Updated: Nov 25, 2019
General Election – a School Business Manager’s To-Do list
1. Tear up the 3 year budget plan.
The concept of forward planning has been a little, ahem, challenging in recent years and, on the whole, Governing Bodies have taken our 3-5 year financial planning with a relatively large pinch of salt. I’ve spent hours trying to manipulate staffing spreadsheets to bear a passing resemblance to what I instinctively feel might happen in my schools but now, with the election looming, I’ve ripped mine up and used it to line the gerbil cage. I don’t actually have a gerbil cage, but I might get one off Freecycle, just to make my point. I don’t have any gerbils either, but this is budgeting – it bears no relation to the actual world. Stick finger in the wind and predict a deficit.
2. Check the policy on parental leave.
The election means enforced primary school closures for the day, so while we’re not a polling station, bring on the requests for leave from staff whose children now have a day off school. And check out the ‘public service’ section for the people who do that voluntary marshally thing at the polling stations. Write carefully worded yet sympathetic response in advance. Check staff list for likely ‘all-nighters’ and warn cover manager to book appropriate supply for election day.
3. Read the latest party manifestos.
Book some time in the diary to sift through them all, with highlighter pen, to identify the hidden education promises. Cross off any parties who:
Use the phrase ‘’resource management"
Enforce any form of compulsory selection
Have a lead education spokesperson who isn’t a leader in education
Plan to forcibly create lots more of anything *unless it’s funding opportunities.
4. Consider options
With the above in mind, reach for gin and research local political candidates. Consider standing for election myself in “oh for god’s sake give it here, I’ll do it” approach to the problem. When the mist clears, enter school chickens as independent candidates to appeal to the growing ‘there has to be an alternative’ vote. Fundraise for £500 deposit.
5. Prepare Resources
Warn Reprographics to start copying 1300 voting slips for the mock student election the Sociology Dept are bound to want to hold at the last minute. Start saving cardboard boxes which can be made into ballot boxes. Warn Site Team to dig out the display boards and balloons for the mock campaign in the canteen. Buy more recycling sacks for same. Order whiteboard pens in colours of all major political parties. Ask canteen to bake political muffins to cash-in on opportunist attempt to increase catering income.
6. Prepare for a new regime
Cancel any meetings on the School Development Plan, now ‘on-hold’. Instead, dig out old SDPs from pre-2010, just in case. Find School Vision jpeg image and apply extreme soft focus filter on anything relating to a specific national agenda item.
Find available office space and write advert for new Head of <insert new Government initiative here> post, starting April 2020. Budget for same.
7. Request pension statement.
Consider jacking it all in and retiring to Cuba. Again.
8. Cancel pension statement request
Roll eyes wryly, roll up sleeves, baton down the hatches. Get on with it.
9. Order more gin