A strategic approach to value for money

In this video, our SBMs describe the processes and systems they have in place in their schools which help them to achieve value for money. As you watch reflect upon what is happening in your school.

Husham Khan, School Business Manager

Value for money within the schools that I work within is extremely important and, with the schools financial value standard, it's a key area within that standard, and it's something schools are going to be challenged to look at increasingly.

Marsha Brown, Partnership Business Manager

The systems we have for ensuring everyone's on board with value for money in our school is when staff place an order for resources, they do have to show that they've actually looked elsewhere to achieve best value. Sometimes that means obtaining two quotes if the order's over five hundred pounds for example, and I do often double check that they have actually looked elsewhere to make sure that we are getting best value for the product.

Husham Khan, School Business Manager

The things that we look at are best value on the items that we purchase, not necessarily the smaller items but mainly the big ticket purchases that we buy, so when we're looking at things like reprographics contracts, grounds maintenance contracts, HR, financial management services 2013 those are the areas where we're able to achieve maximum savings and the way we've done that is through collaboration with other schools and bulk purchasing.

Diane Lane, Business Director

The school governors are very much involved in ensuring value for money and particularly best value. We have a finance committee that will look at the finance policy and ensure that the school does follow that policy.

Marsha Brown, Partnership Business Manager

Our governors have a best value statement which needs to be signed off each year. I go through that with my head teacher and we just make sure that I achieve through my role all the points that the governors do request. Additionally, under the governor's best value statement, I'm expected to ensure that all purchases made throughout the year are in line with our school development plan.
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During Phase 3 of the programme, we explored in depth how school leaders can adopt a strategic approach to the development of their school.

In this section, we discuss how, you, as school business manager, might develop a strategic approach to value for money. The Venn diagram suggests that an effective strategy will consist of three interlocking elements:

  • mindsets and perspectives
  • performance and market orientation
  • skills and capacity

 Select the left-hand tabs below for detail on each element.