Schools: Cost-effectiveness

Department for Education written question – answered on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the school resource management advisers trial (a) since its inception, (b) in the last six months and (c) since 1 January 2019.

Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the savings achieved by schools as a result of the school resource management advisers trial (a) since its inception, (b) in the last six months and (c) since 1 January 2019.

Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to consult (a) teachers, (b) head teachers and (c) other school leaders on the school resource management advisers trial.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The School Resource Management Adviser (SRMA) pilot ran from autumn 2017 to August 2018, with the first deployments beginning in January 2018. To date, the Department has spent £659,000 on the SRMA programme. £434,000 of this has been spent in the last six months, of which £350,000 has been spent since 1 January 2019. The increased spend over the last three months reflects the expansion of the programme to offer SRMA support to more schools.

In 2017-18, School Resource Management Advisers (SRMAs) identified the potential for over £35 million savings and revenue generation opportunities as part of the pilot programme. The Department is now working with schools and academy trusts to compile data on the areas where SRMAs’ recommendations have been realised and actual savings made. The early signs are promising as it is helping to identify how to deliver resources for the best possible education of pupils. As SRMAs focus their recommendations on actions that will deliver long-term solutions, the Department does not expect to see all of the potential savings realised immediately.

When developing the SRMA programme, the Department consulted with a range of sector bodies, including the Association of School and College Leaders, the National Association of Head Teachers and the Institute of School Business Leadership. When SRMAs are undertaking deployments, officials at the Education and Skills Funding Agency are in regular contact with those schools and trusts which the SRMA is working with to understand their experience of the programme. The Department also carried out a formal evaluation of the pilot, which sought the views of those schools and trusts that participated. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive.

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