of information and advice (Governors Wales) – fortunately this service has been resurrected through funding provided by the schools out of their own budgets. Whist school funding has reduced, it appears that funding of regional consortia has increased.
Headteachers, governors and non-school members will make up the membership of this forum. Do you know who the members are in your area?
Does your area have a Local Governor Association, where you can attend with governors to discuss local issues and share best practice? Further information can be found here
Many schools work in clusters to share ideas and work collaboratively on specific areas. Cluster schools may even share staff, for example, a Business Manager. Have you thought about anything like this? You might like to share some innovative ways of working that your schools have developed here with further case studies.
One of the main roles for the governing body is setting financial priorities for the school and monitoring expenditure against the school’s budget. Whilst funding is allocated on a year-by-year basis (depending on pupil numbers in the main), it is best practice for the governing body and staff at the school to plan the school improvement activities over a three-year period. This will need to be reviewed once the budget has been agreed in May each year. Chapter 8 of The School Governors Guide to the Law provides a useful overview of managing the school’s budget.
Governors Cymru Services also has a guide on school finance which may be helpful. It includes information about the role of the finance committee, linking the budget with the School Development Plan, as well as questions that governors could ask when discussing and evaluating the school’s finances, plus additional reference material.