Although each school within a district or multi academy trusts (MATs) has its own set of unique issues to consider, there are undoubtedly many aspects that they have in common, which presents almost endless scope for the sharing of resources.
As recommended by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (EFA), pooling together the assets held by each school or academy via a central account management system can result in improvements to efficiency and significant savings for all. After all, isn’t collaborative working and better overall standards the very thinking behind schools forging partnerships?
We’ve taken a look at how resource sharing can help your school district, federation, cluster or MAT to make your funds go further.
Best practice for school partnerships
As we’ve stated, the EFA recognises resource sharing as an effective way to make efficiency savings, and is echoed by head teacher and business manager accredited bodies.
The Department of Education asserts in its guidance for multi academy trusts that, “The creation and growth of MATs has seen […] benefits in terms of more formal collaboration between schools, both to improve standards and increase financial efficiencies and sustainability,” and that, “There are […] many different and vital forms of partnerships that support school improvement, including teaching school alliances.” (Multi-academy trusts: Good practice guidance and expectations for growth, www.gov.uk).
Whatever form your school partnership takes, having a centralised system through which to share inventories and resources can pay dividends and generate extra funds.
A wealth of resources in one place
In the most simple terms, connecting the resources belonging to the schools in your partnership or trust can save you money by allowing you to monitor the group’s total spending in one place.
Rather than having to refer to multiple budgets from school to school, a single spending pot, visible to each school, makes staying within your means much easier and less time-consuming, and also enables staff from each school to manage their own spending. With the Account Manager module of our Academy Asset Manager or School Inventory Manager software in place, budget management across multiple sites is as easy as the click of a button.
The same is true of learning materials, documents and other assets your partnership can access through a central software hub. In combining the materials each school has in one place, and having an accurate amalgamated inventory of stock held, you could fill gaps in information or equipment without having to purchase extra resources.
In addition, the myriad of contracts and procurement agreements held by each school can be neatly organised and easily tracked, giving you plenty of time to secure money-saving consolidated deals across your trust and avoiding costly automatic price hikes.
What’s more, a collaborative system can extend to the way in which you store and access information too. With Cloud-based technology, schools in partnership can move away from expensive and space-consuming hardware-based servers, which are pricey to run, maintain and replace. Getting rid of your server room could even provide extra teaching or storage space.
All things considered, implementing a system such as ours across your MAT or federation can simplify and unify the huge amount of resources you hold as a group, in turn allowing you to cut costs and identify opportunities to free up funds.
Talk to us today to discover more about how our asset management software can help your school partnership save money. Click here to contact us now.
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School, academy and MAT asset management software
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