Blog | HCSS Education

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How schools can protect their finances in the turbulent months and years to come

The education funding problem is beginning to come to a head. Increasing costs and uncertainties about future funding are putting significant pressure on schools and academies and their leaders.

Research conducted by HCSS Education in April found that more than a third of maintained schools and academies have been hit by a budget deficit in the last three years. 

HCSS Accounting project update - the countdown begins!

In the months since our last update about HCSS Accounting, we have been getting everything in place in preparation for the launch of the software in September 2016.

Focus group

Our HCSS Accounting focus group is made up of experienced finance professionals from the education sector, representing a range of establishments from multi-academy trusts and LAs, to individual schools and academies.

Luton Borough Council schools master long - term budget planning with HCSS software

HCSS Budgeting software is helping local authority schools get a firmer grip on their financial futures and plan proactively, according to Luton Borough Council Group Accountant for Schools Jan Powley. 

Luton Borough Council is a small unitary council outside London with 56 schools under its control. The council’s education department started using HCSS Budgeting in 2008, when schools were required to start planning more detailed budgets further into the future. 

How to become a School Business Manager

If you crammed an assembly hall full of educators at the turn of the millennium and asked if they knew what a School Business Manager (SBM) did, then you’d probably be met with a lot of confused faces. Repeat the exercise today and they would have more of an idea, but your responses would vary from school to school. 

This is because there’s no real agreed specification or skills set that describes an SBM. The job role and the amount of accountability varies widely, but a lack of clarity about what exactly the job involves has certainly not put people off. 

Technology in education: fad or future?

Education technology (edtech) has come a very long way in a short space of time. The computer was the first piece of tech to really revolutionise what our children learned and how they learned it. 

Laptops, iPads and other tablet computers prompted more mini revolutions, but the frontiers of possibility are still being mapped out with even larger changes on the horizon. Even with these possibilities, edtech still has its sceptics, and rightly so. 

Meet the HCSS Education Customer Support team

The HCSS Customer Support team is the first port of contact for schools and academies whenever they have a question about the HCSS software.

It is open to receive calls between 8:30am and 5.30pm from Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). The customer support team answers thousands of calls every year and regularly receives positive feedback from HCSS customers. Its strength comes from the people that staff it, so in this blog post we celebrate and introduce the team.

Forced academisation - a U-turn? Or just an S-bend?

When, back in March, it was announced that all local authority maintained schools would soon be compelled to become academies, the move was described as a ‘huge political gamble.’ And that was by the more neutral commentators.

Everything you need to know about academy sponsorship

In this blog, HCSS Education’s academies team take an exhaustive look at academy sponsorship, answering some common queries and attempting to dispel some of the biggest myths. 

If you would like some more information about academies and the work the HCSS Education team does to support them, please get in touch on 0845 345 3300. 

What is an academy sponsor? 

An academy sponsor is an organisation or an individual that receives approval to support an underperforming academy or group of academies. 

How do sponsored academies differ from converter academies? 

HCSS Curriculum software is a time-saving tool for a Catholic academy in Chester

Stephen Gauller, a time-pressed assistant head with a busy role balancing finance and operations with curriculum management, is using HCSS software to save two to three working days each month. 

The Catholic High School, Chester, adopted HCSS Education’s curriculum resource planning software, HCSS Curriculum, and budgeting software, HCSS Budgeting, in 2014. Stephen believes that it makes his huge workload manageable, while improving senior management decision making. 

Parental involvement in schools is under threat - why you should care

Parental engagement in schools is under threat. HCSS Education wants your views on what can be done to get parents more invested in their children’s learning. 

If your school has successfully boosted parental engagement, or if you count yourself as an expert on the subject, then we want to hear from you.