Becoming accredited as a School Resource Management Adviser (or SRMA)
was an exciting, but daunting, step on my career pathway. As an experienced School Business Manger, I wanted to give something back to the profession and support other Academy Trusts in my region. The DfE’s SRMA programme provided a platform to do that.
As an ISBL Fellow, I’d known about the 2017 pilot programme but the timing hadn’t been right for me or my Trust. So, when I happened across the DfE notice to contract SRMA suppliers last summer, I felt that this was an excellent way to get practising SBMs into other schools to support their peers and submitted a tender.
I’m very proud that CBAT is the only Academy Trust supplier of SRMAs but it hasn’t been an easy road. The accreditation process is “robust” and not for everyone, but the DfE have to be sure (understandably) that the SRMA is up to the job! It’s one thing looking at a school’s finances and offering recommendations to find savings but it’s quite another to explain your thinking to a defensive Headteacher and Chair of Trustees.
So what do I get out of it?
- The role of School Resource Management Adviser forces me to look at School finances differently. What works in one setting, won’t necessarily be appropriate for another, and there is always history, personnel, demographics and individuality to take into account.
- Every time I’m deployed into a school I learn something new. I’ve met some amazing, hardworking SBMs who just want some ideas to help put things back on track.
- I’m learning there are many different ways of doing things but they can all be bench-marked using the Integrated Curriculum Financial Planning (ICFP) tools available.
- Helping a Trust to find ways to recover their deficit, or show them how the ICFP tools can be applied to avoid a future deficit forecast, is hugely rewarding.
- And of course, all this learning can be shared at future deployments and taken back to my own Trust.
Could you be a School Resource Management Adviser?
Do you have the right approach to be an SRMA? CBAT are still looking for candidates to join our team. You will be committing to undertaking the accreditation process and at least two deployments per year. We’d love to hear from you.