Marrying your people with your budget: a curriculum-based model to financial efficiency


Stuart Gardner, CEO, TSAT

In times of tighter funding educators must look at ways to create an environment for students to achieve their best and realise their potential - in the most efficient way possible. The Thinking Schools Academy Trust has developed an innovative, curriculum-based financial planning model which has saved millions of pounds in its schools across the South-East, all while transforming standards and the life chances of students over a short period of time.

The Thinking Schools’ model has been in place for three years and allows school leaders to make efficiencies by evaluating the existing staffing structure of a school and setting this against a curriculum map which shows how many classes will be required for each subject across each year group. It gives leaders a 'birds’ eye view' of the staffing resources required to deliver teaching effectively at the agreed pupil-to-teacher ratio.

In this session, Thinking Schools’ chief executive, Stuart Gardner, explains the model and its benefits and how others can draw inspiration from it. Reducing costs and raising standards may seem like opposing forces to some, but the Thinking Schools model demonstrates that this absolutely isn’t the case!

Take home points:
  • accurate forecasting of staff – understanding the numbers;
  • developing a curriculum map to understand resource requirements;
  • assessing staffing structures;
  • applying a curriculum-based model.

    This session is for:

    SBMs who are looking for a strategic way to make their budgets go further – while nurturing pupil outcomes - by looking at their greatest expenditure – staff.

    Biography Stuart is a well-qualified, experienced education practitioner recognised for his leadership by Ofsted. He has demonstrated this in a variety of contexts: four years as headteacher of an ‘outstanding’ school; assumed the role of headteacher of a school in ‘special measures’ and took it to ‘good’ in 12 months; executive headteacher of four secondary schools; CEO of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust which has 14 schools – including primary, junior, comprehensive, secondary and grammar schools.

    Stuart is passionate about cognition and the use of the understanding of cognitive processes to enhance teaching and learning, his dissertation on the use of Memory Skills to improve student outcomes has been published by the University of Kent.