Efficiency toolkit for schools

Information for academy trusts about support available to improve efficiency, including a new financial benchmarking website for academies

This guidance was withdrawn on

The information on this page has now forms part of the schools financial efficiency document collection.

Schools spend a lot of public money every year, and how they spend it has a profound impact on pupils’ achievement and future prospects. An efficient school or education system is central to the country’s future prosperity.

The importance of robust strategic planning and managing resources effectively is supported by EFA, which has recently introduced an online programme of efficiency tools for use by all types of schools – academy, free school or local authority maintained, primary, secondary or all-through.

An introduction to the efficiency toolkit

An introduction to the efficiency toolkit

The efficiency toolkit looks at how schools use their resources and encourages a move away from an incremental approach to budgeting year on year.

It includes details and a demonstration of the new financial benchmarking site for academies, which complements the established schools financial benchmarking website for maintained schools.

These facilities enable schools to prepare charts that compare one school’s income and expenditure profile with that of similar schools, using a range of factors such as size, type, percentage with special needs, for example. The financial benchmarking site for academies contains information about academies that have been open for more than 12 months, provided through their accounts returns.

Another module in the online programme provides top tips for managing a budget with constrained resources. There is also a short filmed discussion between EFA and a school business manager about effective procurement. EFA will add further modules later in March.

This efficiency toolkit will add to the large range of support and helpful financial modelling tools that are available to schools, including those provided by representative bodies, who are happy to provide schools with help and support with their financial planning.

Schools are encouraged to make full use of the information and support available to support their financial modelling, review costs and ensure that they are in a solid position for the coming year.

Published 4 March 2015
Last updated 2 June 2015 + show all updates
  1. Link to introductory video on YouTube added.

  2. First published.