Education Business Effectiveness Service

School Business Support is provided to all maintained schools through the Education Business Effectiveness Service (EBE Service) which is a non-statutory service within the borough’s Education Directorate.  We aim to provide advice, guidance, and training to business professionals within schools, to support best practice and continued professional development in order to increase the financial sustainability of maintained schools in Waltham Forest to protect education standards for the children and young people they serve.  

It is increasingly important that schools ensure that they have strong strategic business management and administration to ensure that they meet their key statutory duties in regard to finance, procurement, human resources, health and safety and premises management. The majority of schools now have School Business Managers (SBMs) who oversee these areas, and others such as infrastructure and marketing.

The Education Business Effectiveness Service provides free support to all maintained schools, including regular WF SBM Network meetings through which we encourage school business professionals to support each other and share best practice; support schools’ financial management by linking to other council services; provide first line support for finance management software and key subscriptions; ​​deliver Action Groups to support maintained schools with challenging financial positions, including falling reserves or deficit budgets.  

This free support includes:

Waltham Forest School Business Manager Network:​


  • Free membership for all maintained SBMs - both new and experienced – to the Waltham Forest SBM Network which meets on a half-termly basis to discuss ‘Hot Topics’ around current pressures offering the following benefits:​
  • Key updates around policy changes and funding on a timely basis from key local authority services including Education Finance, Health and Safety, Schools HR, Insurance and Pensions.​​
  • Updates on local and national opportunities from professional bodies and/or government organisations such as Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL), Department of Education (DfE) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).​
  • Sharing of experiences, best practice and successes between members and the wider school community.​​
  • An on-call community to resolve problems quickly, saving time and money.​​
  • Free continued professional development and training on key processes and areas

The inaugural meeting will be held on Tuesday 3 October 2023. If you are a new School Business Manager and would like to join, please email with contact details and we will send an invitation.  

Future meeting dates:

  • Autumn 1 – Tuesday 3 October 2023
  • Autumn 2 – Tuesday 5 December 2023
  • Spring 1 – Tuesday 23 January 2024
  • Spring 2 – Tuesday 12 March 2024
  • Summer 1 – Tuesday 7 May 2024
  • Summer 2 – Tuesday 18 June 2024


Access Education Budgets:​

School subscription to the ACCESS Education Budgets software, which is an online school budgeting tool used collectively by all maintained schools within the borough offering the following benefits:​

  • 100% cloud-based digital budget setting and monitoring software that tracks spending.​
  • 5 year forward planning and financial forecasting functionality, allowing schools to plan for success and avoid setting deficits budgets.​
  • Scenario planning functionality allowing schools to model the financial impact of multiple scenarios, such as changes in income or expenditure, staff pay, pupils and much more.​
  • Real-time reporting and capabilities on several budget areas.​

EBE Helpdesk:

Monday-Friday 9-5pm access to a central school support platform for SBMs, school leaders and other business administration colleagues as the first point of contact and offering the followings benefits:​

  • Problem resolution linked to various areas of school business administration and management through internal collaborations between LA services.​​
  • Tailored support at an individual school level via telephone and email.​​
  • Communication platform for sharing information and guidance on best practice and any CPD training.​​


One to one dedicated EBE School Support Officer:

Starting from September 2023 each maintained school will have a named EBE School Support Officer allocated to them as a first point of contact to escalate any unresolved business management queries, offering the following benefits:

  • ​Tailored support through regular contact to progress school specific queries/ outstanding queries with other Local Authority Teams​.
  • Termly Touch base meetings with the SBMs.
  • Platform to identify school specific business management CPD needs.

Download the EBE School Support Officer contact sheet


Strategic training and support for Headteachers and Governors

In order to support Governing Bodies and Headteachers in leading and managing financial stability across the school the following is provided on an annual basis:

  • An annual cycle of financial training for all maintained schools, from budget setting to monitoring and including training on completing your Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS)    
  • An annual ‘Assumptions’ document sent out in Spring term each year to support SBMs, Heads and Governors during budget setting period.
  • A financial risk register template, to support Governors to hold details of risks to the school and the management actions to take to mitigate negative impacts on the school.  


Schools Facing Financial Challenge Action Groups:

The EBE Service also manages the Schools Facing Financial Challenge programme which supports maintained schools with falling reserves or deficit budgets. This programme aims to protect the standards of education for all children and young people in Waltham by supporting the school achieve financial stability and viability.  This service offers two tiers of support:

  • School Under Monitoring (SUM) Action Group – 1st level of support for schools forecasting an in-year only revenue deficit financial position, therefore working collaboratively to bring the in-year revenue deficit forecast into a balanced position.  
  • School Facing Financial Challenge (SFFC) Action Group – 2nd level of support for schools forecasting a cumulative revenue deficit financial position, therefore working collaboratively to bring the revenue deficit forecast into a balanced position.

Schools who are concerned by their current financial situation are encouraged to contact Gurpreet Kataora – Head of School Business Support or Lindsay Jackson, Assistant Director Post 16 and School Operations as early as possible for support.   

Last update: Thursday 11th of January 2024 04:07:14 PM