THE Audit Commission and the Office for Standards in Education published new financial management tools
Keeping Your Balance
These standards, first produced in 1993, have been updated. A new section has been added on tax and the budgeting chapter has been split to reflect schools' greater responsibilities.
The governance section addresses the role of governors and how to provide them with user-friendly budget monitoring reports.
Getting the Best From Your Budget
This is a new resource. Until now there has been little direct guidance on the management processes that lead to effective use of a school's resources, its income, everything it purchases or maintains and the people who work in it.
A set of principles for effective management of resources has been produced.
These include: establishing the current and future educational context in which financial decisionsare made, establishing the financial context in which decisions will be made, planning the use of the school's resources to maximise educational outcomes, monitoring and evaluating spending decisions.
Both these publications can be accessed from OFSTED's website: www.ofsted.gov.uk.
The Audit Commission has launched two new interactive websites to help schools with
budgetary planning. Both feature self-
evaluation questions and deliver feedback along with an outline action plan.
"Controlling School Finances" enables schools to probe the extent to which they meet the standards
for financial management.
"Managing School Resources" features a strategic year planner setting out the management tasks which will drive school development planning and budget setting.
These are on the commission's website: www.schools.audit-