How can you improve efficiencies with SchoolMark
Going through the SchoolMark process has many fantastic benefits. You gain a nationally recognised award that symbolises that your school or trust is doing an outstanding job at managing resources. It celebrates your staff by announcing their excellent work in keeping the school running at the highest level. However, one of the most valuable benefits of SchoolMark is being able to increase efficiencies within your school or trust.
After you have completed your self-assessment questions and uploaded your supporting evidence, these will be sent to SchoolMark's governance and finance advisors. The experts will review your evidence against the SchoolMark standards to see if it reaches the requirements for accreditation. If your school or trust doesn't meet the 80% required in each of the 9 areas, your advisor will put together a roadmap of how you can improve. This roadmap highlights areas for further work, signposting you to relevant tools to support you, including the DfE financial efficiency resources and ICFP guidance.
As part of the Key Financial Benchmarking section of the framework, your experts will ensure that you benchmark your procurement prices or use available frameworks where appropriate. Procurement is a major area where schools can save money without reducing the quality of the goods they receive. Although you should abide by the PCR procurement rules over the threshold (£213,477 for goods and services and £5,366,937 for works), there is still a great deal of freedom to find the best possible price. The SchoolMark experts will give you ideas on how to get the most out of your procurement process.
We estimate that schools or trusts that go through the process will be able to save at least double what it costs to gain the accreditation of SchoolMark
It's also important to note that the benefits of SchoolMark aren't just financial. Efficiencies could also be made in your operations. Your report will benchmark your organisation against key sector benchmark figures to see where you sit compared to other trusts and schools. This is important as it can help to facilitate conversations between your senior leadership team to discuss the findings and what you can do to implement them. Sometimes a fresh viewpoint can help you to see things that you have previously missed, such as needing a restructure to eliminate wasted staff periods.
Having your senior leadership team together can also help you to focus on where you want to be in the next 5 to 10 years and the steps you will need to undertake to get there. How can you do better? What would you like your organisation to look like? What would you like the outcomes for your students to be? Once you have the "perfect vision" in place, it becomes easier to work towards it.
SchoolMark was developed to celebrate schools and trusts who are operating at the highest levels, but that shouldn't prevent schools who aren't quite there yet from signing up. The personised road that you will receive if you don't pass first time is a valuable tool for improvement – and it's free to resubmit your evidence and try again.
Find out more here.