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Parent governor, out of my depth with budget cuts

(9 Posts)
MyschoolMyrules Mon 08-May-17 14:28:57

I am not a staff member but a parent governor, I have been for three years and feel that I have made a decent contribution, I went to training, do a good job as a link governor etc. But I am completely out of my depth in terms of what is expected of us in the present situation, with massive budget cuts, pressure to become an academy, staff redundancies, being asked to endorse a budget that I wkno will not mean a deficit within the next year, bauble two years if lucky. I am struggling to see the 'line' between making strategic long term decisions for the school (what we are supposed to do) and helping the school to stay just above the red. Any advice, support anyone could give me would be much appreciated.

MrsGuyOfGisbo Mon 08-May-17 18:39:03

If you are out of your depth you need to resign so they can appoint someone who isn't. Useless to throw your hands up and bleat I'm out of my depth' and expect complete strangers (who on here are teachers, not financial experts) to wave a magic wand and fix it {hmm]. Ask for training in RL, or quit.
Or were you just trolling for a moan-fest?

MyschoolMyrules Mon 08-May-17 18:48:56

Very helpful Mrs. Thanks. I don't give up that easily and I am in touch with local council about specific training on how to deal with a deficit budget, which they don't offer at the moment but will put together. We are volunteers, remember.

That will teach me for asking a genuine question and asking for help. Mumsnet has really gone down the dumps if we get answers like yours.

Emphasise Mon 08-May-17 18:53:44

Haha Mrsguy. Ime, the "experts" at the LA are just as clueless. They come in look at all the things the school has already reviewed, agree we're all stuffed, then send the invoice for their time.

My advice would be to set a deficit budget. Either funding will change or we'll all be there within a year or two.

SleepWhatSleep1 Mon 08-May-17 18:58:45

Well the inside information here is that the heads of local schools are meeting up to all agree deficit budgets and just run with it in a sort of protest and "safety in numbers" thing. Cause public outcry etc.
Not sure if that helps you but may be an option to think about discussing?

Emphasise Mon 08-May-17 19:03:44

There have been suggestions of that here too Sleep, but resistance from those with OFSTED due as you can't get outstanding with a deficit budget.

Our school has set a balanced budget for 2017-18 by cutting every line of expenditure,but I'll be amazed if we've managed to stay with it by the end of the year. Eg there's nothing at all for overtime or supply and almost nothing for essential maintenance to buildings

iseenodust Mon 08-May-17 19:09:52

You do not need to know how to budget (assume you understand your own household finances) you need to know how to interpret what is placed before you.

Start with the current financial position think about what you feel about how the school is currently doing. You've got budget cuts and the HT and business manager should offer you some options within the budget discussions eg cut staff, no new IT, ask local auth if can increase number of places. Ensure the budgets you see are for at least 3 years. If after much thought you cannot endorse the planned budget then vote against it.

The academy conversion is an interesting one as your school is late if this is the first time you've encountered the topic as a governor. Weigh up the pros and cons against what you think are the strengths of the school. Some chains have very nice glossy brochures. Would it add more to the community than another level of management, paperwork & meetings?

iseenodust Mon 08-May-17 19:12:52

Also look at whether academy chains have a track record for sharing HT across two or more schools?

TheFaerieQueene Mon 08-May-17 19:15:42

Is the lead for your Finance and Staffing committee able to go through the details of the budget with you? It can be complex if you don't have experience.

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