Ruth Golding

Get up to speed on spending

New and aspiring headteachers would benefit from more training before being put in charge of the school budget, argues Ruth Golding

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The first time I had an element of financial control in education was for a year group budget, and I was pretty naive. I knew I had to write a development plan but costing it was another thing entirely. I’d had no training on how to do this, so figures were randomly plucked from the air. I had no idea how to forecast or even use the previous year’s balance sheet as a guide. My budget was a best guestimate: as long as there was a supply of purple pens and stickers, I thought it was fine. And no one told me otherwise.

Unfortunately, though, it meant that I’d failed to prioritise the requirements ...

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