SchoolMark celebrates schools and trusts that demonstrate best practice in resource management, but it is also a valuable tool for improvement.
Although SchoolMark has been very lucky with the first-time pass rates of the schools who have already been through the accreditation, SchoolMark can be a valuable tool for improvement. If you don't feel that your school or trust will pass the first time, we would still encourage you to sign up.
As the East Midlands Academy Trust found, one of the benefits of going through the SchoolMark process is the ability to use it as a means to get your senior leadership together. Although this meeting was ostensibly to discuss the answers to the self-assessment questions, they also used the meeting to discuss the processes they were using, why they were using them and how they could improve them. Having a focused meeting between school business leaders combined with the self-assessment questions which promote clear discussion topics is truly invaluable.
Some of the trusts who are currently going through the SchoolMark process signed up knowing that that they don't meet the 80% rate needed to pass. Instead, they're using SchoolMark as an independent advisor who can provide advice on current procedures and practices.
Once the SchoolMark assessors have received the answers to your self-assessment questions and the evidence you have submitted alongside them, they will review and use the findings to both create a report and see if you have reached the necessary standard to be awarded the accreditation. If you haven't passed, this report will become your "roadmap to success" and will contain the expert's suggestions for ensuring your trust's compliance with the ATH, alongside their advice for how your organisation can move towards best practice. Although "best practice" as an ideal is a constant that we all strive towards, different schools and trusts will all follow a different path to get there so each roadmap is individually tailored.
Along with receiving a nationally recognised award, accredited by the Institute of School Business Leadership, SchoolMark can help to raise the standard of school resource management and ultimately, help facilitate better outcomes for pupils and student.
SchoolMark can help your school or trust to:
- Reduce costs and find greater efficiencies in your budget (these are often more than double the cost of SchoolMark)
- Maximise the impact of your spend for the benefit of your students and pupils
- Increase the transparency and demonstrated transactional propriety
- Improve financial planning
- Reduce audit requirements
- Improve governance and trustee monitoring of spend
- Reduce workload to meet internal scrutiny requirements
SchoolMark was set up by school business professionals who wanted to encourage more schools and trusts to stop being happy with being compliant and embrace best practice. You can read more about how SchoolMark encourages best practice here.