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Exploring income generation in schools - leading from the front

9 June 2014

Download a full copy of the report here

Read another section of the report:

defining income generation

necessity v distraction

leading from the front

capacity is key

sweating your assets

sharing good practice

One of the major consequences of the revolution that has been taking place in schools over recent years has been the growth of the school business management function.

The role of the school business manager is more vital to schools than ever before and encompasses a range of responsibilities and competences including the planning, implementation and management of innovative and effective income generation activities. Whilst business management is seen as separate to teaching and learning, it is critical that the two work in unison if the ethos of income generation is to be successfully embraced within a school or group of schools. The attitude, roles and inter-relationship between the school business manager, the head teacher and the governing body respectively is therefore crucial.

The head teacher has to have the vision that enables this development and needs to drive a more entrepreneurial ethos within the school. The support of the head teacher is critical if the school business function is to be performed successfully, especially when it comes to income generation.

The same can be said for the governing body. The governance structure of schools is key to success in terms of vision, efficiency and delivery. Governors are responsible for the strategic direction of the school and should have a significant role in making the decision as to whether or not income generation is important for their school’s future. The governors also have a pivotal role in interrogating proposed plans and proposals. The governing body’s skills set and commercial expertise should also be utilised as a positive contribution; in this regard school governors are the leaders of change.

An evolving role

The modern day school business manager’s role includes many strategic and managerial elements, for which a wide range of competencies are necessary. Whilst the role has changed dramatically over the last five or so years, particularly within the academy arena with its strong requirement for entrepreneurial strategy as part of the job description, many see external training and professional development as an area for improvement.

This reinforces the need to design and develop a suite of training programmes that meet current demands and the demands that school business managers foresee being placed upon them going forward. Greater professional endorsement should also underpin the change in relationship between head teachers and school business managers.

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