Spring - 24th March 2014

As we see the signs of spring around us and enjoy the longer days they remind us that, for maintained schools, the financial year is nearly at an end. Many of you will currently be bogged down with budget planning and year-end procedures. I remember it well! One of the advantages of working in an academy is the ability to get away at Easter, something I never used to manage whilst working in maintained schools as there was just too much to do at this time. The downside of academic year funding, of course, is that when our maintained school colleagues are enjoying some time off in the summer, academy SBMs are working on their new budgets and company accounts. Let’s face it – we all have pressure points, they just come at different times.

On the subject of academic year funding, I find budget management quite difficult with the summer holidays at the end of the financial year. In the normal order of things summer works and other major spends are undertaken four or five months into the financial year, when budgets are still fairly healthy. The difficulty is in keeping just the right amount of funding until the last couple of months of the year to cover the cost of summer works and major furniture ordering. If anyone has any useful tips for planning year-end expenditure I’d be happy to hear them.

Jenny, Judy and I will be meeting during the Easter holidays to finalise arrangements for the 14 May conference, which has a very full programme. Booking details will be published shortly. Also on the agenda will be the Summer Ball, which is being held on Friday 13 June. Menus and entertainment are pretty much sorted, but we are still working on some of the detail. We have sold several tables to companies, so you may already have received your invitation from one of our sponsor companies. If not, please wait for further information on how to book tickets.

As there are only a couple more weeks to the end of term, I hope everyone finds the resources to keep up the good work and manages to get some rest and relaxation over the holidays. Happy Easter!