Tightening Budgets (17th February 2017)

message by Ian Barker, Chief Executive Officer

You will have read in the newspapers of the pressures now facing schools as running costs rise and income remains static. Most schools and academies are staring deficits in the face and wondering what to cut in order to make ends meet. Some have been forced to cut back on staff or reduce staff hours, in some cases shortening the length of the school day.

The challenge for a Trust such as ours is that the needs of our special children are becoming ever more complex, requiring specialist interventions and expensive therapies. The result is that our costs are rising even faster than those of our mainstream neighbours. Most of our funding comes from local authorities who commission places with us, and we all know how tight the squeeze is on them.

As the government reviews national funding of schools, there is a pervasive air of uncertainty, which is quite understandable.

Northern House School Academy Trust is fortunate to have an excellent Board of Directors, supported by a very able Finance and Business Manager. They cast a collective forensic eye on budget forecasts and trim the sails prudently to ensure the long term viability of our operations.

For this reason, I am confident that we will continue to provide excellent care and support for all our pupils and ride out the current storm. We have friends in the charitable and business sectors who support us through their sponsorship of various events and who provide rewards for children's achievements and attendance. We are grateful to them.

We also have parents who make valuable contributions, not least in the time they freely give to serve on our various local governing bodies.

Thank you to all who support us, for in the end the beneficiaries are our children.