School financial health and efficiency

In the broadest sense, efficiency can be defined as maximum productivity achieved with minimum wasted effort or expense. For schools, making efficiency gains means taking a detailed look at areas where there are systems and processes in place which require a high level of effort and expense to analyse the possibilities for reducing any waste and unnecessary expenditure. 

Within schools, the areas for reducing waste might include financial processes, HR or similar, and entire numbers of schools are formerly collaborating in order to support efficiency.

This factsheet provides a sign-post to the NASBM research and resources available, as well as case studies of efficiency and external links to other sector organisations with a role in supporting school efficiency.  


NASBM efficiency guidance

NASBM has published research with Optimus Education and OEE Consulting showing how schools can make the best financial efficiencies, even in schools that are already performing efficiently, click here


Efficiency case studies

In 2015, NASBM developed 20 case studies under the Cluster SBM Grant programme. The case studies highlighted a number of areas in which the CSBMs were having significant impact, including in making financial efficiency gains. To access the case studies, click here.


Department for Education Financial Health and Efficiency website

The DfE has a 'Schools Financial Health and Efficiency' website housing information on good financial management, efficiency, procurement, budget forecasting, and also provides a number of case studies of best practice in these areas, click here.


Schools financial health checks

The DfE coordinates a programme of schools financial health checks where particular suppliers provide advice and support to help schools review their current financial position, identify issues and take action. 

NASBM in partnership with Entrust is one such supplier, providing financial health checks to schools and is listed in the DfE supplier directory

Resources and related information - efficiency

NASBM guides and factsheets in related areas

Emerging school structures

Closing the financial gap

Ways to collaborate in education

Collaborationprocurement and academy conversion factsheets


Resources developed by NASBM practitioners

Effective staff deployment


Asset management systems

Assettrac have also provided a case study showing the time and financial efficiencies made within a school who have adopted their asset management system. Click here for access to the case study.