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All About School Resource Management Advisers (SRMAs)

Following a successful pilot conducted by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) during the 2017/18 academic year, Schools’ Choice have been chosen by the ESFA, on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE), to be the sole provider of School Resource Management Advisers (SRMAs) across East Anglia. Schools’ Choice are one of just nine providers across the country that have been awarded a contract to deliver this highly specialist service.


But what will SRMAs be doing?

SRMAs will undertake assignments of up to five days, during which they will provide independent and impartial advice to schools and trusts on how to maximise their resources to improve their educational outcomes. They will achieve this by using Integrated Curriculum and Financial Planning (ICFP)- a method which looks holistically at the school’s or trust’s financial situation and considers issues such as efficient curriculum delivery; workforce planning; procurement; value for money; capital finance and estate management. At the end of the assignment the SRMA will produce a report for the school or trust to keep, making recommendations for the school or trust to take to achieve long-term sustainability and identifying costed savings. 

The assignments will come from the DfE and will initially focus on those trusts in financial difficulty. The scope will then broaden to include trusts and schools which are forecasting deficits. The DfE anticipates that there will be plenty of assignments to keep SRMAs busy! 


What qualifies somebody to be an SRMA?

Not just anybody can become an SRMA, only people with at least two years’ experience of school business management or financial management and a good understanding of how the school system works will be considered. It may be somebody with the relevant accounting qualifications and a level of expertise in either estate management, procurement or human resources.

They must then go through a rigorous induction and accreditation process provided by the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL). After all, they will be representing the DfE. This is structured around a two-hour induction; a case study over a 24-hour period; an hour’s panel session examining the recommendations from the case study; and the candidate’s skills and experiences to assess whether they are suitable to become an SRMA. To keep their accreditation, an SRMA must do a minimum of two assignments a year. So, if your school or academy is selected by the DfE to receive this assistance, you’ll have an expert who is on your side and wants to see you succeed. 


If you would like more information on how Schools' Choice can help your school or academy please get in touch. 

Or, if you are interested in becoming an SRMA, we are extending our team to support the DfE with its program. Please contact us at to find out more on the role and how you can join us.

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