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Written Statement - School Business Manager pilots

Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education

Reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and enabling teachers to spend more time supporting pupils’ learning is a priority for this government.

I am therefore pleased to announce funding of over £1.28m to support the establishment of School Business Manager pilots in 11 local authority areas beginning in September 2017.

We are supporting these new pilot projects by providing funding of £642,000 over a 2 year period which will be match-funded by local authorities.

I support the greater use of School Business Managers as they provide dedicated support for school leaders and teachers, so they can better focus on raising standards in our schools.

The aim of the pilots is to:

  • help enable head teachers and school leaders to more effectively manage their workload, increasing their capacity to focus on school improvement and pupil attainment, so contributing to reducing workload pressures in schools, and
  • support wider financial efficiency in schools by building expertise and improved procurement opportunities.

This initiative will also aim to inform best practice guidance to assist in embedding the School Business Manager role in both primary and secondary school clusters. It is anticipated that schools’ financial efficiency will be sufficiently improved that these School Business Managers will become self-financing before the end of the project.

I am particularly pleased that this initiative has been developed in conjunction with, and will be jointly funded, by local authorities in Wales. This is a clear example of cross sector working to help improve efficiency and reduce workload pressures on the education workforce.

Another such example is the publication today of a leaflet and poster giving advice and guidance to teachers and school leaders on planning, marking and reducing unnecessary workload. Production of this document was supported by 18 organisations across the education sector including Estyn, Welsh Government, regional consortia and the workforce unions.

The initiatives announced today will help ensure teachers are given more time to do what they do best: planning and teaching the best possible lessons for their pupils.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.

Annex 1

Local authorities receiving funding:

  1. Vale of Glamorgan
  2. Cardiff
  3. Carmarthenshire
  4. Powys
  5. Swansea
  6. RCT CBC
  7. Torfaen
  8. Conwy
  9. Anglesey
  10. Monmouthshire
  11. Caerphilly