Government extends “successful” academy cost-cutting programme

School Resource Management Advisers (SRMAs) will help even more schools and academies cut costs and overcome financial challenges, the Government has announced.

The report comes after the launch of the extended SRMA programme, in which cost-cutting experts are dispatched to academic institutions to help them run more economically.

SRMAs are “sector experts” who have “demonstrable experience of helping schools and trusts make the best use of their capital and revenue resources”.

SRMA “mentors” will also be drafted into academy trusts to help chief financial officers (CFOs) tackle new “challenges”, such as charity and company law.

Funded entirely by the Department for Education (DfE), the first pilot reportedly found “over £35 million of savings and revenue generation opportunities” in schools and academy trusts.

Commenting on the extension of the scheme, Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, said: “It is clear from the success of the pilot that SRMAs will be valued partners for schools and trusts as they work to ensure they make the most of the resources available to them and are maximising investment in the classroom.

“I am therefore delighted to announce that this expansion in capacity will help and support significantly more schools and trusts.’’

Eileen Milner, ESFA Chief Executive, added: “The programme has already been pivotal in helping schools reduce cost pressures – reviewing approaches to staff deployment as well as identifying opportunities for savings on agency supply staff and procurement of goods and services.”

The SRMA scheme comes after a review found that “up to £1 billion of savings could be made” on non-staff spend in schools each year.

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Posted in Business, Funding.