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Massive budget challenge

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by welshwales, May 15, 2019.

  1. welshwales

    welshwales Occasional commenter

    As we all have, I know, but I need to 'find' £50,000 to simply run at what I have been operating at over the last few years. The school is 'good' , results are steadily in line with National and we have quite a challenging catchment who require a lot of emotional support.
    I'm desperately looking at creative ways of cutting costs- different ways of using PPA cover namely, but has anyone tried anything else to try and claw back that kind of money/ Any help would be appreciated, I know there's no magic wand...
  2. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    "to run at what I have been operating at"
    That's your problem.
    In a nutshell.
    You can't.

    If you haven't had to make cutbacks already, you are luckier than most. Every time a member of support staff leaves, I have either not replaced, or done so but on much reduced hours... I'm desperately hoping another TA decides to retire, to avoid having to start redundancy process again.
    We have set an austerity only budget for the last 5 years. I can't recall the last time we bought reading books for children. PP and SP just props up staffing....
  3. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Look for grants in the community to pay for things you need so you have more for staffing.

    Parent volunteers to run lunchtime clubs so you need less staff outside has worked for me.

    I presume you don't have 1 TA per class - if you do, this is where you make your money back (Not nice but essential).

    Look at ways to earn money - e.g. we hire our field out to a forest school provider in the summer holidays. They pay us rent which has helped supplement our money for 3 years now.

    Hold fundraisers regularly which don't raise millions but do add up.

    Do you have any TAs willing/able to cover PPA?

    Could you cover PPA in one class each week? (I've done this and it's a great way to get to know the kids, keep an eye on T&L and save money). Realistically, you won't be able to cover more than half a day per week but this will save some money over the year.

    You get money for having student teachers - are you in a position to do this?

    Check your contracts with EVERYONE - insurwnce, sickness cover, cleaning contracts, grounds maintenance, everything you can think of. You'd be surprised!

    Reach out to your feeder secondary school if you're primary - they could offer music teaching or let you use their instruments etc so you save money there.

    Finally, hold a parent meeting to find out how the parents can help with curriculum opportunities etc. I found out that I have a French parent who has a teaching qualification so he comes in to teach each class along side a TA while the teacher is out of the class. Saves a fortune! I also found out that one parent works for a chain of restaurants and she got each class a free trip (with transport) to their restaurants to make food, look at business projects etc).
    Pomza, welshwales and digoryvenn like this.
  4. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Restructure your staffing team? How many members of SLT do you have? If you have more than 3- do you need the extras?
    You could save the budget by doing this!
  5. welshwales

    welshwales Occasional commenter

    Thank you, some really interesting thoughts for me to consider..
  6. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    This thread is both shocking and depressing. I left the UK 14 yrs ago, my last post there was as a VP. I thought I'd roll by the TES Forums to see what the Heads & VPs are discussing, and came across this thread. After 14yrs 'out of touch' of UK Ed issues I am absolutely shocked to read about how schools are scrabbling around to make ends meet. I was aware that austerity had squeezed budgets, and that Headteachers had marched in London, but I wasn't aware quite how tight things had become.
    Soooexcited's post above makes for scary reading, credit to the poster for being so creative at raising money, but it's scary that s/he is required to do so. Sorry I haven't added much to the thread , but I just couldn't hold back. I'm now in an SLT in a private international school in Thailand, I have to admit that we never have to discuss funding, we have everything that we need...., but let's not get into that debate !
  7. welshwales

    welshwales Occasional commenter

    It is depressing, I've just spent 3 hours already this morning looking at asking all support staff to finish by 12 on a Friday, making sure that I cover as much PPA as possible myself, stopping all supply and external PPA cover...and still I'll find myself about £20,000 short. My last resort is for me to drop hours as the HT, but in a big, busy primary, that carries it's own concerns....
  8. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Don’t do that. Somebody else would have to be paid to be acting head when you’re not there. You can’t save £20000 with that I wouldn’t think unless you’re exceptionally well paid. You’ve left it late to make reductions for September unless someone is keen to go. Reducing the total number of support staff is likely to be the long term option. And what will you do on Friday afternoons the first time two or more teachers are off sick?
    Pomza likes this.
  9. welshwales

    welshwales Occasional commenter

    I know realistically it's not an option- and no, I'm not that well paid ;) It's just putting every possible option on the table. Our main secondary school is doing the finish at 1pm on a Friday from September for this exact reason, we may need/have to follow suit if no other option is viable...
  10. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Don’t sacrifice your own salary- it ain’t worth it! My advice would be to sit down with your CoG and review everyone’s role within the school and identify a re-structure plan that will eliminate positions.

    Look at your SLT- what’s it like? How many members do you have? 2, 3 or 4 +- you could easily re-structure to 1 x HT, 1 x DHT and 1 x AHT, you could even axe the Assistant Head role altogether and split their responsibilities between Phase Leaders.
  11. welshwales

    welshwales Occasional commenter

    It's just so rubbish that we have to compromise like this.....
  12. welshwales

    welshwales Occasional commenter

    Already operating on a DHT and AHT only, cut key stage leaders...but have a non teaching SENCO that is a bit of a luxury...
  13. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    What is your Assistant Head responsible for? Could the responsibilities be allocated to the Deputy or SENco?
  14. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Get the senco in a class or covering PPA immediately.
    digoryvenn and Pomza like this.
  15. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    This won’t help with next year - it will just create greater short/mid term costs.

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